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Game that was: “True character”

Posted Nov 13, 2017

Jaguars DE Calais Campbell on a 20-17 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at Everbank Field Sunday: “Nobody blinked, we believed, and we made it happen”


JACKSONVILLE – Calais Campbell saw Sunday simply.

On a day when little went right, the Jaguars still found a way to win – and to the Jaguars’ defensive end and veteran leader, that made Sunday an important day.

“Your true character shows when you have adversity, and we had a lot of adversity today,” Campbell said immediately after the Jaguars’ 20-17 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at EverBank Field. “Literally, I was like, nothing’s going our way.

“Nobody blinked, we believed, and we made it happen.”

The Jaguars, as they have much of the season, turned in a strong defensive game. They held Los Angeles to 322 yards, and limited the Chargers to three of 15 on third downs.

But Los Angeles turned its two best drives into touchdown passes by Philip Rivers – and along with a 50-yard fourth-quarter field goal by kicker Nick Novak, that was enough for the Chargers to lead 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.

The rest of the fourth quarter was wild, filled with penalties and situations that went against the Jaguars.

Quarterback Blake Bortles threw two interceptions after the two-minute warning. The Jaguars were twice called for taunting penalties. The Jaguars throughout much of the second half played without long snapper Matt Overton, meaning center Tyler Shatley snapped for field goals and fullback Tommy Bohanon snapped for punts.

“This game showed how relentless we are,” said cornerback A.J. Bouye, whose 51-yard overtime interception return set up kicker Josh Lambo’s 30-yard game-winning field goal.

Perhaps the toughest call against the Jaguars came with 1:51 remaining. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson forced Chargers running back Austin Ekeler to fumble. Jaguar’s safety Tashaun Gipson returned it 36 yards for an apparent go-ahead touchdown, but officials after review ruled that Gipson was down when he recovered the fumble.

The Chargers stopped the ensuing drive when safety Tre Boston intercepted Bortles, but the Jaguars’ defense forced a punt that led to Lambo’s 34-yard game-tying field goal with: 02 remaining. Bouye intercepted Rivers on Los Angeles’ first possession of overtime.

“This builds character; it builds grit,” Jackson said. “It shows guys we can do it. These young guys need to see what we’re doing. It’s good to show our coaches and each other that we can get this done. It’s good to show each other that when someone needs to make a play – like A.J., me or Tommy Bohanon – we have the guys who can step up and make that play.”

 

NOTABLE I

The Jaguars committed nine penalties for 108 yards Sunday, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on linebacker Telvin Smith and a pair of taunting penalties – one on wide receiver Marqise Lee and another on cornerback Aaron Colvin. Lee’s pushed the Jaguars nearly out of field-goal range late in the fourth quarter and Colvin moved the Jaguars back to the 17 after Bouye’s interception return to the Chargers 2. “The most important thing is to understand that you cannot hurt the team,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. “You really can’t. … If it’s going to hurt your team, you can’t do that.  I’ve got to do a better job. That comes to me. There’s no doubt about it.”

 

NOTABLE II

The Jaguars – who entered the game ranked No. 1 in the NFL in rushing – rushed for 135 yards Sunday, but just 82 yards came with the Jaguars on offense. Reserve running back Corey Grant’s 53-yard first-half touchdown with a fake punt accounted for the rest of the rushing yards, and rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for just 33 yards on 17 carries. “They did a good job,” Marrone said of the Chargers. “They got after us up front.  We lost some battles up front.  They did a very good job. They are a good football team.  They really are.” Fournette, asked afterward if it was a frustrating day, said “No. We expected them to play a nine, ten men in the box. It doesn’t matter about how many rushing yards I rushed for as long as we got the W.” Fournette played sparingly in the fourth quarter, with Marrone saying afterward Fournette was limping a bit during that stretch.

 

QUOTABLE I

“The NFL is an 8-8 league. That’s how it’s designed. There are going to be games you have to finish. The Chargers will tell you that. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t finish. That’s good for us. There are going to be more games like this. We have to look forward to keeping that momentum going.”

--Bouye

 

QUOTABLE II

“This is a character-builder. We needed this to show our identity. We can say we’re hard-nosed and that we play with grit, but they have to respect it now.”

--Jackson

 

QUOTABLE III

“Emotions are going to get the better of us sometimes, but we know we’ve got to go out there and be cooler heads when things like that happen. We’ll learn from our mistakes and get back out there next week and hopefully not make the same mistake twice.”

--Jaguars S Barry Church

 

QUOTABLE IV

“It’s incredible what our defense is doing, what they’ve done all season long.”

--Bortles

 

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