JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars flashed a lot early. So did their opponent.
The difference Sunday wasn't first-half flash, but a couple of fourth-quarter possessions on which the Jaguars couldn't quite turn a late deficit into a come-from-behind victory.
Aaron Rodgers, the Packers' quarterback and a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player, threw two second-quarter touchdown passes and Green Bay (1-0) held on for a 27-23 victory over the Jaguars (0-1) in front of a broiling 63,179 at EverBank Field Sunday afternoon.
The game was played in temperatures of 91 degrees that felt like 100.
The Jaguars' best chance late came trailing 27-23. They took possession at their 37 with 3:28 remaining, but turned the ball over on downs when wide receiver Allen Hurns was stopped one yard short of a first down on a screen pass on 4th-and-1 from the Packes 14.
The Jaguars one possession earlier drove 37 yards, twice converting fourth downs with passes from quarterback Blake Bortles to wide receiver Allen Robinson. That drive ended with a 50-yard field goal by Jason Myers and the Jaguars forced three and out on the next possession.
Bortles completed 24 of 39 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown with a first-quarter interception that led directly to a Green Bay touchdown.
Rodgers completed 20 of 34 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a first-quarter touchdown.
The Packers pushed a four-point halftime lead to 24-17 with a 25-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to end their first possession of the third quarter. It was 24-20 Green Bay entering the fourth quarter after a 39-yard field goal by Myers. The Packers pushed the lead to 27-20 with a 20-yard fourth-quarter field goal by Crosby.
The Packers' four-point halftime lead came after a memorable, back and forth first half.
The Packers took a 7-0 lead on a 29-yard drive capped by a 6-yard run by Rodgers with 9:36 remaining in the first quarter. The drive began when linebacker Joe Thomas intercepted Bortles, who threw a bit behind wide receiver Marqise Lee. The ball bounced off Lee and Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins allowing Thomas to make the interception.
Jaguars turned that deficit into a 10-7 second-quarter lead with a well-played stretch late in the first quarter and early in the second. The Jaguars' defense forced three consecutive three-and-out possessions by Green Bay during that span.
Running back T.J. Yeldon's five-yard run with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter tied the game at 7 and Jason Myers' 26-yard field goal with 7:48 remaining in the second quarter gave the Jaguars a 10-7 lead.
The Packers retook the lead – 14-10 – with a 13-yard pass from Rodgers to wide receiver Jordy Nelson with 3:05 remaining in the half, but Bortles and the Jaguars quickly drove for a 22-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to tight end Julius Thomas. That made it 17-14, Jaguars, with 1:09 remaining in the half.
Rodgers gave Green Bay the league yet again with a stunning 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dante Adams. Rodgers threw as he was pulled to the ground by a blitzing Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and Adams caught the pass beyond the outstretched arm of Jaguars cornerback Davon House.
That made it 21-17, Packers, at halftime.
PLAYER OF THE GAME …
Allen Robinson. The Jaguars wide receiver wasn't statistically dominant Sunday, but he came up big late in the game. His four- and 10-yard receptions converted fourth down on a key fourth-quarter drive and he finished with five crucial receptions for 50 yards. He remains the go-to receiver for this team – and he remains the player for whom Bortles looks in key situations.
The Jaguars produced 348 yards and 20 first downs, moving efficiently in several stretches in both halves.
The Jaguars allowed Green Bay 294 yards and 18 first downs, twice stopping Green Bay inside the Jaguars 10 in the second half after long drives. Those drives ended in field goals and kept the Jaguars in the game.
Myers converted all five of his kicks – three field goals and two extra points – and converted a big fourth-quarter field goal from 50 yards. Punter Brad Nortman's first punt with the Jaguars was a 58-yarder in the first quarter downed by Peyton Thompson at the Green Bay 3 and gave the Jaguars the field position that led to their first touchdown. His second was a 67-yarder that also was downed at the 3. That led to a field goal.
Images from the Jaguars Week 1 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
INJURY UPDATES …
Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey sustained an ankle sprain in the second quarter but returned. Thomas experienced second-half muscle cramping and also returned.
Running back Chris Ivory, the 2016 free-agent signee expected to share carries with T.J. Yeldon this season, missed Sunday's game after being hospitalized Sunday morning with what the team announced as a "general medical issue."
Ivory had been limited in practice with a calf injury this past week. The hospitalization was not related to the calf issue.
Ivory was one of seven players declared inactive for the Jaguars. The others were all healthy scratches: quarterback Brandon Allen, defensive end Chris Smith, defensive end Tyson Alualu, offensive guard Chris Reed, wide receiver Bryan Walters and cornerback Josh Johnson.
STANDING OUT …
*Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis' early 37-yard reception was the Jaguars' first big play of the game, breathing early life into an offense that had gone interception/punt on its first two possessions. The play gave the Jaguars a first down at the Packers 11 and led to Yeldon's five-yard touchdown run.
*Thomas caught five passes for 64 yards, all in the first half, and he also had a 22-yard touchdown reception. Thomas' 30 touchdown receptions since 2013 are the most by a tight end in the NFL over that span.
*Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns caught four passes for 75 yards, including receptions of 30 and 38 yards.