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Mission Accomplished: Jaguars RB Travis Etienne Jr. Wanted to 'Put on a Masterpiece' | Game That Was

Game That Was - Week 5

LONDON – Travis Etienne Jr. heard the boos, and that was motivation.

And if pregame negativity from an opponent-heavy crowd surprised the Jaguars' running back, it didn't stop him from playing one of the most effective games of his career.

"I just wanted to give them something to show," he said, adding: "I wanted to go out there and just put on a masterpiece for everyone out there."

Mission accomplished.

Etienne, a third-year veteran, ran early and often Sunday – and got better as the game continued. He finished with 136 critical yards on 26 often-bruising carries for two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 25-20 victory over the three-time defending AFC East Champion Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Etienne also caught four passes for 48 yards, finishing with 184 of the Jaguars' 474 total yards.

"My hat's really off to our offensive line, our run game, especially in the second half – and [offensive coordinator] Press Taylor for sticking with the run," Head Coach Doug Pederson said.

Pederson throughout his two seasons with the Jaguars has talked often of the need for persistence in rushing offense. The Jaguars showed that in a big way Sunday, with Etienne rushing for 111 yards on 17 second-half carries after rushing nine times for 25 yards in the first half.

The Jaguars rushed for 145 yards on 25 second-half carries.

"That's just the NFL," Etienne said. "Week in and week out, you won't see guys get 100 yards if they don't have 20 carries. This is the NFL. Everyone has great defenders out there, great defensive lines and stuff like that, and it was just stick with it, like the first half."

Etienne said a Bills defense that played "really well" and "disciplined" in the first half changed thereafter.

"They were making tackles and you've just got to wear them down throughout the game, and wear them down, wear them down," Etienne said. "We were able to do that, and those tackles they were making in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter, they don't make those tackles any more.

"Guys start making business decisions and that's when you have to put your head down and keep running."

Etienne's six-yard touchdown run with 7:44 remaining capped a 10-play, 93-yard drive and gave the Jaguars an 18-7 lead. Etienne ran the last three plays for 27 yards on the drive.

"It's great," Etienne said. "That's what you want out of your offense when the games get close late in the games. You want your run game to be the closer, be the finisher, and we were able to do that."

Etienne rushed three times for 43 yards on the following drive. His 35-yard run with 2:11 remaining pushed the Jaguars' lead to 25-13. He was asked afterward if Pederson had mentioned not scoring in that situation, with the idea of the Jaguars being able to drain clock to secure the victory.

"We never had a discussion about it," Etienne said. "I already knew if Coach could have told me about it, he probably would have told me go down. I thought about it, but I was like, 'Nah.' The crowd was going crazy all game, and I just wanted to go out there and try to put the game away, and our defense was playing really well, and I feel like it was the right thing to do at the time."


  • Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley on his seven-receptions, 122-yard game – his second 100-yard performance in his first five games with the Jaguars: "I really don't care about the stats and everything. I really just want to win because we work hard. We practice all week. I run a lot during the week to come out there, run around, catch some passes, but the goal is to win the game. [Pederson] said it before we came out here. He said, 'We're coming here to win two games,' and that's what we did. Getting the Ws are the main goal.
  • Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence on winning back-to-back games in London in Weeks 4 (Atlanta) and 5 (Buffalo) after back-to-back losses in Weeks 2 (Kansas City) and 3 (Houston): "I don't think anything changed. I think we cleaned up some things. We've executed a little bit better – still not great. It's an imperfect game, so it's never going to be perfect. We need to continue to clean up. The difference is we're making the plays when we have to make them in crunch time, and I think the other two games that we've lost, we didn't do that when the moment was there. We kind of let the opportunity slip. That's the biggest difference. If we clean up even more of the mistakes and the execution and sloppiness, it'll be even cleaner. But it's never going to be perfect, and it's really just about winning."

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