Jacksonville Sports Day

NFL: Jaguars Best Bengals for First Win of Season at EverBank Field

Photos by Nancy Beecher/Florida Sports Wire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars, behind a solid defense and a steady Blake Bortles, defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-7 Sunday to advance to 5-3 on the season.

“I was just trying to focus on our performance on the field and really playing well. I thought we did a good job on the run game. I thought we did a good job on third down today. I thought we did a nice job defending it,’ said Jaguars coach Doug Marrone.

The Jaguars finished the first half converting 9 of 11 third downs, the most third down conversions in a half since 2000. The Jaguars finished the game with 12 third down conversions, tied for the most in franchise history.

“We have made a big emphasis on it lately. We have been below average. We have been okay. It’s just four to six (yards), we have been terrible at it,” Bortles said. “So that’s kind of bumped the whole average down. We want to make sure our third-down conversion is over 40 percent so we want every game to try and be at that number or higher.”

Bortles completed 24 of 38 passes for 259 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers. He also ran for 21 yards.  Marqise Lee recorded eight receptions for 75 yards  and one TD against Cincinnati.  Lee currently leads the Jaguars in receptions, 32, and receiving yards, 438, in 2017.

Jaydon Mickens, appearing in his second career game and on his second career punt return, returned a Bengals punt 63 yards for a TD in the fourth quarter.

“I thought he was outstanding today. There’s one play, the free safety comes, he goes to his right and he throws an unbelievable ball for a first down. That’s not a good play, that’s a great play. I thought he was accurate. I thought he did an outstanding job, he really did,” Marrone said of Bortles’ performance.

Josh Lambo, kicking in his second game for the Jaguars, made all three of his field goal attempts against the Bengals, including kicks of 32, 56 and 25 yards.

The Bengals trailed at the end the first half, down 13-7. The Jaguars’ defense held the Bengals (3-5) to 148 yards.

“It’s always good. To be able to perform well in front of the fans I think is important, for me. You’re out in the community, you understand, you want to put a good product on the field at home, be able to play well in front of your home crowd,” said Marrone on the first win this year at EverBankField.

Cincinnati (3-5) quarterback Andy Dalton finished 10 of 18 for 136 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. The Bengals scored on a 7-yard run by Joe Mixon, cutting the lead to 10-7 with 4:13 left in the second quarter.

The Jaguars remain tied for first place in the AFC South with Tennessee.

JAGUARS NOTES: Rookie Leonard Fournette was inactive. Fournette violated a team rule. Fournette, the fourth overall pick in the draft, entered the game sixth in the NFL in rushing with 596 yards and was tied for first with six rushing touchdowns….defensive tackle Marcell Dareus made his debut after being traded from Buffalo. Dareus did not start, but entered late in the first quarter. … . Jaguars DE Calais Campbell notched his 11th sack of the season. … Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green were both ejected in the final seconds of the first half. Benches cleared, and it took minutes before order was restored….with two sacks of Bengals QB Andy Dalton, with one each by Malik Jackson and Campbell. For the season the Jaguars have now registered 35 sacks, the most in the NFL this season and tied for the most through eight games in Jaguars history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *