Jets hang on to beat Jaguars

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 9, 2015 at 2:46 AM
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Under first-year coach Todd Bowles, the New York Jets are learning via imperfect victories. On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars were left to learn, via another defeat under third-year head coach Gus Bradley.

Running back Chris Ivory scored a pair of 1-yard touchdowns and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes as the Jets snapped a two-game losing streak by hanging on to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-23 at MetLife Stadium.

"The biggest thing was just two losses in a row and how are we going to respond having a home game vs. a team that we think we should win the game (against)?" said Fitzpatrick, who played through torn ligaments in his left thumb. "There was some back and forth in the game, certainly."

The Jaguars out-gained the Jets 436-290 but committed four turnovers, including three in the fourth quarter. New York did not turn the ball over.

"We just didn't finish," Bradley said. "You look back at it, really, a lot of these were self-inflicted -- the turnovers and the penalties at inopportune times."

The Jets appeared ready to roll over the Jaguars in taking a 14-3 lead in the first quarter Sunday. But they gained just 46 yards in the second quarter and helped Jacksonville get back in the game with 1:30 left, when New York tried running out the clock after taking over at its own 15-yard-line with 1:30 left.

The Jaguars used two timeouts during the subsequent three-and-out, took over at the 50-yard-line following a punt and scored two plays later, when quarterback Blake Bortles threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Allen Hurns.

"We had our foot on their throat and they came back and responded," Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis said.

The Jets bent but didn't break in the third quarter, when the Jaguars moved into the red zone but settled for a 39-yard field goal by kicker Jason Myers. New York responded by marching 73 yards in eight plays and taking a 21-13 lead when Ivory plunged in from a yard out.

The Jaguars got within five on Myers' 35-yard field goal with 10:18 left. A 45-yard gain by running back T.J. Yeldon gave Jacksonville a first-and-goal at the Jets 10-yard-line. But a holding call on right tackle Jeremy Parnell negated a six-yard scramble on first down by Bortles, who was strip sacked on the next play by linebacker Calvin Pace, who recovered the ball at the Jets' 34-yard-line.

"We put up a ton of yards, did a lot of good stuff," said Bortles, who accounted for 413 yards of total offense and threw two touchdowns but was also picked off twice. "But it's the plays you missed out on that you think about at night -- the ones you didn't make when you had a chance to make it and hopefully put up more points."

Bortles will likely stare at the ceiling thinking about two more plays this week. The Jets went three-and-out after Bortles' fumble, but cornerback Nick Marshall fumbled the subsequent punt and tight end Kellen Davis recovered. New York took a 28-16 lead three plays later on Fitzpatrick's 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Bortles' 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bryan Walters with 2:16 left provided the final margin. The Jets recovered the subsequent onside kick but could not get a first down and punted with 1:05 remaining. On the next play, Bortles' pass from his own end zone was picked off by Jets cornerback Marcus Williams.

"Got some big turnovers when we needed them and the offense was able to score touchdowns," Fitzpatrick said. "So it was a big win for us."

Fitzpatrick was 21-of-34 for 272 yards for the Jets (5-3), who went 4-12 last season. Wide receiver Eric Decker had a seven-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and finished with six catches for 79 yards.

"We won, that's the biggest thing -- did some sloppy things," Bowles said. "Any time you win, you're fortunate."

Hurns had five catches for 121 yards and one touchdown while wide receiver Allen Robinson had five receptions for 122 yards for the Jaguars (2-6), who are 9-31 under Bradley. With a win, Jacksonville would have ensured itself no worse than a tie for second place with the Houston Texans in the woebegone AFC South.

"There's lessons from wins -- I'd like to be up here talking to you (saying) 'Hey, we can learn these from wins,'" Bradley said. "But we've got to learn these lessons from losses as well."

NOTES: Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has beaten the Jaguars with five different teams -- the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans in addition to the Jets. He is the first quarterback since the AFL/NFL merger to beat an opponent while playing for five different teams. ... Jets K Nick Folk suffered a right quad injury and was limited to holding for P Ryan Quigley on field goals and PATs. ... Among the Jaguars' inactives were RB Toby Gerhart, who was stonewalled four straight times from the one-yard-line against the Buffalo Bills in London two weeks ago. ... Former Jets general manager John Idzik, who is now a special assistant to the general manager with the Jaguars, watched the game in the press box.

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