Jaguars 24, Broncos 17

Calls help Jaguars collect

Broncos can't weather sloppy play at home

By Arnie Stapleton
Associated Press / October 13, 2008
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DENVER - Playing their best all-around game of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars got superb performances from David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew, plus three takeaways in a 24-17 win over the bumbling Denver Broncos on a cold, misty day.

They also got a little help from the officials, who made two judgment calls that left the Broncos irate. One of them kept a touchdown drive alive and the other allowed the Jaguars (3-3) to run out the clock.

"This game today looked exactly like Jaguar football and it was good to get back to it," said Garrard, who completed 25 of 34 passes for 276 yards. "To come into somebody's house, and to have done it last year, too, to come back knowing they want our blood, the way this team fought today was awesome."

Jones-Drew rumbled for 125 yards and two TDs on 22 carries after Fred Taylor left with a head injury after a hard, fumble-causing hit in the first quarter.

The Jaguars won at Invesco Field last year thanks to a franchise-record 18-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up nearly 12 minutes and set the tone for a thumping in which they maintained possession for nearly 40 minutes.

This time, they wasted no time in sending the Broncos (4-2) to their first home loss since last Oct. 29 against Green Bay - the Jaguars took the second-half kickoff and covered 80 yards in just three plays and 73 seconds, with Jones-Drew bolting up the middle untouched for a 46-yard touchdown that put Denver in a 17-7 hole.

After Jay Cutler and a wide-open tight end Nate Jackson failed to connect on a 26-yard touchdown pass and the Broncos settled for Matt Prater's 39-yard field goal, Jacksonville scored again, on Marcedes Lewis's 30-yard TD catch that made it 24-10.

On the drive, cornerback Dre' Bly was whistled for illegal contact even though he was tossed to the grass by wide receiver Reggie Williams, turning a potential fourth-and-13 into an automatic first down. Five plays later, Lewis hauled in Garrard's pass at the 6 and spun into the end zone when safeties Marlon McCree and Marquand Manuel collided.

Denver pulled to 24-17 on Daniel Graham's 11-yard TD catch with nine minutes remaining, but they went three-and-out on their next possession and the Jaguars chewed up the final 5:46 - with a little help from field judge Scott Edwards.

He flagged McCree for pass interference on tight end Greg Estandia that gave Jacksonville a first down at the Denver 32 in the waning minutes. Replays appeared to show no interference.

"No, I didn't think it was interference, and I was right there, right on the spot," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "But it doesn't really matter. That didn't lose us the game."

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio dodged questions about the questionable calls.

"I can't recall anything," Del Rio cracked. "I have a bad case of amnesia."

The Broncos visit Gillette Stadium next Monday night to face the Patriots. Denver has won its last two trips to Foxborough.

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