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Jags come up short again, fall to Ravens

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have had difficulty making key plays that would help create a victory. On Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, they made several key plays down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped a 19-17 decision at EverBank Field.

Several familiar players to Florida football fans were involved in big plays for both teams. Former Florida State receiver Rashad Greene returned a punt 42 yards to set up the Jags’ first touchdown that made it 10-7.

The Ravens extended the lead to nine in the second half, but Jacksonville responded. With under 12 minutes remaining, Baltimore’s Devin Hester (a former Miami Hurricane and arguably the NFL’s greatest kick returner ever) fumbled a punt, which Jacksonville recovered and turned into a field goal for a 17-16 lead.

Then the fun began.

Former Seminole Timmy Jernigan got a key sack and tackle for loss that helped keep the Jags off the board. In the fourth quarter, Jernigan’s former FSU teammate, Jalen Ramsey, tipped a Joe Flacco pass that turned into a Jaguar interception.

On the ensuing possession, Jernigan tipped a pass that turned into a Baltimore interception. Not to be outdone, former Florida Gator Dexter Fowler, Jr. grabbed Flacco’s arm causing yet another interception.

Jacksonville was in field goal range that would have forced Baltimore to score a touchdown to win, but had their field goal try blocked with 3:06 remaining. The Ravens made the plays they needed to make to get into field goal range and did not miss the opportunity. Justin Tucker split the uprights with 1:02 remaining that provided the final margin.

The final Jacksonville possession was a mess that resulted in a game-ending interception from quarterback Blake Bortles.

As has been the case all year, the Jaguars could not run the ball. They totaled only 48 yards on the ground, averaging only 2.3 yards per carry.

After another disappointment, Jacksonville (0-3) will try again for their first victory on foreign soil, literally. They will face the Indianapolis Colts in London.

 

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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