Cecil Shorts-to-Blaine Gabbert provided the Jaguars some of their biggest offensive moments of the early part of the 2012 season. The biggest? This 80-yarder late in Week 3 in Indianapolis, a play that eventually gave the Jaguars a 22-17 victory.
The Jaguars’ season-opening loss at Minnesota in a sense set the tone for the regular season, but the game featured some of the biggest moments of 2012. The offense played well in spots, and made big plays – none bigger than this 39-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert to Cecil Shorts, a play that gave Jacksonville a 23-17 lead with 20 seconds remaining in an eventual 26-23 overtime loss in Minneapolis, Minn.
Justin Blackmon, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, developed over the second half of the season into one of the NFL's top rookie wide receivers. Critical to that development was a mid-season game against Houston, a game in which he had 236 yards receiving including this 81-yard touchdown reception that helped the Jaguars force overtime in an eventual loss.
With the offense productive for a second consecutive week, the Jaguars got ahead of Tennessee and stayed there en route to the team’s lone victory of 2013 at Everbank Field. However, even with two touchdown passes from Chad Henne, the Jaguars needed a big play late. They got it when linebacker Russell Allen tipped this late pass from Jake Locker, allowing safety Dwight Lowery to make a diving interception that clinched a 24-19 Jaguars victory in late November.
Maurice Jones-Drew, a year after leading the NFL in rushing, played six games in 2012 for the Jaguars, finishing the season with just 414 yards -- his first non-1,000-yard season since 2008. His biggest game came in a 22-17 Week 3 victory at Indianapolis, a game in which he rushed for 177 yards and this 59-yard touchdown that started a second-half comeback for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars played one of their best games of the season in a December home game against New England, playing the perennial Super Bowl contender tough before the Patriots stopped a late potential tying drive. One of the highlights of the game was the play of cornerback Derek Cox, who registered one of the team’s two interceptions on the day with this athletic first-quarter pick off Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
The Jaguars surprised many around the NFL in late October, playing perennial power Green Bay tough in Lambeau Field before the Packers clinched a nine-point victory late in the game. The key for the Jaguars was one of quarterback Blaine Gabbert's best games with the team, a performance highlighted by this one-yard touchdown pass to offensive tackle Guy Whimper with 17 seconds remaining in the first half. The play pulled the Jaguars to within two, 14-12, and set up a tight second half.
Montell Owens, a two-time Pro Bowl selection as a special teams player in 2010 and 2011, never had started an NFL game at running back until late in the 2012 season. He took full advantage of his first start, rushing for 91 yards on 14 carries and this 32-yard touchdown in a home loss to the Jets on December 9.
Defensive end Jason Babin, a Pro Bowl selection with Tennessee in 2010 and Philadelphia in 2011, joined the Jaguars with five games remaining in the 2012 season and had an immediate impact. He registered five tackles and a tackle for a loss in a loss at Buffalo, and in his second start with the Jaguars, had three more tackles, including this trifecta – a sack, forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the same play in a home loss to the New York Jets.
Paul Posluszny, in his second season as the Jaguars’ starting middle linebacker, registered a franchise-record 231 tackles in 2012, a seasonal total that included two sacks. Each sack came in a season-ending loss at Tennessee, including an eight-yarder late in the first half of a game in which the Jaguars held Tennessee to 221 total yards.