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Jaguars earn first victory of the season in London

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The Jacksonville Jaguars finally got into the win column on Sunday with a 30-27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Wembley Stadium in London. With two of their three losses coming down to the wire, it was good to finally make plays at the end of the game that led to a win.

Jacksonville sprinted out to a 17-6 halftime lead and had a chance to take full control, but two trips into Colts’ territory in the third quarter produced only field goals. Skeptical Jags’ fans whispered to themselves that this could come back to haunt them.

It nearly did.

The Jaguars saw their once 17-point lead whittled to just 23-20 early in the fourth quarter. At that point the offense got what many thought was that one big decisive play they needed.

Allen Hurns took a short flip from quarterback Blake Bortles, picked up some blocks, and then scampered into the end zone to restore the 10-point margin at 30-20. It was the first touchdown of the season by Hurns.

The Colts did not go away. Phillip Dorsett hauled in a 64-yard touchdown strike from Andrew Luck to again make it a three-point game.

When Indianapolis got the ball back and began driving, Jacksonville needed another big play to pull out a win. They got it.

When Josh Johnson broke up a fourth-and-one-pass intended for Duane Allen, the Jaguars took over near midfield. That extinguished any reasonable hope the Colts had.

The Jaguars earned this victory. They did not turn the ball over, and picked off Luck once. They quickly turned that into a touchdown that opened the scoring midway through the first quarter.

For the first time all season, Jacksonville had some semblance of a running game. They gained a season-high 136 yards on the ground, led by T.J. Yeldon, who gained 71 yards on 14 carries.

Bortles threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns. The defense recorded six sacks on the day.

The announced attendance was 86,700. Jacksonville now heads into their bye week and will resume play Oct. 16 when they head to Chicago to face the Bears.

 

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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