LONDON – Call this one that got away. Another one.
Call it another Jaguars game defined by missed opportunities and mistakes, too.
Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for a career-high 156 yards and the fourth-quarter go-ahead touchdown, but the Denver Broncos rallied with a touchdown and a takeaway in the final two minutes for a 21-17 victory in front of 86,215 on a gray, cool Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
"It's obviously frustrating," Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said after throwing two interceptions – one in the end zone in the first half and another on the Jaguars' final play in the final two minutes.
"I say the same thing every week: It's tough. Obviously, I'm pretty upset and frustrated and disappointed in myself and the way we finished the game. We just have to continue to find ways to win these games, like I've said."
Running back Latavius Murray's two-yard run with 1:43 remaining provided the winning points for the Broncos. The play capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive.
"If we keep fighting, and working the way we're working, good things will pay off eventually," Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "We're just looking for that one to get it kind of started, then we'll build off of that. That's kind of where we are."
Broncos cornerback K'Waun Williams intercepted Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence's pass to wide receiver Christian Kirk on the first play of the ensuing series to end the Broncos' four-game losing streak.
"That's tough – being the quarterback and having an opportunity to go win the game and you don't get it done," Lawrence said. "That's really disappointing and frustrating."
Etienne's one-yard touchdown run capped a six-play, 47-yard drive and gave the Jaguars a 17-14 lead with 3:54 remaining.
"It's really hard," Etienne said. "Each and every week we go there and put our best foot forward every time. It's something you work all your life for and you're not getting the result you want. You just keep your heard forward and keep hitting the rock.
"I feel like once it breaks, there's going to be great things for us here."
The Jaguars (2-6) have lost five consecutive games. They have led in all six of their losses and Sunday marked the third consecutive game they have lost a second-half lead.
Sunday also marked the Jaguars' third loss this season in which they led by double digits.
"My hats off to those guys [Jaguars players]," Pederson said. "They battled their tails off. They just keep plugging away and keep practicing and teaching and keep scratching and fighting. I truly believe good things are going to happen for this football team.
"We're sitting here after eight games not where we want to be, obviously. But nobody's going to hang their head. No one's going to feel sorry for us. We're not going to make excuses. We've just got to continue to work."
Lawrence completed 18 of 31 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions, with Etienne Jr. – starting his third consecutive game – rushing for his 156 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries. It marked his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game and a career-high rushing.
The Jaguars took a 10-0 lead with Lawrence passing to tight end Evan Engram for a first-quarter touchdown and Riley Patterson kicking a second-quarter field goal. But Broncos safety Justin Simmons intercepted Lawrence a yard deep in the end zone on first-and-goal from the one on the Jaguars' first drive of the second quarter.
That kept the Broncos close and a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to wide receiver Jerry Jeudy late in the half made it a three-point Jaguars lead at halftime.
"It's unfortunate, but we've got to be smart – both coaches and players collectively – in those situations," Pederson said.
The Broncos took the lead with a second-half-defining, 98-yard drive in the third quarter with running back Melvin Gordon's one-yard run giving them a 14-10 lead.
Wilson, acquired in an offseason trade with the Seattle Seahawks, completed 18 of 30 passes for 252 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
The Jaguars registered three sacks – one and a half by defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot, one by defensive lineman Arden Key and a half by outside linebacker Travon Walker – and they now have 13 sacks this season. Smoot's sack helped keep Denver out of field-goal range late in the first half.
The Jaguars also registered their first takeaway since Week 4, with cornerback Tyson Campbell's first-quarter interception leading directly to the game's first touchdown. The Jaguars now have 10 takeaways this season after forcing a league-low nine last season.
"It's tough," Smoot said. "We just can't figure a way to get over that hump. It's just those two or three plays that we're just missing. We just have to find a way to be able to finish those plays and be able to come out on the right side of those.
"It's so close. We just have to figure out a way to be on the right side."
Step by step:
- Lawrence capped the Jaguars' second drive of the game with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Engram; the touchdown was Engram's first since joining the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Giants this past offseason and capped a five-play, 37-yard drive that began when Campbell intercepted Wilson's pass intended for receiver Courtland Sutton.
- The Jaguars missed a chance to extend the lead when Simmons intercepted Lawrence one-yard deep in the end zone with 12:42 remaining in the first half; that marked Lawrence's third red-zone interception of the season. They extended the lead to 10-0 on their next possession with a 37-yard field goal by Patterson; the field goal was set up by a 49-yard run by Etienne to the Broncos 24. Jeudy turned a short pass from Wilson into a six-yard touchdown pass with 2:44 remaining in the second quarter to cut the lead to 10-7.
- Gordon's one-yard run gave the Broncos a 14-10 lead with 5:07 remaining in the third quarter.
- Sunday's crowd marked the largest of the NFLs International Series in London.
- Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew missed a second consecutive game with a knee injury and was among four inactive Jaguars players Sunday. Other Jaguars inactives Sunday: Safety Tyree Gillespie, cornerback Tevaughn Campbell and defensive lineman Adam Gotsis. The latter three inactive players were ruled out Friday and did travel to London for personal reasons.
Injury report: The Jaguars reported no injuries Sunday.
Duval takes over London. From pregame huddles to fan interactions, Wembley Stadium was LOUD on Sunday for the Jaguars Week 8 matchup against the Broncos. 86,215 fans were in attendance, making it the largest crowd in the history of the NFL International Series in the UK. Swipe through to view game-day photos. 🏈