Jaguars’ late rally overshadowed by mistakes in overtime loss to Jets
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Paul Posluszny lost his cool — and it ended up costing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The veteran linebacker took a hard blindside hit from New York’s Dylan Donahue on a punt in overtime, and Posluszny had a few words to say as the Jets rookie was writhing in pain on the Jaguars sideline.
“That guy cleaned me up,” Posluszny said after the Jaguars’ 23-20 loss Sunday. “I didn’t see him coming and I got drilled, laid out. That’s why I reacted the way I did. I’m interested to see what it looks like on film.”
Posluszny got called for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting Donahue, who injured his right elbow on the play. The 15-yard penalty gave the Jets the ball at the Jaguars 25. After two 1-yard runs, Josh McCown spiked the ball to set up Chandler Catanzaro’s game-winning 41-yard field goal.
“I don’t see how I get cleaned up like that and then I get called for unsportsmanlike conduct,” Posluszny said. “I probably shouldn’t have said anything. I shouldn’t have lost my calm.”
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone agreed, but wasn’t sure about the call on his player.
“I’m going to take a look at that one,” Marrone said. “That’s way out of character. I even said something to (referee) Gene (Steratore) afterward. I said, `You realize it was on 51?’ That might be the first one he’s ever had in his life.”
The call on Posluszny helped doom the Jaguars (2-2), but it wasn’t the only mistake that did Jacksonville in.
After a quick start with Leonard Fournette’s 10-yard touchdown catch giving the Jaguars a 7-0 lead, Jacksonville couldn’t get much going until the fourth quarter — when New York was up 20-10.
“We made some mistakes early,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said, “and they capitalized on it.”
Blake Bortles was 15 of 35 for 140 yards with a TD and an interception.
“We’ve got to find ways to make plays offensively and score touchdowns and put games like that away,” Bortles said.
He misfired on several throws, and was constantly rushed by the Jets’ defense. It was in stark contrast to the explosive offensive display Jacksonville showed in London while routing Baltimore 44-7 last Sunday.
“They were doing what we thought they were going to do,” Bortles said of the Jets. “We got stagnant. We did a good job starting fast, but we have to find ways to maintain that and make it consistent throughout the game.”
The Jaguars added five more sacks to their franchise-record 18 through four games, but they got pounded by the Jets’ running game.
Bilal Powell rushed for a career-high 163 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown, and rookie Elijah McGuire had a 69-yard score and finished with 93 yards rushing. New York outgained the Jaguars 471-311 in total yards, including 256-175 on the ground.
“We gave up a lot of huge explosions that kind of set us back,” linebacker Myles Jack said, “starting with the first play where everyone thought he was down.”
After Fournette’s TD gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead, the Jets answered right back on their next play from scrimmage. Powell went up the middle and appeared to get tripped up as he leaped over Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith, but smartly got up — after not being touched by Smith — and took off for a 75-yard touchdown.
It was upheld by video review, resulting in the Jets’ longest touchdown run since Bruce Harper went 78 yards in 1983.
“I wasn’t sure,” Smith said. “That’s a play I wish I could have back. I went back door to try to make the play and I tripped on someone. (If) I didn’t do that, maybe there’s a different result.”
The Jaguars got back into it in the fourth quarter with some big plays. It appeared the Jets were heading for a win-sealing drive after a 41-yard pass to Robby Anderson got the Jets to the Jaguars 14. But McCown tossed a backward pass to Powell and the ball bounced off the running back’s shoulder pad — ruled a fumble — and Jack recovered and went 81 yards for a touchdown to cut the Jaguars’ deficit to one score, 20-17 with 10:20 left in the fourth quarter.
With 3:19 left in regulation and New York still leading by three, A.J. Bouye picked off McCown after Powell slipped right in front of the cornerback and gave the Jaguars the ball at the Jets 35.
Fournette took a short pass from Bortles and scored a 23-yard touchdown — but it was wiped out by a holding call on Arrelious Benn.
Four plays later, Kony Ealy knocked down a pass from Bortles on third-and-goal from the 4, and the Jaguars settled for Jason Myers’ 22-yard tying field goal with 46 seconds remaining.
“Those long runs, my stupidity at the end of the game,” Posluszny said, “you can’t win with stuff like that.”