Regardless of which side you were on for this one, there's no questioning the absurdity of this Week 16 contest between the Jaguars and Jets. We saw a fake punt, a fake field goal, a kick return touchdown, an offensive lineman fumble recovery touchdown, an offensive lineman receiving touchdown, several goal-line stands, a few questionable — at best — coaching decisions, and a nail-biting ending.
The Jaguars converted a fake punt on the first drive of the game when safety Andrew Wingard took the snap on 4th & 2 from the Jacksonville 33-yard line and gained four yards up the middle. The Jags scored three points on the opening drive.
Early in the second quarter, as the Jaguars were looking to regain the lead, Trevor Lawrence kept the ball — in an attempt to find the endzone from three yards out — and fumbled it into the endzone, where offensive guard will Richardson pounced on the ball for his first career touchdown.
Up by three points after the score, interim head coach Darrell Bevell elected to attempt a two-point conversion after the Jets' jumped early. It was a puzzling decision, to be sure, as an extra point would've put the Jaguars up by four, meaning the Jets would've needed to score more than a field goal to tie. When it comes to managing the game, I'm not sure that decision-making process will go down as a win for Bevell.
Wide receiver Braxton Berrios returned the kick 102-yards to pay dirt on the ensuing kick-off, putting the Jets back on top 13-9.
Up 16-12 in the third quarter, the Jets faked a field goal from the Jaguars' eight-yard line, and punter Braden Mann came up short as he raced to the edge. Cornerback Tyson Campbell made the play, tackling the Jets' punter a yard short of the line to gain.
Leading 16-15 in the fourth quarter (why, Darrell? Why?), Jets' fill-in head coach Ron Middleton decided to go for it on fourth and goal from the one. After the Jaguars' defense initially forced quarterback Zach Wilson to improvise, he found offensive lineman Connor McDermott — who showed off impressive body control and catch radius on the grab — in the endzone for a touchdown. 23-15 Jets.
Trevor Lawrence led an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a one-yard Dare Ogunbowale score, making the score 23-21. Down two — due in large part to the decision to go for a two-point conversion earlier in the game — the Jaguars were forced to try a two-point conversion, which was unsuccessful. Lawrence dropped back, faced quick pressure, and wildly hurled the ball into the air, giving his receivers — and the Jets' defenders — a chance to come down with the ball. Ultimately no one came down with it, and the Jets preserved their two-point lead with 5:25 left in the game.
Needing to kill some clock, the Jets were able to drive the ball all the way down the field — on the back of a 38-yard Michael Carter run — and had the ball on the Jaguars' one-yard line when New York jumped early, costing them five yards. The Jets settled for a field goal and gave the ball back to the Big Cats, who were trailing by five points with 1:47 left in the contest.
Lawrence started the drive with a 16-yard strike to wide receiver Tavon Austin down the right sideline. He then found tight end James O'Shaughnessy on consecutive throws, picking up 16 yards. Unfortunately, O'Shaughnessy suffered an injury on the play, forcing the Jags to use their final time out. With 1:13 to play and a fresh set of downs, Lawrence took the snap and quickly found Marvin Jones for six yards, wasting just three seconds. The rookie quarterback then hit Dare Ogunbowale on a check down in the middle of the field, and the running back picked up the first down AND got out of bounds, stopping the clock. Jacksonville followed that up with an oddly timed run that wasted about 15 seconds. Trevor Lawrence quickly got his guys lined up and, with good coverage down the field, decided to keep it himself for 27 yards to get to the New York five-yard line. After a quick incompletion, Lawrence made a poor decision, tossing the ball right into the waiting arms of linebacker CJ Mosley, who dropped the pass and let Marvin Jones come up with the ball at the one-yard line. On fourth-down with only a few seconds remaining, the Jags made an illegal shift, and Trevor Lawrence couldn't find an open receiver and threw an incomplete pass. Penalty declined; Jets' ball. Ball game.
Trevor Lawrence had plenty of highs, completing 26 passes for 280 yards and adding 37 yards on the ground, and some unfortunate lows, including two fumbles. The Jaguars' receivers continued to show inconsistent hands, while the decision-making by the coaching staff offered plenty of head-scratchers. A second-consecutive week with a kick-off return touchdown allowed made this contest more difficult than it needed to be for Jacksonville. In the end, the Jaguars couldn't overcome their own mistakes. The Jags fell to 2-13 and held on to the top spot in the 2022 NFL Draft, while the Jets picked up their fourth win of the year.
More dissapointing than the L the Jaguars took in the win-loss column, was the loss Jacksonville sustained in the injury department. Star running back James Robinson torn his Achilles early in the game.
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