What it means: The pressure on Jack Del Rio eases after a great upset win stopped a five-game losing skid and moved the Jaguars to 2-5. One game doesn’t turn the Jaguars into contenders, but they are within two games of the first-place Texans and visit Houston on Sunday.
What I liked: The Jaguars’ defense was just excellent, holding Baltimore without a first down until the middle of the third quarter and without a point until just 2:02 remained in the game. Outside linebacker Daryl Smith spearheaded the defense with a six-tackle night and had a sack and a forced fumble to go with two tackles for a loss. Cornerback Rashean Mathis, who played poorly in the first half of last week’s loss in Pittsburgh, was smothering in the man coverage defense the team employed with a healthy Derek Cox back in action. Cox was very good too.
What I didn’t like: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew was exceptionally fortunate that a lost fumble near the goal line didn’t prove a killer. It was one of three fumbles, but the only one he lost. It’s tough when a team has to be nervous about giving the ball to its biggest threat.
Poor passing: On a night for the defenses, rookie Blaine Gabbert got his first win by connecting on 9 of 20 passes for 93 yards while taking four sacks. He didn’t throw a touchdown or a pick en route to a passer rating of 59. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco did more statistically, mostly late in catchup mode, but managed a passer rating of only 61 even with a late touchdown pass.
Game ball-worthy: Josh Scobee nailed four field goals, including two from 54 yards and another from 51, showing off a tremendous combination of power and accuracy. Three of his five kickoffs were not returned.
What’s next: The Jaguars play their second AFC South game of the season. A win in Houston would pull them to within a game of the first-place Texans and put Jacksonville at 2-0 in the division.