The Jaguars can't win when they play in America, but they don't have any problem winning games in other countries. In one of the craziest games of Week 6, the Jags picked up their first win of the season by going to London and beating the Dolphins 23-20.
The victory over Miami gave Urban Meyer the first win of his Jaguars' coaching career and ended Jacksonville's 20-game losing streak, which was the second-longest in league history.
The NFL might have sent two bad teams to England, but the fans in London were treated to some high drama in a game that wasn't decided until the final play.
For the Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence seems to be getting better every week and he arguably played his best game of the year in London. Not only did the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft throw for 319 yards and a touchdown, but he also came up clutch in fourth quarter when the Jaguars needed him most.
With the Dolphins leading 20-17 and under five minutes left to play, the Jaguars were facing a third-and-8 at their own 39. If they didn't convert, they probably would have ended up punting, but they didn't have to make that decision because Lawrence and Marvin Jones did this:
That catch helped set up a 54-yard field goal by Matthew Wright that tied the game at 20 (The kick added even more drama because it looked like it was going to miss before curving in. You can see that kick by clicking here).
On Miami's ensuing possession, the Jaguars' defense came up with a huge stop of the Dolphins on a fourth-and-1 play, which gave Jacksonville the ball back, setting the stage for more Lawrence magic.
The first two plays of the possession weren't so magical: The Jags lost 5 yards on a false-start penalty and then got sacked on the next play.
With Jacksonville now facing a third-and-20 on its own 44 and just 20 SECONDS left to play, Lawrence hit Laviska Shenault Jr. for a 12-yard gain. At that point, the Jags faced a fourth-and-8 from Miami's 44-yard line with five seconds left. Since there only appeared to be enough time for one play, the Dolphins were expecting a Hail Mary, but instead, Lawrence hit Shenault across the middle for a 9-yard gain to Miami's 36-yard line.
The Jags then called a timeout with one second left, which set up Wright's game-winning kick from 53 yards away.
The Jaguars might be 1-5 and their coach might have caused a distraction or two this offseason, but it's pretty clear that this team hasn't quit on Meyer. The Jaguars aren't presently one of the NFL's best teams -- or even in the middle tier of teams -- but with Lawrence under center, they definitely have the foundation to eventually join the NFL's upper-echelon if they can properly build around him. Of course, these are the Jaguars we're talking about, so that's a big "if."
Jacksonville 23-20 over Miami (London)
|The Dolphins' season has been a nightmare so far and not even the return of Tua Tagovailoa could change that. In his first game since Week 2, Tua got off to a hot start by going 8 of 10 for 76 yards on Miami's opening drive, which ended in a TD. However, he cooled off considerably after that with most of his struggles coming in the second half. Of course, it wasn't Tua's fault they lost this game. The QB had no help on the ground -- Miami rushed for just 77 yards on a Jags team that was giving up more than 120 per game -- and the Dolphins also had plenty of questionable coaching decisions from Brian Flores, who lost two challenges on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter.|
|The Jaguars' offense isn't the only reason they won this game. Let's not forget about their defense, which came up big, especially in the second half. Although the unit surrendered more than 430 yards, they came up with several clutch plays, including a fourth-and-1 stop with under two minutes left to play in the game. The Dolphins only had one offensive drive in the second half that made it past Jacksonville's 46-yard line. |
Tennessee 34-31 over Buffalo (Monday)
|Sean McDermott made one of the gutsiest calls of the 2021 NFL season and it backfired in his face when Josh Allen failed to convert a fourth-and-1. The failed fourth down epitomized the Bills' night offensively: They were able to move the ball, but they stalled in the red zone. The final play marked the third time in the game the Bills got inside Tennessee's 5-yard line without scoring a TD (they settled for field goals in the first half). The failed fourth down also overshadowed an otherwise impressive game from Allen, who threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills' biggest problem in this game was that their defense absolutely disappeared after the first quarter. They also had no answers for Derrick Henry, who steamrolled them for 143 yards and three TDs.|
|The Titans defense got beaten up by the Bills for the better part of four quarters, but it came up with a big play when it needed it. The Titans stuffed Allen on a fourth-and-1 play from Tennessee's 3-yard line just seconds remaining to seal the win. Offensively, the Titans exploded for 34 points against a Bills defense that had surrendered the fewest points in the NFL through the first six weeks of the season. Henry carried the Titans offense with 143 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. A.J. Brown also came up big with seven catches for 91 yards, which all came in the second half.|
Cincinnati 34-11 over Detroit
|At the rate things are going, Ja'Marr Chase might have the Offensive Rookie of the Year award wrapped up before the end of October. The Bengals receiver had another huge game with four catches for 97 yards, including a 53-yard catch. Joe Burrow had another efficient game, throwing for 271 yards and three touchdowns, including a 40-yard TD that came on fourth-and-1 in the third quarter. Although the Bengals' offense was good, their defense was better. The Lions didn't reach the red zone or score a single point until garbage time in the fourth quarter. Before that, it was total domination by a Bengals defense that limited Detroit to just 228 yards. This marks the first time since 2017 that the Bengals have held multiple opponents to under 230 yards in a season.|
|For the first five weeks of the season, the Lions actually looked like a competitive football team, but this week, they did not. The Lions got embarrassed in every way an NFL team can be embarrassed: They couldn't run the ball, they couldn't pass the ball and they couldn't stop anything the Bengals did.|
Indianapolis 31-3 over Houston
|The Texans couldn't do anything right against the Colts and whenever it looked like they might do something right, they shot themselves in the foot. This was actually just a 10-3 in third quarter, but then the wheels fell off the wagon for Houston starting with an ugly interception by Davis Mills in the third quarter that set up a Colts TD. The Texans got outscored 21-0 in a second half where they never made it inside of Indy's 20-yard line. Two of those three second-half touchdowns from Indy came after a Texans turnover.|
|This game turned into the Jonathan Taylor show. The Colts running back went off for 145 yards and two touchdowns and he did all of that on just 14 carries. An 83-yard run by Taylor in the third quarter led to a Colts TD that basically iced the win. Taylor's performance overshadowed a huge day from T.Y. Hilton, who came off injured reserve to catch four passes for 80 yards. Defensively, the Colts appeared to be mentally recovered from last week's collapse against the Ravens. The three points by the Texans marked just the second time since 2015 that the Colts have surrendered three or fewer points in a game.|
|After six weeks, you'd think that opposing defenses would realize they need to cover Cooper Kupp, but it didn't happen this week and once again, the Rams receiver went off. Kupp caught nine passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns, marking the fifth time this year he's gone over 90 yards. As great as Kupp was, the Rams' defense was even better. The unit forced four turnovers, including two interceptions by Taylor Rapp, and they also sacked Daniel Jones four times.|
|If Jones has done one thing well in his career, it's turning the ball over, which is something you actually don't want to do well in the NFL. Jones has more turnovers than any other QB since 2019 and he added to that total with FOUR more against the Rams. Jones threw three interceptions and lost a fumble and the Rams took advantage of those turnovers by turning them into 21 points. Although it's easy to blame Jones here, it was an embarrassing all-around effort from a Giants team that was never in this game after the first quarter.|
Minnesota 34-28 (OT) over Carolina
|For the second straight week, Kirk Cousins came up clutch for Minnesota. Cousins threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Most importantly, he threw for 50 yards in OT, including a 27-yard game-winning TD to K.J. Osborn. Cousins got a lot of help from Dalvin Cook, who finally looked healthy while rushing for 140 yards. This game also gave us the reemergence of Adam Thielen, who went over 100 yards for the first time this season. This grade isn't an 'A+' or even an 'A' for the Vikings because they were a disaster on special teams. Not only did they give up a TD on a blocked punt, but kicker Greg Joseph also missed two field goals, including one kick that would have won this game in regulation.|
|If the Panthers need any more proof that Sam Darnold probably isn't their quarterback of the future, all they need to do is watch film of this game. Although Darnold led the Panthers on a game-tying TD drive in the fourth quarter, he was an absolute disaster before that. Darnold completed just 41 percent of his passes and he also threw an interception. The only reason this game made it to overtime is because Carolina's special teams play was much more impressive than Minnesota's. On the Panthers' end, they returned a blocked punt for a TD in the third quarter that gave Carolina a brief 18-17 lead. The Panthers' defense played well through the first two-and-a-half quarters, but then seemed to tire out late in the game, which is what happens when you're on the field for nearly 38 minutes like the Panthers were.|
Kansas City 31-13 over Washington
|Kansas City was able to survive a rocky first half. While they allowed one touchdown off a turnover, the Chiefs' defense was able to hold Washington to field goals instead of touchdowns on two occasions in the game's first 30 minutes. An example of the Chiefs' impressive defensive performance took place after Patrick Mahomes threw his first interception deep in Washington territory. Kansas City's defense forced a quick three-and-out, which set up a short field for Kansas City's offense. The Chiefs' offense parlayed the short field into a Harrison Butker field goal. Kansas City's offense woke up in the second half. The offensive line gave Mahomes better protection while clearing the way for Darrel Williams on the ground. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce also woke up after both players had slow starts. Their contributions in the second half helped the Chiefs' offense convert on eight straight third downs, with the eighth conversion coming on Mahomes' 24-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson that put the game on ice.|
|Washington failed to take full advantage of its big first half. Instead of having a sizable halftime lead, Washington had to settle for a 13-10 advantage. In the second half, when the Chiefs' offense was scoring touchdowns on three consecutive possessions, Washington's offense had two three-and-outs and an interception from quarterback Taylor Heinicke. After putting early pressure on Mahomes, Washington's defense struggled to contain the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback in the second half. They especially struggled to get off the field, as the Chiefs were 11-for-17 of third down and 1-for-1 on fourth down. While they ran for 94 yards on 18 carries, the Football Team had little success through the air. Heinicke threw for just 182 yards, while Terry McLaurin had just 28 yards on four receptions. Washington's biggest offensive contributor was J.D. McKissic, who had 45 yards on eight carries and 65 yards on eight receptions.|
Chiefs-Washington grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Green Bay 24-14 over Chicago
|The thing about getting an early punch or two in on the Packers is you have to keep punching, or else. The Bears let up far too soon, seeing their first quarter lead evaporate in the wake of an awakened Packers team -- fueled largely by the brutal interception thrown by rookie first-round pick Justin Fields into the end zone. Fields thought he had a free play but found out the hard way he did not, and that's when all of the momentum shifted over to the other sideline. Rodgers wasn't perfect on Sunday, but he didn't have to be to beat a Bears team that helped itself lose, but what the future Hall of Famer did was make sure the blows that did land were devastating. Fields would make things interesting with a late-game touchdown, but Rodgers shrugged it off and replied with the knockout blow that let Chicago know there will be no sharesies atop the NFC North going into Week 7.|
|You love the energy the Bears entered this game with, but they couldn't keep the good times rolling on their own field. It was a dominant first quarter defensively, with Rodgers being sacked by both Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn en route to Fields leading the team to an early touchdown -- punched into the end zone by running back Khalil Herbert, but Chicago needed much more from its offense to apply any real pressure to Rodgers by way of the scoreboard. They'd go on to allow 17 unanswered by the Packers and although they showed moxie in shrinking the lead to only three points going into the fourth quarter, allowing a 41-yard catch by Davante Adams and subsequently a rushing touchdown by Rodgers not only ended their day, it led to the latter screaming out "I still own you" at Soldier Field. Big yikes.|
Packers-Bears grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Baltimore 34-6 over L.A. Chargers
|As dominant as Baltimore was, that's how poorly Los Angeles played. The Ravens' defense decided to attack Justin Herbert throughout the afternoon, taking him off his spots and affecting his throws enough where he couldn't improvise down the field. Herbert missed Mike Williams on a deep post on the Chargers' first drive and the offense snowballed from there. He also had no help in the running game as Los Angeles rushed for just 26 yards and 2.2 yards per carry (Herbert was the leading rusher with 12). Los Angeles also has a problem with its run defense, allowing the aging Baltimore running backs to control the game on the ground. The pass rush was able to slow down Lamar Jackson getting off deep passes, but that didn't matter when they couldn't stop the run. The Ravens' offensive line bullied the Chargers front seven all afternoon. The Chargers just didn't seem ready for a prime matchup against an AFC power outside of their division. |
|How about that statement made by Baltimore against a Chargers team that appeared unbeatable based on how it played the last three weeks? The Ravens made your 2016 fantasy football team proud as Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Le'Veon Bell each had a rushing touchdown. Baltimore took full advantage of the Los Angeles run defense, finishing with 38 carries for 187 yards (4.9 yards per carry) in the win. The Ravens' defense was also dominant, allowing just six points to Herbert and the electric Chargers offense -- and might not have allowed any if it wasn't for an ill-advised Jackson interception to give the Chargers a short field. John Harbaugh, Jackson and Freeman downplayed it, but this was a statement win for Baltimore against a division leader. The Ravens have the look of the best team in the AFC, beating their opponents in different ways each week. Don't be surprised if Baltimore ends up with home-field advantage in the AFC come January.|
Chargers-Ravens grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Arizona 37-14 over Cleveland
|Arizona did not need its best effort Sunday against the Browns because the game was never in doubt. The Cards scored a TD on their opening possession and then never took their foot off the gas after that with a score every time they touched the ball in the first half. The Cardinals were missing key figures such as Rodney Hudson, Kliff Kingsbury and Chandler Jones but it did not matter. Arizona needs to clean up the fumbles -- there were four -- but they were fortunate to fall on each. Kyler Murray was responsible for four touchdowns through the air, including two to DeAndre Hopkins.|
|We don't usually hand out this grade, but the Browns earned it, so we're giving it to them. The offensive struggles could have been overlooked and so could the defensive miscommunications but the lack of effort is inexcusable. The Browns resembled the team previously coached by Hue Jackson or Freddie Kitchens rather than the one that went to the playoffs last season in Kevin Stefanski's first year. To make matters worse, the team, who was already without Nick Chubb and both starting tackles, suffered injuries to Kareem Hunt, Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr.|
Cardinals-Browns grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Las Vegas 34-24 over Denver
|Coming into this matchup, we weren't sure what Raiders team we were going to get. This team of course was weathering a storm that had nothing to do with football, as former head coach Jon Gruden resigned from his position on Monday. The Raiders were either going to use this moment to come together, or drift apart. Sunday was about coming together for this team. Derek Carr threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns while the defense took advantage of "Teddy Turnover." Bridgewater threw three interceptions and also lost a fumble, but he didn't have much help from the offensive line, as he was sacked five times. Don't look now, but the Raiders are tied atop the AFC West.|
|Nothing went right for the Broncos on Sunday. Teddy Bridgewater turned the ball over four times, the secondary allowed several big plays and Vic Fangio wasted two challenges in the second half. The frustration was apparent on the sideline. We overestimated the Broncos after their easy start to the season. After three straight losses, it's fair to ask whether they're the worst team in the AFC West.|
Raiders-Broncos grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 35-29 (OT) over New England
|The Cowboys were able to grind out a thrilling overtime win with Dak Prescott connecting with CeeDee Lamb for a 35-yard game-winning score. Dallas had 567 yards of total offense with Prescott passing for 445 yards in the win. Mike McCarthy's team also made plays on defense, forcing two turnovers including a pick six by Trevon Diggs in the fourth quarter. Dallas also had a blocked punt in the win as well. What keeps the Cowboys out of the "A" range, however, is some sloppy play throughout the contest. They were 5 of 17 on third and fourth down combined and were called for 12 penalties for 115 yards. Had they executed a bit differently, overtime might not have been needed. |
|The Patriots moved the ball well to begin the game, logging back-to-back touchdown drives. However, the offense then went silent for the middle part of the game, scoring zero points in the second and third quarter. Mac Jones showed tremendous resilience with a 75-yard touchdown pass following a pick six and was able to put together a 15-point fourth quarter. While they could match Dallas' offense for four quarters, the overtime proved to be where the straw broke the camel's back. New England traveled just 21 yards in the extra period before having to punt it away while the Cowboys were able to drive 80 yards down the field to win the game. New England's O-line continues to be an issue as Jones was hit hard a number of times throughout the afternoon, including a sack where the quarterback fumbled the football. Defensively, the Patriots surrendered 567 yards, which is the most in a regular-season game since Bill Belichick took over as coach. |
Cowboys-Patriots grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 23-20 (OT) over Seattle
|In their first game without Russell Wilson since 2011, the Seahawks put up a solid effort, but ultimately came up short on the road. I'm not sure why they went away from Alex Collins for the overtime period, considering he had been running over the Steelers after halftime.|
|Pittsburgh did not play particularly well in this game -- at least on offense. Najee Harris averaged just over 3 yards per carry and Ben Roethlisberger was a checkdown machine. But the defense was pretty terrific for the most part, and T.J Watt looked every bit the superstar that he is with two sacks, including a strip-sack in overtime that set tup Chris Boswell's game-winning field goal. |
Seahawks-Steelers grades by Jared Dubin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
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