LONDON – The Jaguars needed a quick start and a big defensive effort.
They got both in international fashion.
More important for the Jaguars, they got a needed victory and beat the Atlanta Falcons, 23-7, in the franchise's 10th all-time game in London – and ninth at Wembley Stadium. This one took place in front of 85,716 Sunday afternoon, the first of two back-to-back games in London for the Jaguars.
"It's great; they responded well today," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said, with quarterback Trevor Lawrence adding that the victory "felt great."
"Especially here in London, it's a lot of fun when you win here," Lawrence added. "It's not so much fun when you lose, especially being so far from home. That was obviously a good response for our team."
Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen registered three of the team's four sacks for his second three-sack game of the season, with his sack/fumble ending the Falcons' final drive.
"They played together as a team," Pederson said. "That's the sign that we're headed in the right direction where we're getting some things fixed. We've still got some work to do, obviously, but very, very pleased with today's win."
A defensive stand midway through the fourth quarter secured the victory with Atlanta turning the ball over on downs at the Jaguars 6 with 6:01 remaining and Jacksonville leading 20-7.
"That's a heck of a way to fight," Allen said.
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught a first-quarter touchdown pass against his former team and cornerback Darious Williams returned a second-quarter interception for a touchdown as the Jaguars took a 17-0 halftime lead. Kicker Brandon McManus converted field goals of 56, 43 and 38 yards.
"We didn't really worry about doing anything wrong or making mistakes," Lawrence said. "We just went and played."
The Jaguars (2-2) won after back-to-back losses to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans in Weeks 2 and 3. The Falcons (2-2) lost a second consecutive game.
Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk called the victory "huge."
"Winning in this league is tough," Kirk said. "Especially when you're losing, it's even harder. When you get back-to-back losses, it weighs really heavy on you. It weighs heavy on the locker room, so you're just doing everything that you can to put together a performance like we did today and just be able to be able to get a win.
"You never take this stuff for granted, winning in the NFL. It's just great for us to get this thing back on track and get our confidence back."
Lawrence completed 23 of 30 passes for 207 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. His 30-yard touchdown pass to Ridley on the Jaguars' second series gave the Jaguars a seven-point lead – and marked their first lead of seven or more points since a Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Ridley, a first-round selection by the Falcons in the 2018 NFL Draft, joined the Jaguars in a trade from the Falcons last November. This was his first game against the Falcons. He caught two passes for 38 yards Sunday.
Kirk caught eight passes for 84 yards.
Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder completed 19 of 31 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Rookie running back Dijon Robinson rushed for 105 yards on 14 carries, including 74 on six carries as the Falcons surged in the third quarter.
The Jaguars registered three sacks Sunday and now have eight for the season. Outside linebacker Travon Walker registered one in the first quarter with two of Allen's three sacks coming in the first half. Safety Andre Cisco also had an interception for the Jaguars, with defensive lineman Angelo Blackson recovering Allen's late sack/fumble to secure the victory.
The Jaguars will visit the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Sunday.
Step by Step:
- Ridley's 30-yard touchdown reception from Lawrence with 5:44 remaining in the first quarter capped an eight-play, 72-yard drive and gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead; Lawrence keyed the drive with a 22-yard scramble to the Atlanta 47 and a nine-yard pass to Kirk on 4th-and-1 from the Falcons 38.
- The Jaguars opened the second quarter pushing the lead to 10-0 with a 56-yard field goal by McManus with 14:51 remaining in the first half. Williams intercepted Ridder and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead with 4:31 remaining in the quarter.
- Tight end Drake London's 15-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Ridder cut the Jaguars' lead to 17-7 with 11:38 remaining in the third quarter.
- McManus' 43-yard field goal capped a 65-yard, 13-play drive that covered 7:21 to end the third and start the fourth quarter, giving the Jaguars a 20-7 lead with 10:36 remaining. His 38-yarder pushed the lead to 23-7 with 1:56 remaining.
- Wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew was ruled out Sunday with a quadriceps issue after being a game-time-decision entering the weekend. Rookie wide receiver Parker Washington, active for the first time this season, returned punts in his place. Veteran running back D'Ernest Johnson returned kickoff's in Agnew's absence.
- Jaguars active receivers Sunday: Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Tim Jones, Jacob Harris and Washington with Harris a standard practice squad elevation for a second consecutive week.
- Jaguars inactives Sunday: Wide receiver Zay Jones (knee), Agnew, linebacker Devin Lloyd (thumb), rookie wide receiver Elijah Cooks and rookie safety Antonio Johnson (hamstring).
- Washington sustained knee injury on a first-quarter punt return and Kirk returned punts in his place.
Jaguars are bringing the heat to Wembley Stadium 💥 Swipe through in game action ➡️