Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wrap-up: Jaguars 38, Raiders 31
By Paul Kuharsky
Thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ win against the Oakland Raiders at EverBank Field.
What it means: The Jaguars improved to 8-5 and will win the AFC South with a win at Indianapolis next week if Houston loses to Baltimore on Monday night. The Jags are assured of a better record than last season’s 7-9.
What I liked: Jacksonville had plenty of chances to give up in this one, but kept pushing and took a 28-24 lead with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter. When the Raiders tied it at 31-31, the Jaguars easily retook the lead, with a 65-yard kick return by Deji Karim and a 30-yard touchdown run by Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars missed some tackles and allowed some big plays, but continued to rebound and recover. That sort of resiliency is becoming more and more of a consistent characteristic.
What I didn’t like: The personal foul call against Jacksonville for a hit to the quarterback’s helmet early in the fourth quarter. I thought it was against William Middleton. The official game book says it was against Terrance Knighton. It undid a 16-yard fumble recovery touchdown return for Knighton, and who doesn’t love to see an enormous defensive tackle rumble into the end zone? While Jason Campbell got decked and hurt, I don’t know that there was a hit to his helmet.
Breaking out: While Jones-Drew churned out 101 yards on 23 carries, backup running back Rashad Jennings continued to provide an excellent changeup out of the backfield. He looked especially fresh as he went 109 yards with five carries -- taking one third-and-4 touch 74 yards for a touchdown.
What’s next: The Jaguars play in Indianapolis Sunday and can win their first division title since 1999, three years before realignment with a win. If they win at Lucas Oil Stadium, the worst they can finish is 9-7 and the best the Colts will be able to finish is 9-7. But Jacksonville will have swept the season series with Indy, thus winning the tiebreaker for the crown. The Jags also need one other ingredient: One more loss for Houston.