The Jaguars caught the Patriots off guard at first, namely with their no-huddle offense, which helped Jacksonville build a 13-3 lead.
But it didn’t help that Tom Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter, leading to two Jaguars field goals off the turnovers. The Patriots had just come off a disappointing 41-34 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in which they had a season-high four turnovers.
But on Sunday, the Patriots were able to bounce back, reeling off 20 straight points before Jacksonville threatened to tie the game with seconds still on the clock. Thanks to a last-second interception by Patrick Chung, his second of the day, the Patriots held on for a 23-16 win.
After the game, both Brady and defensive captain Vince Wilfork were still upset that the team had been down against the lowly Jaguars, who are now 2-13, and let the game stay so close.
“Yeah, we played pretty terrible out there,” Brady said, opening his press conference. “We started slow, couldn’t do anything offensively, couldn’t make any plays.
“In the run game, the pass game. It was just a poor game overall.”
Said Wilfork: “I don’t know if we were flat or what. [But] it showed that we wasn’t ready to go right away.”
He added: “I’m proud of the way we responded. But at the end of the day, it won’t be good enough.”
The Jaguars set a franchise record with 202 yards of total offense in the first quarter led by Chad Henne. Henne finished the game with 348 yards on 29 of 51 passing with a touchdown and three interceptions.
Henne’s final pass, with five seconds in the game, was lobbed up to the end zone, a free for all that Chung easily came away with. Henne had been forced into the awkward throw after pressure from Patriots defensive lineman Chandler Jones, Jones’ second pressure on the quarterback that resulted in a Chung interception.
“We had some pressure, but we had pretty good coverage,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “We don’t really want to put ourselves in this situation, but fortunately we were able to bail out of it.
“We’ve had a couple of those, one in the Denver game, similar situations,” Belichick continued. “So [we] stepped up and made the plays. And those are the plays we need to make to win. And defensively I think we’ve made them.”
The Patriots have an NFL leading +22 takeaways and have gone 26 straight games causing a turnover.