Potter scores first career TD on blocked punt by Osgood
Kassim Osgood blocked a Matt Bosher punt late in the third quarter and tight end Zach Potter scooped it up and ran 46 yards for his first career touchdown. It was the Jaguars first blocked punt returned for a touchdown since Nov. 1, 1998 at Baltimore (Alvis Whitted, 24 yards) and second straight game the Jaguars scored on special teams.
Osgood is the 10th player in franchise history to block a punt and first since Rashad Jennings on Sept. 19, 2010 at San Diego. It was the 12th blocked punt in team history and first of Osgood's career.
Injuries take toll on defense
The Jaguars entered Thursday's game with an NFL-high 22 players on injured reserve. Nine of the 11 starters on defense Thursday were acquired in the last three seasons with Daryl Smith and Jeremy Mincey the only exceptions. All four players that started in the secondary were acquired in 2011 with Ashton Youboty, Kevin Rutland, Dawan Landry and Dwight Lowery. The Jaguars had 15 players, two starters, see action against Atlanta who weren't on the club's roster on Kickoff Weekend against Tennessee. Eleven of the 22 starters did not enter the NFL until 2009 and four rookie or first-year players started against the Falcons.
Jones-Drew leads offense
Maurice Jones-Drew, the NFL's leading rusher, finished with 112 yards on 17 carries. Jones-Drew has four 100-yard rushing games in 2011 and 23 for his career. Three of his four 100-yard rushing games have come on the road. It marked his fourth 100-yard rushing outing in the last six games against NFC opponents.
Jones-Drew had a season-long 43-yard run in the second quarter, his longest run since Nov. 1, 2009 at Tennessee. His previous high in 2011 was 41 yards against New Orleans. He has 34 rushes of 10-plus yards through 14 games, equaling his career-high of 34 in 2010.
Only player in team history with 1,300 yards in three straight seasons
Maurice Jones-Drew increased his season total to 1,334 rushing yards after 14 games, surpassing his total from 2010 (1,324). Jones-Drew became the only player in franchise history to rush for 1,300 yards in three consecutive seasons and he owns three of the top five single-season totals in franchise history. He has at least 84 rushing yards in 13 of 14 games.
In the Jaguars three prime time games in 2011, he averaged 104.7 yards (30-105 vs. Baltimore; 20-97 vs. San Diego; 17-112 at Atlanta) with two 100-yard rushing games.
JAGUARS SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING LEADERS
*RK PLAYER, YEAR YARDS (ATT) *
1. Fred Taylor, 2003 1,572 (345)
2. Fred Taylor, 2000 1,399 (292)
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2009 1,391 (312)
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2011 1,334 (294) (14 games)
5. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2010 1,324 (299)
JAGUARS MOST SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING ATTEMPTS
*RK PLAYER, YEAR RUSHES *
1. Fred Taylor, 2003 345
2. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2009 312
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2010 299
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2011 294
5. Fred Taylor, 2000 292
Jones-Drew reaches 9,000 career yards from scrimmage
Maurice Jones-Drew finished with 113 yards from scrimmage (112 rushing, 1 receiving) and eclipsed 9,000 for his career in his 91st game with 9,030 and increased his season total to 1,683. He joined Fred Taylor (13,632) and Jimmy Smith (12,286) as the only players in franchise history with 9,000 yards from scrimmage.
Jones-Drew has at least 100 yards from scrimmage in the last six games and in 10 of 14 games this season. He accounted for 54.6 percent of the Jaguars offense on Thursday with 113 of 207 yards. He has accounted for at least 40 percent of the club's offense in 10 of 14 games.
JAGUARS SINGLE-SEASON YARDS FROM SCRIMMAGE LEADERS
*RK PLAYER, YEAR YARDS (RUSH/REC) *
1. Fred Taylor, 2003 1,942 (1,572/370)
2. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2009 1,765 (1,391/374)
3. Fred Taylor, 2002 1,722 (1,314/408)
*4. Maurice Jones-Drew, 2011 1,683 (1,335/349) *
5. Fred Taylor, 1998 1,644 (1,223/421)
Depleted receiving corps
The Jaguars were without starting receiver Mike Thomas and backup Cecil Shorts on Thursday, forcing the team to have only four receivers active. First-year pro Chastin West made his first career start and scored his first career touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert in the fourth quarter. Jarett Dillard started his third straight game. Second-year pro Taylor Price was claimed off waivers by New England on Dec. 6 and he made his Jaguars debut on Thursday, finishing with two catches for 39 yards. He entered the game with only three career receptions for 41 yards.
Mincey sets single-season high for sacks; team surpasses total from 2010
Jeremy Mincey established a single-season high with 5.5 sacks after taking down Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for a four-yard loss in the second quarter. Mincey, who has 12.5 career sacks, is the first player since Bobby McCray and Rob Meier in 2006-07 to have at least five sacks in back-to-back seasons.
The Jaguars surpassed their season total from 2010 (26) with 27 in 14 games.
- Linebacker Daryl Smith made his 120th career start, tied with John Henderson for the fifth-most in team history.
- The Jaguars were held scoreless in the first half for the first time since Oct. 18, 2010 vs. Tennessee on Monday night. "
- The Falcons led 27-0 at halftime, tied for third-most by points by a Jaguars opponent in the first half. The 27 points were the most by a Jaguars opponent in the first half since Dec. 27, 2009 vs. New England (28 points).
- Blaine Gabbert finished 12 of 22 passing for 141 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 70.5 passer rating. He had three completions of 20-plus yards. He has a touchdown pass in nine of his 12 starts.
- Rookie DuJuan Harris averaged 23.8 yards on six kickoff returns with a long of 35 yards.
- The Falcons scored the first 41 points of the game. The 41 points were the most by a Jaguars opponent since Kansas City scored 42 on Oct. 24, 2010.
- The Jaguars had four turnovers (3 fumbles, 1 interception).