Jaguars lose two starters, fall to Raiders in OT
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew hobbled into the tiny interview room at the Oakland Coliseum using a set of crutches, his left foot in a protective walking boot. About 50 feet away in the locker room, quarterback Blaine Gabbert carefully pulled a shirt over his injured shoulder.
Yet on a day when the Jaguars lost their two offensive lynchpins, a fumble in overtime by wide receiver Cecil Shorts III clearly stung more.
Shorts caught a 42-yard touchdown pass in the first half but was hit from behind by Oakland’s Lamarr Houston while fighting for extra yards on Jacksonville’s first possession in overtime, and the Raiders beat the Jaguars 26-23 on Sebastian Janikowski’s 40-yard field goal Sunday.
“Just got to protect the ball,” Shorts said quietly as he dressed in a solemn locker room. “Coach always preaches high and tight, and when I was trying to get upfield, get some extra yards and make a play … it seems like it’s somebody you don’t see who knocks it out. So somebody I didn’t see knocked it out.”
Janikowski’s winning kick 2:06 into overtime came shortly after he came up short on what would have been an NFL-record 64-yard field goal on the last play of regulation.
That the Raiders were even in position to win was shocking after the Jaguars, minus Jones-Drew and Gabbert, built a 14-point lead early in the third quarter.
But Jacksonville managed only two first downs and a pair of Josh Scobee field goals after halftime while Oakland rallied for just its second win of the season.
“We’re finding ways to not win these games instead of finding ways to win them,” Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said. “At some point you have to draw a line and go, `Enough is enough.’ When we get to that point you’ll see different outcomes, but we’re not there obviously.”
Carson Palmer threw a TD pass for the Raiders (2-4) and ran for another score to force overtime. Oakland then got the win after Houston forced a fumble that Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jacksonville 21.
After one play to center the ball, Janikowski came on to kick the field goal that ended a rough day for the Jaguars (1-5).
Jones-Drew was injured after rushing for a 3-yard gain on the Jags’ first play from scrimmage. He remained in the game for one more play, a 5-yard run that was negated by a holding penalty against Shorts, then headed for the sideline for the remainder of the afternoon.
“It was a routine tackle, it just got rolled up,” Jones-Drew said. “It didn’t feel right so I didn’t want to go out there and hurt our team if I’m not feeling right. I’m just waiting until we get to Jacksonville to figure out what we’re going to do.”
Gabbert threw the 42-yard TD pass to Shorts before leaving with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, though Mularkey was uncertain to the extent of the injury.
Jones-Drew’s backup, Rashad Jennings, scored on a 5-yard run and Scobee kicked three field goals for the Jaguars.
Jacksonville ultimately lost it after backup Chad Henne took a sack on second down in overtime and Shorts then got stripped by Houston after a short pass over the middle to set up Janikowski’s fourth field goal of the game.
“Cecil’s going to do whatever he can,” Mularkey said. “He’s fumbled before so he’s got to do a better job with his ball security.”
Oakland fell behind 20-6 early in the second half and 23-13 early in the fourth before rallying to tie it on Palmer’s 1-yard run with 3:34 remaining.
Palmer threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore to start the comeback and Oakland’s next two scoring drives were aided by Jacksonville penalties.
Andre Branch was called for roughing the passer in the end zone on a third-down play stopped short of the yard marker to extend a drive that ended with Janikowski’s third field goal.
The Jaguars went three-and-out again on the ensuing drive but were in position to stop Oakland on fourth-and-10 from the Jacksonville 25 with under 4 minutes to go. After the Raiders used their final timeout, Palmer threw deep in the end zone to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Aaron Ross was called for a questionable pass interference call on the play, putting Oakland at the 1 to set up Palmer’s score.
The Jaguars broke out to a 17-3 lead in the first half and tried to put it away with a successful, surprise onside kick. But Henne failed to convert a fourth-and-1 pass and the Raiders got a 33-yard field goal by Janikowski in the final minute to make it 17-6 at the break.
NOTES: The Jaguars have not scored on their first drive for 17 straight games. … Scobee has 178 career FGs, breaking the team mark of 175 set by Mike Hollis. … The Coliseum field was completely grass for the first time as the infield dirt was replaced when the Athletics got knocked out of the baseball playoffs.