JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars were close Sunday, once again.
Once again, close wasn't enough.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne both ran for touchdowns, and Etienne continued to emerge as a big-play presence. But the Jaguars again lost a fourth-quarter lead and a close, winnable game – this time 23-17 to the New York Giants in front of 65,664 on a perfect October Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.
"We've just got to keep hanging together and keep working," Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "I told the guys after the game if we do that, stick together, good things are going to happen for them."
Quarterback Daniel Jones gave the Giants a 20-17 lead with a one-yard sneak with 5:31 remaining. The Jaguars to that point had led since the first possession of the second half. The Jaguars' ensuing possession netted no first downs, and they regained possession trailing 23-17 with 1:04 remaining after a 34-yard field goal by kicker Graham Gano.
The Jaguars' final possession ended when Lawrence threw 16 yards to wide receiver Christian Kirk, who was tackled at the Giants' one as time expired. A 28-yard pass from Lawrence to wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. on fourth-and-15 from the Jaguars 40 and a roughing-the-passer penalty gave the Jaguars a first down at the Giants 17 with :19 remaining.
"It sucks to lose," Lawrence said. "That's the way this league is. Most games come down to the very end. That's what we've been saying: 'You have to find ways to win and just find ways to make those plays that decide the game.'''
The Jaguars (2-5) have lost four consecutive games, with all five losses this season decided in the final minutes. The Giants (6-1) have won four consecutive games.
"We can't, obviously, lose too many more," Pederson said. "That's the big-picture view. We've got to learn not to beat ourselves and worry about us. If we do that and focus internally on what we do – the process that we do – everything else kind of takes care of itself."
Lawrence – the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft – completed 22 of 43 passes for 310 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. His one-yard dive capped the opening drive of the second half and gave the Jaguars a 17-13 lead that held through until Jones' sneak.
Etienne – the No. 25 overall selection in the '21 draft – rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. It was his first career NFL 100-yard game and his first NFL rushing touchdown – a seven-yarder – came in the first quarter, a play he followed with a two-point run for an 8-7 Jaguars lead.
Jones completed 19 of 30 passes for 202 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions and he also ran for 107 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who entered the game averaging more than 100 yards rushing a game this season, rushed for 110 yards and no touchdowns on 24 carries.
"We've got to figure it out," Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen said. "It's not, 'We're going to be all right, we're going to be good …' We've got to figure this out right now. It's going to take everybody in this locker room to figure it out, coaches included, but we've got to figure this out.
"It's important to us. It's important to this team. We still have a long season. We've got to get hot and make opportunities count."
The Jaguars, who registered nine takeaways in the first four games of the season, registered a sack but did not force a turnover for the third consecutive game. Jaguars rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker registered his second sack of the season.
"It takes four quarters of football to win games," Jaguars linebacker Foye Oluokun said. "It's a hard league. The margin to do things right in this league is tough, but you've got to make it a habit. We've got to keep our heads. Stay working. We're that close, but we've got to do it."
Step by step:
- The Giants took a quick 7-0 lead when wide receiver Darius Slayton got behind cornerback Tre Herndon for a 32-yard touchdown to cap the game's opening drive with 10:21 remaining in the first quarter; Jones completed six of seven passes for 65 yards on the drive and also scrambled for 14 yards. The Jaguars immediately turned in one of their most impressive drives of the season to take the lead on Etienne's run and conversion with 6:58 remaining in the first quarter; Lawrence completed three of three passes for 48 yards on the 70-yard drive.
- Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson pushed the Jaguars' lead to 11-7 with 13:23 remaining in the second quarter, capping a 12-play drive that covered 70 yards; a 28-yard pass from Lawrence to tight end Evan Engram moved the Jaguars to the Giants 36. A 33-yard field goal by Gano with 7:27 remaining in the second quarter cut the Jaguars' lead to 11-10. The Jaguars drove to the Giants 17 in the final four minutes of the half, but safety Julian Love recovered a fumble by Etienne in the end zone to give the Giants possession. The Giants followed that with a 33-yard field goal by Gano with :28 remaining in the half for a 13-11 lead.
- Lawrence's one-yard dive capped a seven-play, 73-yard drive on the first possession of the second half; Etienne's 49-yard run on the first play from scrimmage gave the Jaguars first-and-10 at the Giants 24.
- Jones' one-yard sneak that gave the Giants a fourth-quarter lead capped a 10-play, 79-yard drive that began when the Giants stuffed Lawrence on fourth-and-one from the Giants 20 with 11:25 remaining.
- Jaguars defensive end Foley Fatukasi (quad) and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. (hamstring) played after missing last Sunday's game against Indianapolis; Fatukasi had missed the last two games.
- Jaguars inactives Sunday: Cornerback Shaq Griffin, wide receiver Jamal Agnew, running back Snoop Conner, safety Tyree Gillespie, and defensive lineman Adam Gotsis.
- Four players listed questionable entering the weekend -- Fatukasi, Jones (hamstring), Hamilton (foot) and inside linebacker Foye Oluokun (calf) – all played Sunday, with Griffin (back) and Agnew (knee) having been ruled out Friday.
- Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson sustained a shoulder injury in the second quarter and returned in the same quarter.
Time to get loud 📣. Swipe through to view the top live game photos from the Jaguars Week 7 matchup against the Giants.