For the youngest team in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been very competitive in every single game, except in a week three blowout in Foxboro. You might need to dominate games in crucial moments, or just continue executing a gameplan that was set up before the week started. However, today's win against the Baltimore Ravens was down to a bit of everything, but all in all, it could just be classified as pure luck.
While there's nothing wrong with being lucky as an NFL team, the Jaguars had a lot in their favor in Baltimore. Their defense executed another great week in stuffing the run, only allowing 89 yards on the ground. They caused four turnovers, with three of them being in consecutive drives to start the fourth quarter for the Ravens. However, they still managed to allow 316 passing yards and three touchdowns in the game, leaving many plays to the inside of the field and in the flat in the backfield.
Blake Bortles had a very shaky game on Sunday. There were many plays that he held the ball for too long and risked many turnover opportunities for the Ravens, fortunately only having one interception today. He finished the day with 22 completions on 45 attempts with 188 yards with two touchdowns to add to the interception. His first touchdown of the day set 2014 undrafted wide receiver Allen Hurns with seven touchdowns in seven consecutive games, the longest active streak in the league. The offense did not have much help from running back T.J. Yeldon on 18 carries for 61 yards, but he continued to flash his patient running ability that will continue to flourish with experience in the league.
However, all of these statistics did not seem to matter, in comparison to the final drive of the game. The Jaguars came with no timeouts and was forced to run hurry-up offense the entire way with just over a minute to play. They had a fourth-and-fifteen at midfield and Blake Bortles snapped the ball with a split-second remaining on the game clock. He then tripped at the shotgun position, stepping on his running back's foot, but he got back up, only to be corralled by Ravens defensive end Elvis Dumervil. The game was believed to be over, but Dumervil grabbed on the facemask of Bortles to take him down and put the Jaguars in field goal position with no time remaining.
The last play of the game would go down to rookie kicker Jason Myers for a 53-yard field goal attempt. His last field goal attempt was from 26 yards out and he shanked it, marking one of the ugliest field goal attempts this season. Now he was called upon to have the opportunity to rid himself of his earlier mistake and become the hero back in Duval County and to Jaguars fans. He kicked it down the middle with ease, giving the Jaguars their first road win since December 2013.
Suddenly, the Jaguars are only one game behind first place in the AFC South and will be coming back home to play the Tennessee Titans in a Thursday Night Football showdown. This young team found a way, an improbable one, to get closer to the kings of the mountain in the division. The team should not lose focus now, as one of their most hated rivals will be coming with national exposure looking in.
The second half of the season started off with extreme fortune and adversity for the Jaguars, and now they have the opportunity to start rolling along, as they will finish the year with the easiest schedule in the league. Can they actually do it? Only time will tell.