Trevor Lawrence throws the ball in Week 1 game against Houston
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws a pass against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Costly Jaguar Mistakes Give Falcons The Win 21-14

The Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) suffered their third straight loss as they drop a game to the Atlanta Falcons (5-6) Sunday afternoon 21-14 at TIAA Bank Field. The second quarter of the game proved fatal for the Jaguars as the team suffered numerous penalties on top of a fumble and interception.

Falcons on the board in first

Atlanta drove the ball to begin the game. The two teams traded punts, both struggling to produce anything offensively. On the Falcons second possession, quarterback Matt Ryan got into a rhythm and cruised Atlanta easily downfield. Jacksonville couldn’t extinguish the Falcons offensive spark, and Cordarrelle Patterson ran to the left end for a seven yard touchdown. Atlanta kicker Younghoe Koo’s kick was good, and the end of the first left the Falcons were up 7-0. 

Jaguars suffer from mistakes in the second

The Jaguars’ gameplay in the second quarter included penalties, an interception and a fumble. At Atlanta’s 35-yard-line, quarterback Trevor Lawrence launched a deep pass intended for wide receiver Marvin Jones, but Falcons’ safety Duron Harmon intercepted. Atlanta got the ball back at their own one-yard-line but was only able to advance a mere eight yards. 

Right before the Falcons punt, the referees threw their yellow flags at Jaguars’ defensive end Lerentee McCray for a neutral zone infraction. The five yard penalty was enforced, making it Atlanta’s ball yet again. Two incomplete passes by Ryan left the ball in Jacksonville’s hands, but not for long. 

On second and two, Jaguars’ running back James Robinson fired up the middle for one yard before fumbling. Falcon’s defensive end Marlon Davidson wasted no time and scooped the ball up to make it Atlanta’s ball at the Jaguars 29. This set up prime field position for Ryan and the Falcons, but the Jaguars defense prevented a touchdown.  Koo kicked a field goal, but the piercing ring of the referee’s whistles followed. Jacksonville recorded another penalty, this time for leverage. The field goal was nullified, and Patterson took advantage of the Falcons second chance with a 12-yard touchdown up the middle, making the score 14-0. 

https://twitter.com/AtlantaFalcons/status/1465032766077165569?s=20

Despite all the costly mistakes made, the Jaguars were able to make it on the board before halftime. Lawrence moved the ball up 70 yards in 14 plays for kicker Matthew Wright to hit a 22-yard field goal. Even with a late interception by Ryan, the Jaguars couldn’t produce anything more. The second quarter ended with the Falcons up 14-3. 

Jaguars fall in second half

The Falcons took the early jump in the third. In a little over five minutes, Atlanta advanced 88 yards downfield. Ryan hit a short pass to wide receiver Russell Gage for a touchdown, making the score 21-3. 

Both teams traded punts before Jacksonville’s biggest drive of the game. Lawrence got the Jaguars to the red zone, and a short pass to wide receiver Tavon Austin got Jacksonville its first and only touchdown of the game. Lawrence stayed on field for a two-point conversion attempt, and his pass to tight end James O’Shaughnessy was successful. The Jaguars were down 21-11 at the end of the third.

Lawrence started the fourth quarter explosive. The quarterback made two 20+ yard passes to push the Jaguars within touchdown range. However, Jacksonville could not capitalize.  An offensive holding penalty on offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor moved the ball back to Atlanta’s 16-yard-line, where Lawrence then made three straight incomplete passes. Wright added points to the scoreboard with a 34-yard field goal, now 21-14 Falcons. 

Jacksonville got the ball back one final time with over two minutes of play left. It didn’t make much difference as Lawrence threw four consecutive incomplete passes. The end of the fourth quarter left the Falcons victorious, 21-14. 

“We wanted to come out with a win, but I think offensively we were a lot more efficient,” Lawrence said. “The number one thing is finishing drives. We gotta score more touchdowns.”

The Jaguars didn’t just focus on their pass game Sunday. Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said Jacksonville ran the ball decently in the game.

“I think a lot of the shotgun runs were really good today,” he said. “We kept running the ball, and as a result we got within striking distance to win a game.”

What’s next

Both teams play Sunday. The Jaguars travel to take on the Rams while the Falcons prepare to go up against the Buccaneers.

About Kaitlyn Wadulack

Kaitlyn Wadulack is a third-year journalism student specializing in sports and media at the University of Florida. You can reach Kaitlyn at k.wadulack@ufl.edu

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