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Big plays carry Jaguars to 38-31 win over Raiders
By MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer Monday, Dec 13, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)—The Jacksonville Jaguars moved to the forefront of the AFC South with a lopsided victory, a Hail Mary, a come-from-behind win and their best defensive effort of the season.

They stayed there with a much different performance—a barrage of big plays.

David Garrard(notes) threw three touchdown passes, Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) and Rashad Jennings(notes) scored on long runs, and the Jaguars beat the Oakland Raiders 38-31 in a wild game Sunday.

“We believe we’re a team of destiny,” defensive tackle Terrance Knighton(notes) said.

The Jaguars (8-5) won for fifth time in six games, setting up a critical AFC South showdown at Indianapolis next week. Jacksonville can clinch the division with a victory against the Colts and a loss by Houston either Monday night or next week.

“Everybody keeps saying Indy, Indy,” linebacker Kirk Morrison(notes) said. “What about us? What about the Jacksonville Jaguars? What about us going out and executing and holding everything we want in our own hands? Not worrying about what they do, but worrying about what we do. We know what’s at stake.”

The Raiders (6-7) lost for the third time in four weeks to fade from postseason contention.

Darren McFadden(notes) did his part to keep Oakland in the game. He had a 67-yard TD reception, a 51-yard scoring run and a 36-yarder that tied the game at 31 with 1:53 remaining.

But rookie Deji Karim(notes) returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards, and Jones-Drew went untouched for a 30-yard score on the next play.

The Raiders had a final chance and moved the ball into Jacksonville territory. But Jeremy Mincey(notes) ended the threat by sacking Jason Campbell(notes).

“At critical points of the game, we just didn’t make the plays,” Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour(notes) said. “When it came down to it, we gave up too many big plays on defense. You aren’t going to beat anybody doing that.”

Garrard completed 11 of 22 passes for 159 yards and tied Mark Brunell’s(notes) franchise record with his 20th TD pass of the season. Jones-Drew ran 23 times for 101 yards, his sixth consecutive 100-yard game, and Jennings added 109 yards on the ground.

The Raiders dominated the first half, outscoring the Jaguars 17-7, gaining twice as many yards and getting a nearly flawless performance from Campbell.

But Jacksonville turned things around with three touchdowns in the third quarter. Garrard threw a perfect deep pass to Jason Hill(notes) for a 48-yard score, Jennings ripped off a 74-yard TD run and then Garrard found Mike Sims-Walker(notes) in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yarder.

The biggest play in the quarter came after Jennings’ long scamper. Jacoby Ford(notes) fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Jaguars great field position and all the momentum. Garrard and Sims-Walker then hooked up on third-and-goal.

“Heck of game, just too many big plays defensively,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said. “We gave up too many. The turnover on the kickoff return was big. I think just those two things were the difference in the game.”

Jacksonville, which won for the first time in the franchise’s 16 years when giving up 30 points, credited Jones-Drew with getting the team on track after a lackluster first half. Jones-Drew called a team meeting in the locker room, setting off a chain reaction of speeches that got everyone fired up.

“It meant something because it came from him,” Sims-Walker said. “He’s not a talkative guy, a loud person. But he felt like we were letting the game slip away by doing things we don’t normally do. He gave us some words and we listened. We came out and fed off it.”

Now, the Jaguars would like to see it carry over to Indianapolis.

“It was a big win, but next week will be bigger,” Knighton said. “You can’t sit back and hope Indy loses. We’ve got to take it. To be the champs, you’ve got to beat the champs.”

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
D. McFadden Darren McFadden RB
16 Rush, 123 yds
2 TDs
3 Rec, 86 yds, 1 TD
D. Garrard David Garrard QB
11-22, 159 yds
3 TDs, 1 INT

Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards


Week 12