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Garrard, Jones-Drew lead Jags


The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't need to play keep-away from Denver this time, just takeaway.

Playing their best all-around game of the season, the Jaguars got superb performances from quarterback David Garrard and running back Maurice Jones-Drew, plus three takeaways by their defense in a 24-17 win over the bumbling Broncos on a cold, misty Sunday.

Garrard completed 25 of 34 passes for 276 yards, one TD and no interceptions and Jones-Drew rumbled for 125 yards and two TDs on 22 carries.

The Jaguars (3-3) also won at Invesco Field last year, thanks to a franchise-record 18-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up nearly 12 minutes and set the tone for a 23-14 thumping in which they maintained possession for nearly 40 minutes.

This time, they wasted no time in sending the Broncos (4-2) to their first home loss since last Oct. 29 against Green Bay.

The Jaguars took the second-half kickoff and covered 80 yards in just three plays and 73 seconds with Jones-Drew bolting up the middle untouched for a 46-yard touchdown that put Denver in a 17-7 hole.

After Jay Cutler and a wide-open tight end Nate Jackson failed to connect on a 26-yard touchdown pass and the Broncos settled for Matt Prater's 39-yard field goal, Jacksonville scored again, on Marcedes Lewis' 30-yard TD catch that made it 24-10.

On the drive, cornerback Dre' Bly was whistled for a questionable illegal contact call even though he was tossed to the grass by wide receiver Reggie Williams, turning a potential fourth-and-13 into an automatic first down.

Five plays later, Lewis hauled in Garrard's pass at the 6 and spun into the end zone when safeties Marlon McCree and Marquand Manuel collided.

Denver pulled to 24-17 on Daniel Graham's 11-yard TD catch with 9 minutes remaining, but they went three-and-out on their next possession and the Jaguars, finally turning to their eat-the-clock style, chewed up the final 5:46 -- with a little help from the officials.

Field judge Scott Edwards flagged McCree for pass interference that gave Jacksonville a first down at the Denver 32 in the waning minutes. Replays showed it was a very questionable call.

The Broncos were without three of their offensive playmakers in rookie receiver Eddie Royal (ankle), tight end Tony Scheffler (groin) and tailback Selvin Young (groin) and they lost slot receiver Brandon Stokley to a head injury shortly after his 11-yard touchdown catch that capped Denver's opening drive.

The Broncos turned the ball over on their next four possessions, twice on fumbles, once on an interception and once on downs when Michael Pittman, the Broncos' first 100-yard rusher in eight games, came up short on fourth-and-1 from the Jaguars 30-yard line.

On their sixth possession of the first half, the Broncos got the ball with 30 seconds left -- and ended up punting.

It was that kind of afternoon for one of the NFL's best but bruised offenses.

In the first quarter, Jaguars running back Fred Taylor left the game with a head injury after coughing up the ball on Nate Webster's wicked hit, and D.J. Williams recovered for Denver. But Cutler inexplicably failed to tuck the ball on a scramble on the next play and former Broncos defensive end Reggie Hayward slapped it away. Cornerback Rashean Mathis recovered.

Garrard's 69-yard completion to Troy Williamson at the Denver 3 was negated by tackle Khalif Barnes' holding penalty. After the punt, Brandon Marshall tried to fight his way into the end zone but fumbled inside the Jaguars 5-yard line after he was corralled by cornerback Drayton Florence, who picked up the loose ball.

The Jaguars capitalized on that turnover with a 12-play, 75-yard drive and Jones-Drew's 1-yard touchdown run gave Jacksonville its first lead at 10-7.

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