Garrard, Jones-Drew Lead Jaguars To Season Opening Win Over Broncos 24-17

The season opener for the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars offered some contrasts: the Broncos with an identity crisis of sorts as they try to recover from the loss of wide receiver Brandon Marshall while the Jaguars simply wanted this to be a statement game in which they would want to win to get an early positive start in the AFC South.

I think it would be stating the obvious when I say that one of these teams accomplished their goal.

Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 98 yards and David Garrard was efficient, which was enough for Jacksonville to hold off Denver 24-17 at EverBank Field on Sunday.

The first quarter for both teams was inconsequential as they went scoreless. Probably more like a chess match as field position was of utmost importance early.

Business would pick up late in the second quarter when Garrard connected with tight end Marcedes Lewis on a 21-yard toss, giving Jacksonville a 7-0 lead;16 seconds later, Denver would strike back as Kyle Orton threw a touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney down the middle, tying the game at 7 with 0:!6 left in the first half. That would be the score as both teams went to their respective locker rooms.

Garrard and Lewis would hook up again – this time a 10-yard TD pass from Garrard – to increase the Jaguars’ lead to 14-7. As in the first quarter, the Broncos would come back with a score of their own, a 1-yard TD run by Knowshon Moreno which tied the game at 14. A 45-yard Josh Scobee field goalput Jacksonville up 17-14 with 45 ticks left in the third quarter.

3 minutes and forty seconds into the fourth quarter, Matt Prater boomed a 54-yard FG, knotting the affair at 17; former San Diego Charger wide receiver Kassim Osgood caught a 24-yard pass from Garrard with 7:59 remaining in the game, putting the Jaguars ahead 24-17.

While the scoring was expected, the Broncos suffered, thanks to a pair of costly penalties from defensive Ryan McBean – one a facemask as he grabbed Jones-Drew’s facemask on Jacksonville’s winning drive.

Garrard was efficient as he went 16-of-21 for 170 yards with 3 TD while Orton went 21-of-33 for 295 yards with a TD and an interception.

Jones-Drew led all Jaguars rushers with 98 yards while Moreno led the Broncos’ rushing attack with 60 yards and a score.

Mike Thomas led all Jacksonville receivers with 89 yard on 6 catches while Lewis caught 2 passes for 31 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Brandon Lloyd led the Denver receivers with 5 receptions for 117 yards while Eddie Royal grabbed 8 for 98 yards.

Jacksonville (1-0) has a tough test next Sunday as they travel to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego to take on the Chargers. Denver (0-1) looks to hit .500 as they return home to host the Seattle Seahawks in their season home opener – also next Sunday.

Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to NFL Gridiron Gab via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily news updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

Comments are closed.