NFL football: Jaguars use superb defense, Scobee's 4 FGs to stun Ravens
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Maurice Jones-Drew walked off the field, his white pants had a mix of grass, dirt and blood stains. They might be worth keeping that way.
After all, few players have had that much success against that defense.
Jones-Drew ran for 105 yards, Josh Scobee kicked four field goals and the Jacksonville Jaguars snapped a five-game slide with a 12-7 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.
"It finally feels good to win one after all those losses," said Jones-Drew, the first player to run for 100 yards against the Ravens since last December. "It was nice to show the world what we're about. We beat a very good team."
Stepping into the national spotlight for a few hours, the Jaguars used their best defensive effort in seven years to slow down Ray Rice, Joe Flacco and Co.
"You've got to give them credit. They played like it was their Super Bowl," Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin said.
The victory could be a turning point for a young team trying to create confidence after losing eight of its previous nine games. Instead of talk about coach Jack Del Rio's job security, the Jaguars (2-5) got back in the mix in the wide-open AFC South.
"We knew this was an opportunity to right things and gain a little respect," Del Rio said.
They relied on Jones-Drew and the defense to get it done.
Jacksonville didn't allow a first down until the 5:26 mark of the third quarter, a mix of stout defense and inept offense. Flacco finally got the Ravens (4-2) on the scoreboard with a little more than two minutes remaining. He capped a 90-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Boldin.
The Ravens failed to recover an onside kick when the ball bounced inches short of going the required 10 yards. Scobee followed with his third field goal of at least 50 yards, tying an NFL record held by many.
"As long as I'm getting those opportunities, I will gladly take them," Scobee said. "Given that we haven't scored a lot of points this season, I know that every time I'm out there it's very important."
Baltimore had a final possession, but in fitting fashion, Jacksonville's defense came up big. Drew Coleman stepped in front of Ed Dickson and intercepted Flacco's final pass.
The Ravens finished with 146 total yards, the fewest yards the Jaguars have allowed since 2004.
"They basically beat us with their defense," coach John Harbaugh said. "I don't think it was any one thing. It was a lack of execution. It's almost as bad as you can play on offense."
The Jaguars set a franchise record by allowing only 16 yards in the first half, including 1 yard passing by Flacco, who was under relentless pressure for much of the night.
"We need to make sure when we're not on our 'A' game, we're not this," said Flacco, who completed 21-of-38 passes for 137 yards.
Baltimore finally got a first down on its 28th play of the game when Rice broke off a 12-yard run. That was only the second play longer than 10 yards for the Ravens.
"We were confident about this game," Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. "We knew we had to outplay them. The difference between this and the other weeks is that we started fast. Our defense is capable of that. That's why we hold ourselves to a high standard. We just needed to taste victory. Now that we have, we're going to keep it rolling."
The teams combined to go 0 of 16 on third-down conversions in the opening half. The Jaguars began the third quarter with six first downs, only for the Ravens defense to stiffen after yet another mistake.
The Ravens stopped Jacksonville, but Brendon Ayanbadejo was called for a personal foul and ejected from the game when he punched Guy Whimper in the facemask after the play. That gave the Jaguars first-and-goal from the 3, but Blaine Gabbert failed to complete two passes in the end zone and Scobee kicked a 22-yard field goal.
An earlier field goal was set up by another Baltimore blunder.
After Gabbert completed passes of 24 and 11 yards to the Ravens 38, Gabbert was sacked on third-and-8 at the 40. The Jaguars chose to punt, but Paul Kruger was penalized for running into the kicker. The 5-yard penalty put Scobee in field goal range, putting the Jaguars up 6-0 with a 54-yard kick.
Scobee, who extended his franchise record with a field goal for the 15th straight game, kicked two 54-yarders.
Jacksonville needed every yard and point it could muster. The NFL's worst offense put the game on Jones-Drew's shoulders. He carried 30 times, most of them right into the middle of Baltimore's revered defense.
"We just grinded them," Gabbert said. "Mojo's a beast back there."
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