Jaguars End Season Ice Cold in Cleveland in 23-17 Setback

With only a slim shot at the playoffs, the Jaguars took the field in Cleveland playing like they were ready to start their vacations early. Jacksonville, totally out of their element in minus temps at the start with the wind chill, were outplayed from top to bottom by a four-win Browns team, losing 23-17 to end the season at 7-9.

It’s a tough way to end what could have been at least a wild card season for the Jags, who at one point controlled their own destiny when they sat at 6-4 before they lost games to the Niners, Dolphins, Colts and Patriots before finishing off the collapse with a loss to the Browns.

The team played with little heart, as after a Josh Scobee 47-yard field goal tied the game at three in the first quarter, the Browns ran off 17 points to go up 20-3 entering the fourth quarter. The Jags got a touchdown when David Garrard hit Zack Miller with a 6-yard TD to make it 20-10, but Cleveland iced the game with a 33-yard Phil Dawson field goal that came after a 14-play drive that ate up 8 minutes of fourth quarter clock to make it 23-10.

Jacksonville did have a late drive, which showed some fight as they went 95 yards in 16 plays in the last 2:17, and Garrard hit Miller again, this time from 15 yards out to end the scoring at 23-17. Garrard was 22-for-39 for 202 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 82 yards on 16 carries.

The major difference was the Browns run game, which went through the Jags for 214 yards. Jerome Harrison ran for 127 yards on 33 carries, and Josh Cribbs playing the wildcat had 9 carries for 47 yards including a 25-yard run. Browns QB Derek Anderson threw just 11 times, making good on 7 of them for 86 yards.

The offseason will again be full of questions for a Jags team that already was limping into the final week. Players were being asked in the locker room about the future for coach Jack Del Rio, as ending without a playoff birth after being 6-4 and 7-5 means once again it will be a long offseason in Jacksonville.

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