GLENDALE, Ariz. – This trip west turned into a thrill ride – but not a joyous one for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars overcame a first-half offensive drought with a dramatic second-half rally keyed by a defensive touchdown and quarterback Blake Bortles’ running – but it wasn’t enough in a 27-24 heart-stopping loss to the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson’s 57-yard field goal with :01 remaining were the winning points, and capped a wild fourth quarter in the desert.
Defensive end Calais Campbell provided what appeared to be a storybook storyline early in the quarter, returning a fumble 10 yards for a touchdown that gave the Jaguars their first lead, 17-16. Campbell signed with the Jaguars this past offseason after nine seasons with the Cardinals.
Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue stripped the ball from Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the play. Gabbert played three seasons with the Jaguars after they selected him No. 10 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.
But Gabbert threw 52 yards to wide receiver Jaron Brown on the ensuing possession to give the Cardinals the lead. A two-point conversion pass to Larry Fitzgerald made it 24-17, Cardinals.
Bortles’ second touchdown run of the game – a 17-yarder on a read option – tied the score at 24-24 with 7:26 remaining after kicker Josh Lambo’s point after.
The Jaguars rallied from a 13-0 first-half deficit.
Bortles completed 19 of 33 passes for 160 yards and no touchdowns with an interception for the Jaguars, and their No. 1-ranked rushing offense produced 91 yards. Sixty-two of those yards were from Bortles.
The Jaguars, who managed just 70 first-half yards, cut into a thirteen-point first-half deficit with a field goal by Lambo late in the first half and a touchdown run by Bortles in the third quarter to pull to within 16-10 entering the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars (7-4) slipped into a first-place tie with the Tennessee Titans, who beat the Indianapolis Colts 20-16 in Indianapolis earlier in the day. The loss ended the Jaguars’ four-game winning streak.
Gabbert completed 22 of 38 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. His second-quarter touchdown pass to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones gave the Cardinals a two-score lead.
The Jaguars’ No. 1-ranked defense registered one sack and two turnovers, Calais’ fumble recovery and a fourth-quarter interception by safety Barry Church. Bortles was intercepted by Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu to end the ensuing drive.
The Jaguars allowed the Cardinals 344 total yards and 20 first downs.
Step by step:
*Dawson’s 34-yard field goal with 8:22 remaining in the first quarter capped the Cardinals’ first drive and gave Arizona a 3-0 lead. The Jaguars’ offense struggled early with one first down on its first two series. The first quarter ended with the Cardinals leading 3-0 and holding an 80-18 total-yardage advantage.
*With the Jaguars’ offense struggling, the Cardinals pushed the lead to 6-0 with a 42-yard field goal by Dawson with 9:00 remaining in the half; the 38-drive followed a lost fumble by Jaguars running back Chris Ivory that linebacker Karlos Dansby recovered at the Cardinals 40. The Cardinals then pushed the lead to 13-0 when Gabbert passed 29 yards to wide-open tight end Seals-Jones with 4:44 remaining in the second quarter. Lambo’s 43-yard field goal with :15 remaining in the second quarter made it 13-3, Arizona. The Cardinals outgained the Jaguars, 149-70, in the first half.
*The Jaguars’ offense pieced together its best drive of the game to that point in the third quarter, with Bortles scoring on a one-yard run to make it 16-10 Cardinals, with 7:33 remaining; Bortles rushed three times for 30 yards on the drive and completed a 24-yard pass to wide receiver Keelan Cole.
Notable: Cornerback Jalen Ramsey (hand) played after being listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week Friday; it was the 26th consecutive start at the beginning of the second-year veteran’s career. …
Injury report: Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith was ruled out with a concussion early in the third quarter; rookie Blair Brown played weakside linebacker in his place. … Starting right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) and starting left guard Patrick Omameh (quadriceps) were among the Jaguars’ seven inactive players. The others: Cornerback Jalen Myrick, linebacker Donald Payne (hamstring), nose tackle Eli Ankou, offensive tackle William Poehls and wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle). Josh Wells started a third consecutive game for Parnell and Chris Reed started a second consecutive game for Omameh. Rookie Keelan Cole started a second consecutive game for Hurns. …
What’s next: The Jaguars are scheduled to play the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field on Sunday, December 3.