JACKSONVILLE – This one was wild at times – and weird at others.
The weirdness didn't turn out good for the Jaguars, with special teams struggles and a sometimes-sporadic offense too much to overcome in a 27-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in front of 56,232 at EverBank Field late Sunday afternoon.
The Jaguars slipped to 3-3 and are tied with Houston for first place in the AFC South. The Rams improved to 4-2.
Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 130 yards and scored a touchdown in his sixth consecutive game, but the Jaguars allowed two first-half special teams touchdowns – and that wasn't their entire special teams story.
Rams wide receiver Pharoh Cooper returned the opening kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, and Rams running back Malcolm Brown returned a blocked punt six yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
The Rams also got a 56-yard field goal from kicker Greg Zuerlein three plays after a 16-yard first-quarter punt by Jaguars punter Brad Nortman. Jaguars kicker Jason Myers also missed a 54-yard field goal at the end of the first half and another 54-yarder with 1:07 remaining.
The Jaguars trailed by 24-14 at halftime and 24-17 in the fourth quarter.
They twice had possession trailing by that score in the fourth quarter but failed to score. Their best chance came when they faced 1st-and-10 at the Rams 28 early in the quarter, but Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to end the threat.
Cooper's touchdown was part of a wild start Sunday. His touchdown came with 14:46 remaining, and Fournette rushed for a 75-yard touchdown on the ensuing play from scrimmage to make it 7-7 with 14:35 remaining in the first quarter.
According to Elias Sports, it was the first time in the Super Bowl era teams have scored two touchdowns in the first 25 seconds of a game.
Bortles completed 23 of 35 passes for 241 yards and no touchdowns with an interception. Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 11 of 21 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Step by step:
*After Cooper and Fournette scored touchdowns on back-to-back plays, both teams traded punts with the Rams getting possession at the Jaguars 45 after Nortman's 16-yard punt. The Jaguars held the Rams without a first down, but Zuerlein's 56-yarder made it 10-7 with 8:54 left in the first quarter. The Jaguars drove 75 yards on four plays to take their first lead, with Bortles' 22-yard screen pass to running back Chris Ivory making it 14-10 with 6:51 remaining; the four-play drive featured runs of 17 and 18 by wide receiver Marqise Lee and Fournette and a 22-yard pass from Bortles to wide receiver Allen Hurns. The Rams retook the lead with a four-yard pass from Goff to tight end Gerald Everett, giving Los Angeles a 17-14 lead with :22 remaining in a wild first quarter. …
*The game calmed in the second quarter, with the Rams stuffing Fournette and holding the Jaguars to minus-2 yards total offense. The Jaguars' defense limited the Rams, who extended their lead to 24-14 when Brown returned a blocked punt for a touchdown with 2:25 remaining in the half.
*The defense kept the Jaguars close in the third quarter, and a takeaway helped them cut into the lead. Linebacker Telvin Smith forced a fumble by wide receiver Robert Woods that cornerback Aaron Colvin recovered at the Jaguars 48. Myers' 41-yard field goal nine plays later made it, 24-17, with 5:16 remaining in the third.
*The Rams held the Jaguars scoreless in the fourth quarter, then put together an impressive late drive that ended with a 29-yard field goal by Zuerlein that made it 27-17, Rams with 2:32 remaining.
Notable:The Jaguars registered two sacks Sunday, both by defensive end Calais Campbell. Campbell has eight sacks this season, the most in franchise history through six games. … Fournette's first-quarter touchdown marked the sixth consecutive game in which he scored a touchdown; he joined Patriots running back Robert Edwards (1998) as the only players in NFL history to score touchdowns in their first six games. … The Jaguars now have 16 takeaways this season; they have scored 77 points off takeaways. They scored a 41-yard field goal by Myers off their lone takeaway Sunday. … Left guard Patrick Omameh started after being listed as questionable with a hip injury on the team's final injury report of the week Friday; wide receiver and special-teams ace Arrelious Benn, listed as questionable with a groin injury, also played.
Injury report:Fournette sustained a right ankle injury in the fourth quarter. … The Jaguars' seven game-day inactives Sunday: center Brandon Linder (illness), wide receiver Jaelen Strong, running back T.J. Yeldon, cornerback Jalen Myrick, linebacker Donald Payne, offensive lineman Josh Walker and offensive lineman William Poehls; Tyler Shatley made a second consecutive start for Linder at center.
What's next:The Jaguars are scheduled to play the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Ind., Sunday at 1