The Jacksonville Jaguars were going to need to play a near perfect game Sunday to beat the New England Patriots at Foxborough, they did not succeed. The Patriots scored on all nine of their offensive possessions, en route to a 51-17 drubbing of the Jaguars. The only drive the Patriots didn’t score on was when they kneeled down to end the game.
The Jaguars got a 40-yard field goal from Jason Myers in the second quarter and trailed 20-3 at the half. The Jaguars were their own worst enemy Sunday, committing seven penalties for 114 yards. In the third quarter, they had back-to-back pass interference calls for a combined 76 yards, leading to a Patriots score in the third quarter.
Blake Bortles threw for 242 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception, completing 17-of-33 passes. He did not seem to have the confidence he had in last week’s win over Miami and his receivers continued to let him down with dropped passes, which would have extended drives and likely helped the Jaguars make this a closer game. Bortles interception came late in the first half when he overthrew his intended receiver and was picked off by Devin McCourty. That killed a promising drive, which could have made it 13-6 at the very least, instead, the Patriots drove down and scored, making it 20-3.
“I just don’t think we played very well,” Bortles said after the game. “But I mean, I don’t think this game is gonna define us. I think it’s how we respond to it and what we do next.” The two touchdowns Jacksonville scored came on a 59 yard bomb to Allen Hurns midway through the third quarter and a six-yard pass to Clay Harbor in the fourth quarter. “No one said it was going to be easy and fun, they said it was gonna be hard and fun,” said Jacksonville Head Coach Gus Bradley. “We saw that today. Give credit to New England, they played a great game.” Bradley said the Jags’ issues start with him and that there’s some things he needed to do better. While that may be true, he was not out there dropping passes and accruing all those penalties.
Tom Brady completed 33 of 42 passes for 358 yards and two touchdowns. The first of those touchdowns was number 400 of his career. He is just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to reach that milestone. He was a machine on Sunday, throwing a good ball all day long and hitting the open man on a regular basis. He definitely put on a clinic for the home fans. Jacksonville was without a couple key players, including wide receiver Marqise Lee, who left the game with hamstring tightness and missed the second half. He said he would have been okay to return, but the Jaguars training staff held him out. “Going into that second quarter it got a little sore,” he told ESPN.com writer Mike DiRocco. “Nothing crazy but if I knew they would have pulled me, I probably would have kept it to myself.”
Strong safety Josh Evans suffered an MCL injury and free safety Sergio Brown suffered a calf strain. Evans is listed as day-to-day, while Brown will be re-evaluated later in the week, according to DiRocco. Cornerback Davon House suffered a lower leg sprain and will be re-evaluated in a couple days. The Jaguars will visit Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, to take on the Indianapolis Colts. If some of these injured players are not well enough to make the trip, the Jaguars could be in for another long day. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.