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NFL Team Report - Jacksonville Jaguars - INSIDE SLANT
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, a 36-19 loss to the Denver Broncos is progress.
After all, it beat the 27-point spread, allegedly largest in history, although nobody in NFL headquarters would acknowledge that, of course.
"It was progress, but it wasn't enough," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. "We felt like we had an opportunity there in the first and second half to pull ahead. They made some good plays. Kudos to them. We have to continue to work and we'll see how things go next week."
Jacksonville tried hard for the upset from the get-go, starting with a fake punt on a fourth-and-4 from its own 26-yard line in the opening minutes of the game.
The Broncos stuffed fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou well short of the first down after he took the direct snap, giving Denver a short field for its first score.
Chad Henne, starting in place of injured Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hamstring), completed 27 of 42 passes for 303 yards. He was intercepted two times.
Justin Blackmon added 14 receptions for 190 yards for Jacksonville (0-6).
The Broncos got two third-quarter touchdown runs from Moreno around a scoring run by Jacksonville's Jones-Drew to make it 28-19.
Manning later fumbled a shotgun snap that was recovered by Jaguars cornerback Mike Harris, but Jacksonville failed to capitalize. Kayvon Webster intercepted a pass by Henne, and Manning guided the Broncos down the field, leading to Moreno's third touchdown run with 9:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.
"They made some adjustments, and they had a really good plan coming out in the second half," said Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny, who scored a touchdown after intercepting Manning. "With Peyton Manning, he is able to do things and change things at the line of scrimmage, so we weren't able to get the same type of pressure that we had in the first half."
Taking advantage of a fumbled snap by Manning, Jacksonville added a second field goal by Josh Scobee, a 30-yarder, to make it 14-6. Scobee also kicked a 50-yarder earlier.
NFL Team Report - Jacksonville Jaguars - NOTES, QUOTES
--WR Cecil Shorts III left in the first quarter with a shoulder sprain and did not return.
--K Josh Scobee has made 29 consecutive field goals in October. He hasn't had a miss during the month since Oct. 18, 2009.
The loss snapped Jacksonville's three-game winning streak against Denver.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We'll take some positives from this game. We just played against the elite quarterback in the league, against a high scoring offense and we were able to do some things well. We also made some enormous mistakes, though. We did some things that were good and we'll grow on that, but there are also some things that we will look at and need to clean up." -- LB Paul Posluszny.
NFL Team Report - Jacksonville Jaguars - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
What we learned:
Even though the Jaguars remain winless, their defensive effort was noteworthy. Peyton Manning's high-powered Broncos offense was held to a season low in points and linebacker Paul Posluszny gave the team a lift with his Pick 6 of Denver's quarterback. Coming in as overwhelming underdogs, the Jaguars kept it close for much of the game before wearing down in the second half. Nevertheless, the Jaguars turned in a defensive effort that they can build on going forward.
--Justin Blackmon has given the Jaguars a big-time receiving threat since returning from a month-long suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Playing in just his second game this season, Blackmon had 14 catches for 190 yards, helping to keep alive drives for a struggling offense that had scored just 51 points before playing Denver, which had scored 51 points alone in a victory over Dallas the week before. If Blackmon can toe the line, he could become an offensive force for the Jaguars.