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Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee coolly throws touchdown pass

By
Phillip Heilman, The Sports Xchange
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee (11). Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee (11). Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles could see the excitement in the eyes of receiver Marqise Lee as he barked the play out in the huddle.

Lee was about to attempt something he never had before in any level of football: throw a pass.

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Holding on to a 25-17 lead with less than six minutes remaining in Saturday's game against the Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars dialed up a trick play.

Lee took an end-around hand-off while running to the right, stopped and lofted a pass back to Bortles near the left sideline for a 20-yard touchdown.

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The score iced an eventual 38-17 victory for the Jaguars and gave the offense something extra to smile about after the game.

"Unbelievable throw by Marqise," Bortles said. "It's kind of funny. We actually called that play like five times and never got the look, and then finally that one down there we ended up getting the look to run it."

They ran into perfection.

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Although his form was a bit wobbly, Lee's pass dropped comfortably into the hands of Bortles.

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Lee said it was the first pass he had thrown at any level of football and had been waiting for the team to actually run it since offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett installed it during practice earlier this season.

"Once we lined up and Blake didn't check it, I knew it was going to happen," Lee said. "My main focus was to give a good throw."

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According to the NFL, Lee and Bortles became the first teammates to each throw and catch a pass in the same game since Jim McMahon and Walter Payton accomplished the feat while playing for the Chicago Bears in 1985.

Pretty good company.

"He was fired up," Bortles said. "His eyes got really big in the huddle when I called it, so it was cool for him."

It was also a big moment in the game.

Tennessee (8-7) had scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Matt Cassel to tight end Delanie Walker to pull within one score (plus a two-point conversion) on the previous drive.

The Jaguars (3-12) had struggled all season to respond when opposing teams made big plays.

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Turns out they just needed to dig a little deeper in their playbook.

"Every time a team scores, when you come back and score, it kind of kills their momentum," Lee said. "One thing that we did great today was we didn't allow them making moves and making plays to affect us."

Ramsey rolling

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is putting together a strong case for NFL Rookie of the Year.

The fifth overall pick in the draft intercepted a pass by Cassel and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown on Saturday to become the first player in franchise history to score off an interception.

Ramsey now has two interceptions on the season to go along with 61 tackles (51 solo), 13 passes defensed and one forced fumble.

"It felt amazing," Ramsey said. "I wanted to do the Deion (Sanders) going into the end zone, but then I turned around and saw (Rishard) Matthews, so I had to speed up and get in the end zone. Then I was just running, man"

Henry returns home

Titans running back Derrick Henry had a quiet homecoming during the first game of his NFL career in Jacksonville.

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Henry rushed just four times for 13 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards.

"It was nice to come back, and there was a good crowd today," Henry said. "It was nice to have family and friends in the stands, but the outcome wasn't what we wanted."

Henry is a local legend in the Jacksonville area after starring at nearby Yulee High School. He set a national rushing record with 12,124 rushing yards (including 47 straight 100-yard games) in high school before winning the Heisman Trophy and a national title at Alabama.

The Titans drafted him in the second round of the draft and have used him behind starter DeMarco Murray, who entered Saturday second in the league in rushing behind Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Murray was also limited to just 14 carries for 42 yards in the loss with two catches for 18 yards.

Both players scored rushing touchdowns -- for Henry, it was the first of his career -- in an earlier matchup between these two teams.

"As an offense, we didn't play well and didn't do what we're capable of doing," Henry said. "We just need to regroup and get ready for next week against Houston."

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