Sunday, November 10, 2013
Jaguars double up on way to touchdown
By Michael DiRocco
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich doubled up, Will Blackmon stepped up, and the Tennessee Titans went down.
Babich called the same pressure package on back-to-back pass plays late in the fourth quarter and Blackmon came through with the biggest play of the season by stripping Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and returning the ball for what turned out to be the game-clinching touchdown in the Jaguars' 29-22 victory at LP Field.
On each play, Blackmon blitzed from the slot. The first time, on second-and-9 from the Tennessee 30-yard line, right tackle Mike Otto picked him up and Blackmon didn’t get close. But the pressure from the defensive line did affect Fitzpatrick’s throw, which fell incomplete.
Blackmon came again on the next play, and this time Otto didn’t pick him up and Blackmon got a clear path to Fitzpatrick. He ripped the ball from Fitzpatrick’s hands and ran 21 yards for a touchdown to give the Jaguars a 29-20 lead with 2:32 to play.
"The second time I kind of held my disguise a little bit and ended up blitzing and he [Otto] didn’t see me at all," Blackmon said. "I tried to go in. I saw Fitzpatrick step up and that’s where I was able to go ahead and go after the ball.
"He bobbled it and he was trying to pick it back up and I just took it out of his hands."
Fitzpatrick still isn’t sure what happened.
"I don’t know if it bounced on the ground or if he just ripped it out or what happened," he said. "Obviously, I saw him running but I can’t let that happen in that situation."
That was the fourth turnover the Jaguars forced on Sunday and it made Blackmon look a little like a prophet. Before the game he wrote down several goals on a small piece of paper and put it in his sack. One was to get a victory for first-year coach Gus Bradley. Another was to force a fumble.
After the game, Blackmon showed reporters the crumpled-up piece of paper.
"I’m not saying all my goals. One of them was one caused fumble, he said. "I’ll show you that, too. See right there: 'I will have one caused fumble.' [Another goal is]: 'We will win as a team.'"