Their vital signs were as low as could be.
A matchup against by what many said was the top team in the AFC was supposed to finish them off.
Things were going to get ugly in front of a national audience.
But the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5) showed signs of life as they rode a terrific defensive performance to a 12-7 victory against the Baltimore Ravens (4-2) on Monday night.
The Jaguars didn’t give up a first down the entire first half and kept the Ravens off the scoreboard until Joe Flacco connected with Anquan Boldin on a five-yard pass with 2:06 left in the fourth quarter to cut the score to 9-7. Flacco was limited to 21-of-38 passing for 137 yards and the Ravens accumulated just 146 yards of total offense.
Jacksonville narrowly escaped the ensuing onside kick, which landed on the 9 ½ yard-line before bouncing backwards. The Jaguars ran three plays and then turned to Josh Scobee, their top offensive weapon, for a 51-yard field goal. He made field goals of 54, 54 and 22 previously and didn’t disappoint as he nailed the field goal with 1:48 left in the contest. Scobee is now 14-of-14 on field goals this season.
Drew Coleman intercepted a Flacco pass two plays later to clinch the victory for the Jaguars.
Jacksonville’s defense was exceptional on all fronts and dominated a balanced Baltimore attack. Jeremy Mincey led the defensive line with three TFL, a sack and a batted pass. Darryl Smith had six tackles, two for a loss and a sack at linebacker. Safety Dawan Landry also had six tackles against his former team while fellow safety Dwight Lowery had a sack as well.
The top performers on defense though were corners Derek Cox and Rashean Mathis. Cox blanketed receiver all evening while Mathis was able to come up with several timely swats.
A memorable defensive performance was of course bogged down by another anemic offensive performance. The Jaguars had just 205 yards of total offense and Blaine Gabbert was 9-of-20 for 93 yards. He looked flustered all night thanks to an aggressive Baltimore defense and his receivers, namely Marcedes Lewis, didn’t help him out when he did deliver the ball. Lewis dropped a would-be touchdown in the red zone in third quarter.
Jacksonville’s running game was prominent if nothing else. Maurice Jones-Drew ran the ball 30 times for 105 yards, becoming the first player to pass the century mark against Baltimore this season. However, the running back also had a couple fumbles, including one that he lost one-yard short of the end zone in the first half.
It certainly wasn’t pretty, but with the win, the Jaguars avoid setting the longest losing streak in team history. It also extends Jack Del Rio’s life line with
the franchise for at least one more week.