It had all the makings of another abysmal, forgettable loss.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-0 in the second quarter. And then, a scoring frenzy.
Jacksonville (4-9) put up 28 points in the final seven minutes of the half and rode that momentum to defeat the Bucs (4-9) 41-14.
First tight end Colin Cloherty, who was added to the roster this week, recovered a fumble that Montell Owens caused on a punt return and ran it in for an eight-yard score.
On the next series, Blaine Gabbert then connected with tight end Marcedes Lewis for a 62-yard pass, which set up a one-yard touchdown run by Maurice Jones-Drew. With the score, Jones-Drew tied Fred Taylor for the most TDs in franchise history.
With the game tied at 14, Jones-Drew and the Jaguars were far from slowing down.
The Jaguars then scored on the next play from scrimmage when Daryl Smith hit Freeman, forcing a fumble in the end zone. Nate Collins pounced on it to give the Jaguars a 21-14 lead.
It was the first time the Jaguars scored more than 20 points all season.
For good measure, the Jaguars added one more score before halftime.
Cornerback Ashton Youboty intercepted a pass from Josh Freeman on the following drive. Gabbert hit Jones-Drew for a five-yard score shortly after, putting the Jaguars up 28-14.
Jones-Drew scored two more times in the fourth quarter to complete Jacksonville’s memorable comeback. He finished with 85 yards rushing and four touchdowns and the Jaguars scored 41 unanswered points.
The blowout win was a total team effort for Jacksonville and a total meltdown from the Bucs, who had seven turnovers. The Jaguars took advantage of those opportunities and limited Tampa Bay to just 280 yards of total offense.
Gabbert had his ups and downs but displayed the most toughness and poise of his young NFL career. He went 19-of-33 for 217 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Jacksonville will take on the Atlanta Falcons this Thursday, giving them three games in 11 days.
It was a step in the right direction for both Gabbert and his teammates.
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Maurice-Jones Drew, NFL, Tampa Bay
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