JACKSONVILLE – Talk about a turnaround.
A week after missing two kicks in his NFL debut, rookie kicker Jason Myers not only converted a 58-yard first-half-ending field goal, he provided the winning points in a dramatic, much-needed victory for the Jaguars over the Miami Dolphins.
Myers' 28-yard field goal with :40 remaining gave the Jaguars a 23-20 victory in front of 65,443 fans at EverBank Field.
The field goal capped a 66-yard drive that began at the Jaguars 24 with 1:48 remaining. The Jaguars held the Dolphins without a score after the first drive of the third quarter.
The winning drive was keyed by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon that moved the ball to the Dolphins 19. Bortles also had a 19-yard pass to wide receiver Allen Hurns early on the drive.
Jaguars Otto linebacker Dan Skuta had a pass defensed on the Dolphins' final drive, which ended when linebacker Telvin Smith defensed a pass from Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Bortles completed 18 of 33 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Both of Bortles' touchdown passes went to wide receiver Allen Robinson in the first half.
Robinson caught six passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Miami tied the game 20-20 early in the third quarter when Tannehill capped a half-opening, eight-play, 80-yard drive with a five-yard pass to tight end Jake Stoneburner.
From there, it was a defensive struggle, with the Jaguars registering two fourth-quarter sacks – one by defensive end Jared Odrick and another by safety Sergio Brown and defensive tackle Roy Miller – to keep the Dolphins out of field-goal range even as starting cornerbacks Aaron Colvin and Davon House left the game in the second half.
The Jaguars started with an impressive first quarter in which they not only took a 10-3 lead but outgained Miami 168-52. They also had eight first downs in the quarter to one for Miami.
Bortles completed eight of nine passes for 123 yards in the period with a three-yard touchdown to Robinson. That gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead with 9:21 remaining after a 10-play, 82-yard, game-opening drive.
Robinson finished the quarter with three receptions for 91 yards, including two athletic catches of 52 and 36 yards that set up the Jaguars' two scores in the period.
Miami scored on a 48-yard field goal by Andrew Franks with 7:16 remaining in the quarter and the Jaguars held a seven-point lead at the end of the quarter when Myers converted a 27-yard field goal with 3:30 remaining in the period.
Franks' 41-yard field goal with 10:08 remaining in the half made it 10-6, Jaguars.
Robinson's 46-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter pushed the Jaguars' lead to 17-6, and after a 10-yard pass from Tannehill to running back Damien Williams, the Jaguars pushed the lead back to a touchdown with a wild drive at the end of the first half.
After Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes dropped an easy interception, the Jaguars moved to the Miami 40 when cornerback Brice McCain was called for interference on Jaguars wide receiver Rashad Greene.
Myers' 58-yard field goal – the second-longest in franchise history – just cleared the upright on the final play of the half for a 20-13 Jaguars lead.
Player of the game
Allen Robinson, wide receiver. After a week in which drops by Jaguars wide receivers were a constant focus throughout the week, Robinson had the biggest game of his Jaguars career. And he got much of his production in the first half. Robinson, who had one of the Jaguars' much-discussed drops in the opener, caught six passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns Sunday. The yards and touchdowns were career-highs for the second-year veteran. Robinson became the first Jaguars player with more than 150 yards receiving since Justin Blackmon in Week 6 of 2013.
Exclusive behind the scenes images as the Jaguars prepare to host the Miami Dolphins.
After a difficult day in the opener, the Jaguars' offense was effective early before slowing in the third quarter. After scoring 20 first-half points, the offense moved a few times in the second half but. Robinson and Bortles responded early after difficult openers and the Jaguars had 273 yards total offense in the first half. The Jaguars finished with 396 total yards.
The Jaguars' defense held the Dolphins without a score after allowing an early third-quarter touchdown. The defense allowed 206 first-half yards but had allowed just one touchdown at that point. Miami finished with 386 yards.
The story of this unit Sunday was Myers. The rookie responded well to a difficult opener, converting all four of his first-half kicks and finishing the half with a 58-yard field goal. Rashad Greene also had a 24-yard punt return in the second half.
*Jaguars running back Denard Robinson sustained a knee injury in the first quarter and while he returned to the sideline in uniform he did not return to the game. Cornerback Davon House left the game at halftime with dehydration and did not return after sustaining a hamstring injury in the first half. Cornerback Aaron Colvin left the game in the second half and wide receiver Rashad Greene left the game in the fourth quarter with a thumb injury.
*Left tackle Luke Joeckel and strong safety Johnathan Cyprien were ruled out 90 minutes before kickoff Sunday, moves that as expected forced changes in the Jaguars' starting lineup. Joeckel missed with an ankle injury and was replaced in the lineup by six-year veteran Sam Young. Cyprien missed with a calf injury and was replaced by Josh Evans. Running back Toby Gerhart also was ruled out before kickoff Sunday.
*Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee), tight end Julius Thomas (hand), cornerback Dwayne Gratz (ankle) and defensive end Andre Branch (knee) all missed Sunday. They had been ruled out Friday. Tyson Alualu started at three-technique tackle for Marks, with Clay Harbor moving to Thomas' move tight-end position and Chris Clemons starting at Leo with Branch out. Demetrius McCray played Gratz's third cornerback role.
*Standing out *
*Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee played for the first time this season Sunday after missing the preseason and regular-season opener with a hamstring issue. He had an early nine-yard reception for a first down and a 12-yard reverse.
*Young started in place of Joeckel. After struggling last week in the second half, he did not allow a sack and the Jaguars' offensive line did not allow a sack. …
*Safety Sergio Brown and defensive tackle Roy Miller combined for a sack on a fourth-quarter blitz.
*Defensive end Jared Odrick had a sack deep in Dolphins territory late in the game that nearly resulted in a safety. As it was, it helped force a Dolphins punt.