EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The conditions were notably wet. And notably windy and cold. The Jaguars?
They're still notably very hot.
And the playoffs remain a very notable possibility.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was efficient with a first-half rushing touchdown, the defense turned in one of its best efforts of the season and the Jaguars pulled steadily away from the New York Jets for a 19-3 victory in rainy, windy conditions Thursday night at MetLife Stadium.
"It's just a big win," Lawrence said. "It just shows this team is growing and we can win however it takes. Whatever it takes to win, we're able to do."
Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson converted field goals in all four quarters, and the Jaguars held the Jets to 227 yards and 10 first downs.
The Jaguars (7-8) won a third consecutive game, and also won for a fifth time in seven games. It's the Jaguars' longest winning streak since December 2017, with the three victories coming in a 13-day stretch.
"I'm proud of the guys," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "We said two and a half weeks ago that we had three games in less than three weeks. We just had to take them one at a time and I think that's what you've seen from this group. There's no quit in them. They stick together. They hang together. They encourage each other and that's what it takes."
The Jets (7-8) lost their fourth consecutive game.
The victory means the Jaguars continue to control their postseason destiny. If they win at the Houston Texans in Week 17 and beat the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans in the Week 18 regular-season finale, they will win the AFC South for the first time since 2017.
"We understand the task in front of us," Lawrence said. "Every game's a must-win for us. That's how we're treating it. We understand that and we love it."
Lawrence completed 20 of 31 passes for 229 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions. His one-yard dive was the lone touchdown of the game, and helped the Jaguars to a 13-3 halftime lead after they outgained the Jets 251-66.
"We made the plays we needed to make," Lawrence said.
Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for 83 yards on 22 carries, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson completed nine of 18 passes for 92 yards with one interception. He was replaced in the third quarter by Chris Streveler, elevated from the practice squad this week.
"We're hitting our stride right now; we've got to keep on pushing," Jaguars nose tackle DaVon Hamilton said.
The Jaguars forced two turnovers – an interception by inside linebacker Devin Lloyd on the final play of the first half and a fumble recovery by cornerback Tre Herndon late in the fourth quarter. They also registered three sacks – one in the second quarter by defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris, one in the third quarter that Hamilton and lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter split and one in the first quarter by blitzing safety Andre Cisco that forced a short Jets field goal after Lawrence lost a fumble deep in Jaguars territory on the game's first possession.
"The sense of urgency is still high," Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen said. "We've got two games left. There's no need to relax. There's no need to feel like we got the weight off our chest. We've still got the pedal to the metal. We've got to act as such."
Step by step:
- The Jets took a 3-0 lead on a 37-yard field goal by kicker Greg Zuerlein with 11:37 remaining in the first quarter; defensive lineman Carl Lawson set up the score when he recovered a fumble by Lawrence at the Jets 16, a fumble forced by a sack by defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. Patterson's 32-yard field goal capped a 61-yard drive on the ensuing possession and tied it 7-7 with 7:15 remaining in the first quarter; a 22-yard pass from Lawrence to tight end Evan Engram and a 19-yard run by Etienne Jr. converted third downs on the drive.
- Lawrence's one-yard dive over the line gave the Jaguars a 10-3 lead with 11:26 remaining in the second quarter; the dive capped one of the Jaguars' most impressive drives of the season – a 96-yarder that used 8:15 and on which the Jaguars faced one first down. Patterson's 45-yard field goal on the next Jaguars series pushed the lead to 13-3 with 2:55 remaining in the second quarter. Patterson missed from 44 yards with :25 remaining in the half to keep the Jaguars' lead 13-3 at halftime.
- Patterson's 41-yard field goal pushed the Jaguars' lead to 16-3 with 7:06 remaining in the third quarter.
- Patterson's 37-yard field goal gave the Jaguars a 19-3 lead with 3:46 remaining; Herndon set up the score by returning a fumble by Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson 13 yards to the Jets 24. Linebacker Foye Oluokun forced the fumble.
- Tight end Evan Engram midway through the second quarter moved past Kyle Brady (2000) for most receptions by a tight end in a season in franchise history. Engram at that point had 65 receptions for 687 yards and four touchdowns. … Rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker and tackle Foley Fatukasi, a pair of defensive starters, were among the Jaguars' six inactive players Thursday. Five Jaguars players listed as questionable on the week's final injury report played: Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (toe), right tackle Jawaan Taylor (hamstring), safety Andrew Wingard (shoulder), linebacker Chad Muma (ankle) and right guard Brandon Scherff (abdomen). The Jaguars' other four inactives: Wide receiver Kendric Pryor, cornerback Montaric Brown, cornerback Gregory Junior and outside linebacker De'Shaan Dixon.
- Jaguars right guard Brandon Scherff sustained an ankle injury in the second quarter and returned on the ensuing series.