Trevor Lawrence led the Jacksonville Jaguars to a dramatic, last-gasp 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins, ending the NFL’s second-longest losing streak.
Jacksonville had lost their last 20 games, but after Matthew Wright converted a 53-yard field goal as time expired, the Jags celebrated the first win of Urban Meyer’s reign as if they had won the Super Bowl.
Miami were in control for much of the first half, but their inability to convert possession into touchdowns cost them dear.
Jacksonville Jaguars brought an end to their 20 game losing streak on Sunday
The returning Tua Tagovailoa threw two touchdown passes to Jaylen Waddle but Lawrence was able to jolt the Jags into contention with two touchdown drives either side of half-time.
And while the Jags won for the first time in 399 days, Miami’s losing streak is now five games straight. Both teams had multiple chances to put the game to bed, but Jacksonville take the win after a bold call on fourth down and Wright’s heroics.
With DeVante Parker out, Waddle took on the mantle of Tagovailoa’s top target. And in his first game for three weeks, the second-year quarterback showed little ill-effect from fractured ribs.
Offered unusually good protection from one of the NFL’s most porous offensive lines, Tagovailoa finished off a 13-play, 75-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to former Alabama team-mate Waddle. It knocked 7min 15 seconds off the clock.
Jacksonville marched straight up the field. Lawrence was equally commanding but the drive stalled in the red zone after a poor drop from Dan Arnold. Forced to kick a field goal, Matthew Wright obliged from 40 yards, the first the Jags had made all year.
Swapping between Brissett and Tagovailoa at quarterback, the personnel made little difference as Miami marched forward, largely unopposed. Another drop, this time from Miles Gaskin, stalled their next possession in the red zone, but Jason Sanders’ field goal made it 10-3.
Three straight punts later and the Dolphins had Jacksonville on the ropes. On fourth and 2, Miami were in touching distance of the touchdown which could have broken Jacksonville. But the Dolphins failed to make the possession count and settled for another Sanders field goal.
Matthew Wright’s (middle) field goal was the decider in a tightly contested match
Down 13-3 and with half-time in sight, Jacksonville needed to conjure something. It came from Lawrence, who tossed a 28-yard, cross-field beauty to Marvin Jones Jnr. He acrobatically gathered and with 40 seconds left in the half. Jacksonville were alive.
It was much-needed for the game, and when Sanders shanked a 58-yard effort the Jags went into half-time reinvigorated.
After Rudimental’s half-time show, Jacksonville made it back-to-back scoring drives with Robinson bundling over from a yard. Suddenly, they were up 17-13.
And after Miami continued to misfire, punting after a penalty laden drive, all that was needed was composure.
Lawrence took the Jags within Miami territory, but with the chance to extend the lead in sight he was hit by Clemson team-mate Christian Wilkins, Zach Sieler recovering the sack fumble.
But Miami’s euphoria didn’t last long. With the following pass, Tagovailoa was intercepted by Nevin Lawson – the first of his 96-game career.
Briefly, attention turned to the north west corner of the stadium. Last week a giant beer snake was unfurled, but this time security were not having it. Three security staff pounced to remove the plastic glasses but as soon as they did chants of: ‘Feed the snake!’ echoed around.
Punters took it into their own hands as plastic glasses rained down.
Another baffling decision from Meyer saw the Jags decline a field goal. After failing to convert on fourth down, Miami marched downfield. This time they took the chance, Tagovailoa hitting Waddle for his second score of the day.
The Jags levelled after Wright’s second field goal of the day. With 3minutes 40seconds on the clock Miami once again had the game in their hands.
But after going for it on fourth down, they fell short and turned the ball over.
Jacksonville were punished by a false start, then Lawrence was sacked twice. Third down and 20, Lawrence found Laviska Shenault for a 12-yard gain.
Five seconds on the clock, the duo combined to put the Jags within field goal range.
And after Wright converted, it sparked wild celebrations.