JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars fought for a while – and fought hard.
And for the first time in a few weeks, they played well enough throughout the first half to keep it close through a couple of quarters.
But Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon threw a pair of key mid-game interceptions, and the Chicago Bears parlayed a 21-point third quarter into a dominant second half on the way to a 41-17 victory over the Jaguars on a sunny, late-December Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.
"We're just not making plays and at the end of the game, we're not playing well enough," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "That's on all of us."
The Jaguars (1-14) lost a franchise-record 14th consecutive game, and later in the day secured the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft when the New York Jets beat the Cleveland Browns. The Jaguars never in franchise history have selected No. 1 overall.
The Bears (8-7) won their third consecutive game after six consecutive losses.
Glennon, an eight-year veteran starting for a fourth time in five games, completed 24 of 37 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Glennon was named the starter Saturday after Gardner Minshew II started at quarterback for the Jaguars in a loss to Baltimore last week.
Glennon's first interception led to a Bears field goal on the final play of the first half, snapping a 10-10 tie and starting a run of 31 consecutive Chicago points.
"It was definitely an interesting week – but no excuse for anything like that," Glennon said. "We came out pretty well. It was a 10-10 ballgame but then a poor decision by me before the half and then they got three points and it seemed like it went kind of downhill from there.
"Unfortunately, we couldn't kind of recover from there."
The Bears scored touchdowns on their first four possessions of the second half.
"I thought early on we did some good things," Marrone said. "I thought what really hurt us were – again – there were four straight touchdowns. It's not just the defense. That's on all of us. It's on the offense, too – and everyone involved."
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, playing some of the best football of his NFL career since rejoining the starting lineup late last month, completed 24 of 35 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Trubisky ran for a six-yard touchdown that pushed the Chicago lead to 10 less than six minutes into the second half.
Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson, who played for the Jaguars from 2014-2017, caught 10 passes for 103 yards – and also keyed two important touchdown drives with first-down converting receptions. Bears tight end Jimmy Graham caught two touchdown passes and Bears linebacker Roquan Smith snared both of Glennon's interceptions.
The Bears outgained the Jaguars, 391-279 – including 166-8 in the critical third quarter. The Jaguars did not have a first down in the third quarter compared to 11 for the Bears.
"We can fight for so long; we just have to continue and get 60 minutes out of it," Marrone said. "We've got one more game left. I told the team after the game: 'Hey, 2020 has been [difficult]. We all know that.'
"The way I look at it is we've got ourselves a game starting in 2021. So, let's make this change. Let's change this thing."
Step by step:
*The Jaguars took an early lead with a solid, game-opening drive that ended with a 26-yard field goal by kicker Aldrick Rosas for a 3-0 lead with 8:14 remaining in the first quarter. Chicago took its first lead on the ensuing series when Trubisky threw five yards to Graham in the middle of the end zone for a 7-3 Bears lead with 3:18 remaining in the first quarter; Robinson turned a short pass on 2nd-and-12 from the Bears 33 into a 21-yard catch-and-run first down to the Jaguars 46.
*Santos converted a 20-yard field goal with 13:17 remaining in the second quarter, pushing the Bears' lead to 10-3 on their first series after the Graham touchdown; an interference penalty on Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon covering Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney in the back of the end zone gave the Bears a first down at the Jaguars 1. The Jaguars tied it, 10-10, on the ensuing series when Glennon capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. with 8:21 remaining in the first half. Glennon and Trubisky were each intercepted late in the half, with Jaguars linebacker Joe Schobert intercepting Trubisky in the end zone and Smith intercepting Glennon shortly thereafter to set up a 40-yard field goal by Santos on the final play of the half.
*The Bears pushed the lead to 20-10 when Trubisky ran six yards to cap the opening drive of the second half; Chicago drove 77 yards on 10 plays, scoring with 9:14 remaining in the half – with Robinson catching an eight-yard pass on 4th-and-5 from the Jaguars 36. A six-yard touchdown run by Bears running back David Montgomery with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter gave Chicago 17 consecutive points – and a 27-10 lead. Smith intercepted Glennon on the Jaguars' next series, with Trubisky throwing a 22-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Graham on the second play of the ensuing series for a 34-10 lead; the Bears at that point had scored 24 points in 13:22.