JACKSONVILLE – This was big-time December football.
It was strange, wild December football, too.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles threw two third-quarter touchdown passes and the Jaguars' defense intercepted Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson three times as the Jaguars pulled away for a 30-24 victory in front of a raucous, roaring sold-out crowd of 64,431 at EverBank Field Sunday.
The Jaguars held off a furious Seahawks rally to clinch the victory. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson sacked Wilson to force fourth and nine from Seattle's 43 with 2:19 remaining.
Wilson threw incomplete under an all-out blitz on the ensuing play to help secure the sixth victory in seven games for the Jaguars, who led 27-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette's 13-yard run on 3rd-and-1 from the Seahawks 44 clinched the victory for the Jaguars. Fournette rushed for 101 yards and a third-quarter touchdown on 24 carries.
Bortles completed 18 of 27 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions as the Jaguars took a 27-10 lead in the fourth quarter.
Wilson completed 17 of 31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns, rallying the Seahawks with two long fourth quarter touchdowns.
Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo converted all three of his field goal attempts, from 38, 51 and 32 yards.
Bortles' touchdown passes came during a wild third quarter, with an 18-yarder to rookie Dede Westbrook giving the Jaguars a ten-point lead early in the period and a 75-yarder to rookie Keelan Cole breaking a 10-10 tie after Seattle rallied with points on consecutive possessions.
Rookie wide receiver Jaydon Mickens' 72-yard punt return later in the third quarter set up a one-yard touchdown run by Fournette that gave the Jaguars a 24-10 lead.
The Jaguars improved to 9-4 with the victory. The Seahawks fell to 8-5.
The Jaguars also moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC South because Tennessee lost at Arizona, 12-7.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted Wilson in the second quarter and cornerback A.J. Bouye intercepted him twice in the third quarter. Bouye's first interception led to Bortles' touchdown pass to Westbrook and a 10-0 Jaguars lead with 12:02 remaining in the third quarter.
Step by step:
*Lambo's 38-yard field goal capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive and made it 3-0 with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter. Running back Chris Ivory's 34-yard run – his longest of the season – to the Seahawks 45 set up the score. Both teams punted to end their first possession, with the Seahawks' first punt downed at the Jaguars' 7. The Jaguars drove for Lambo's field goal from there and the quarter ended with the Jaguars leading, 3-0.
*The second quarter was about defense, too – with the teams trading punts until Ramsey intercepted Wilson's deep pass into the end zone. The Jaguars punted, which set up a late Seattle drive that ended with Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh missing a 38-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half. That kept the score 3-0, Jaguars, at halftime.
*The Jaguars pulled away in a wild third quarter. They first pushed their lead to 10-0 when Bortles found Westbrook alone for an 18-yard touchdown early in the quarter. The Seahawks made it 10-3 when kicker Blair Walsh converted from 28 yards on the ensuing possession with 8:30 remaining in the quarter. Jaguars returner Corey Grant fumbled the ensuing kickoff, with Tedric Thompson recovering for Seattle at the Jaguars 25. Wilson's 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Doug Baldwin tied it 10-10 two plays later. Bortles' 75-yard pass to Cole in the next play from scrimmage made it 17-10, Jaguars, with 7:21 remaining in the quarter. The Jaguars held on downs on the ensuing possession, with Jaydon Mickens' 72-yard punt return getting up a one-yard run by Fournette that put the Jaguars ahead 24-10 with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter.
*Lambo's 51-yard field goal with 10:04 remaining pushed the lead to 27-10, with Wilson avoiding a sack and throwing a 61-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Paul Richardson on the Seahawks' next possession. That made it 27-17 with 9:48 remaining and Lambo's 32-yard field goal on the ensuing possession gave the Jaguars a 30-17 lead with 4:06 remaining. Wilson's 74-yard touchdown to wide receiver Tyler Lockett pulled the Seahawks to within six, 30-24.
Notable: When the Jaguars held the Seahawks scoreless on their first possession it marked the 11th time in 13 games this season the Jaguars' opponent failed to score on its first possession. The Jaguars remain the only team in the NFL to not allow a touchdown on the first possession of the game this season. … Ramey's second-quarter interception was his fourth of the season and his 17th pass defensed. … The Jaguars played without linebacker Telvin Smith (concussion) for a second consecutive week; he was the first Jaguars defensive player to miss a start because of an injury when he didn't start against Indianapolis last week. Smith was ruled out 90 minutes before kickoff and rookie Blair Brown started a second consecutive game in his place with veteran middle linebacker Paul Posluszny playing for Smith in nickel situations for a second consecutive week. …
Injury report: Wide receiver Larry Pinkard was evaluated for a concussion in the second quarter and was ruled out at halftime. … Jaguars inactives Sunday: Wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle), Smith, cornerback Jalen Myrick, nose tackle Eli Ankou, offensive guard Chris Reed, offensive tackle Josh Walker and offensive tackle William Poehls. Cole started a fourth consecutive game for Hurns. Patrick Omameh, out for the last three games with a quadriceps injury, started at left guard; Reed started in his place the last three games. …
What's next: The Jaguars are scheduled to play the Houston Texans at EverBank Field Sunday, December 17 at 1 p.m.