Veteran Matt Turk’s atrocious punting performance put the Bengals (3-2) in phenomenal scoring positions. That combined with another mundane offensive performance pushed the Jaguars to 1-4 on the year.
Turk, 41, punted the ball seven times for an average of 32 yards, but it was his 22-yard doozy with five minutes left in the contest that will be remembered the most.
With Jacksonville leading 20-16, the wobbly punt combined with a five-yard player out of bounds penalty gave Cincinnati the ball Jacksonville’s 23. The
Bengals were able to convert on fourth-and-six at Jacksonville’s 19 and Bernard Scott powered his way in from three yards out for the game-winning score as the Bengals climbed ahead 23-20.
Turk also had a 19-yard punt earlier in the fourth quarter, which set up a 47-yard field goal by Mike Nugent, who naile
d it in blustery winds to give the Bengals a 16-13 lead.
Jacksonville’s offense responded after Nugent’s field goal with help from a familiar face. Cincinnati safety Reggie Nelson, Jacksonville’s first-round selection in 2007, was out of place on a 74-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to Jason Hill that put Jacksonville up 20-16 with 8:37 remaining in the fourth quarter.
That was the Jaguars’ lone explosive play of the second half. In fact, it was the Jaguars’ only second half touchdown this season.
Not all of the team’s woes can be blamed on Turk though. Jacksonville’s offense stalled early and often in the second half aside from Hill’s reception, as the Jaguars started the third quarter with consecutive three-and-outs.
Gabbert went 15-of-28 for 197 yards, signifying Jacksonville’s offensive struggles. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 85 yards on19 carries and a touchdown, which he logged on the team’s opening possession.
The team also had to settle for field goals of 19 and 20 yards by Josh Scobee in the first half after the Jaguars found themselves in first-and-goal situations inside the five yard line.
Jacksonville’s defense also gave up another fourth down conversion in their own territory right before halftime when Andy Dalton hit A.J. Green for 13 yards. Dalton, who went 21-of-32 for 179 yards, two touchdowns and a pick, then hit tight end Jermaine Gresham for a three-yard touchdown five plays later. Mike Nugent missed the extra point attempt to keep the score tied at 13.
That drive was set up by, you guessed it, a 22-yard punt from Turk.
Cincinnati scored a touchdown off of a fumble recovery no time remaining during a last-ditch trick play from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tags: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Matt Turk, NFL
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