JAGUARS 31, PATRIOTS 20 | MORE COVERAGE
■ Blake Bortles threw four touchdowns, the Jacksonville defense held New England to just 302 yards, and the Jaguars notched their first win against the Patriots in the regular season. (Read more)
■ Jim McBride’s game breakdown: Best Tom Brady impersonation, best play, worst start, best start, third-down degree, quote of the day, worst squander, worst turnaround, best coverage plan, best strategy, the silver lining, and everything in between. (Read more)
■ Ben Volin: This time, it was Dante Fowler and the Jaguars making the key play, and making sure the Patriots didn’t complete a Hollywood ending. (Read more)
■ Tara Sullivan: Everything in this game seemed so un-Patriot-like, so un-Brady-like. It was a day that came out of opposite land, Brady was cast as the old man withering in under a 107-degree heat index, playing opposite the younger, fresher Bortles refusing to melt when the stakes burned their hottest. (Read more)
■ Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler, and the Jaguars said they expected to beat the Patriots. Now, it doesn’t sound so much like trash talk — it sounds like they were right. “We knew we were better,” cornerback A.J. Bouye said. (Read more)
■ Chad Finn: The Jaguars’ win doesn’t come with a banner, but they’re justified in feeling like it’s a huge one, and it positions them as the favorite in the AFC. That, and 19 other thoughts from New England’s loss. (Read more)
■ Instant Analysis: Yes, the Patriots played poorly on both sides of the ball, but this game is no screaming indictment against them. (Read more)
Blake Bortles plays the game of his life, and the Jaguars crush the Patriots
On a day when the game-time temperature was a record high for a Jacksonville Jaguars game, Blake Bortles and his teammates delivered a sizzling performance to defeat the Patriots, 31-20, on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.
Bortles played the game of his life, completing 29 of 45 passes for 377 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception, while the Jacksonville defense held New England to 302 yards. It was the first time the Jaguars have defeated the Patriots in the regular season, and also a rematch of the AFC Championship Game.
“We didn’t do a good enough job in any area,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “There’s a long list. Playing, coaching, every part of the game just wasn’t good enough.
“We didn’t do anything that we really needed to do to win this game [or] give ourselves a chance to win it. The results were what they were.”
Tom Brady, who was sacked twice and fumbled once, was 24-of-35 passing for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Rob Gronkowski was held to two catches for 15 yards, his fewest receiving yards in a game since 2011.
“You have a bad day against a good team, that’s a recipe for losing,” Brady said.
The Jaguars converted 10 of 14 third-down chances, compared to four of 12 for the Patriots, and averaged 7.0 yards per play, including 8.4 yards per pass. New England averaged 5.0 yards per play and just 5.9 yards per pass.
“We’ve got to make improvement. I think September, October, that’s what it’s for,” Brady said. “I think there’s a lot of practices we need, a lot of time that we need to figure out what we do well and what we don’t do so well. But you’ve got to try to win in the meantime.”
Although the Patriots made it interesting in second half, forcing a fumble, coming up with an interception, and pulling within 11 points, they couldn’t mount another signature comeback.
Brady and the offense had a chance to pull within one score with 12:35 left. But on a third and 9 from Jacksonville’s 24-yard line, trailing 24-13, defensive end Dante Fowler hit Brady and caused a fumble. Fowler came up with it, zapping all of the Patriots’ momentum. The Jaguars scored their final touchdown to seal it two possessions later.
“I was just getting ready to actually throw it away, because I felt like someone was coming, and the next thing the ball’s on the ground. I’ve got to throw it away quicker,” Brady said.
Jacksonville opened a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with Bortles tossing two touchdown passes, the first to Donte Moncrief and the second to Keelan Cole. Bortles threw his third touchdown pass of the opening half with 14 seconds left, finding Austin Seferian-Jenkins. His third was a 61-yard catch-and-run by Dede Westbrook in the fourth.
The Patriots were without defensive end Trey Flowers and safety Patrick Chung for the second half after they were ruled out with concussions.
Photos from the game
Here are updates from the game as it unfolded:
Jaguars 31, Patriots 20 (2:49): Defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. is down on the field.
Jaguars 31, Patriots 20 (3:48): Wide receiver Chris Hogan catches a pass up the middle and takes it in for a-29 yard touchdown — his second of the day. Cornerback D.J. Hayden sacked Tom Brady for a loss of six yards earlier on the drive.
Jaguars 31, Patriots 13 (7:35): Wide receiver Dede Westbrook converts a short catch-and-run play into a 61-yard touchdown.
Jaguars 24, Patriots 13 (8:15): The Jaguars challenged and won the ruling on the field that James White got enough for a first down. Ryan Allen booted a 59-yard punt and a 17-yard return put Jacksonville at its own 39-yard line.
Jaguars 24, Patriots 13 (12:26): Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. strips Tom Brady and Jacksonville regains possession at its own 32-yard line.
First sack of the day for the Jaguars. Fowler gets around Waddle for the sack-strip. Crusher for the Patriots— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Jaguars 24, Patriots 13 (13:30): Linebacker Kyle Van Noy intercepts a pass from Blake Bortles intended for Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Brady and the Patriots took over at the Jaguars’ 26.
Give Jonathan Jones an assist on Van Noy's interception. Bortles never saw him dropping into the throwing lane— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Jaguars 24, Patriots 13 (14:10): Stephen Gostkowski trims the lead to 11 with a 46-yard field goal. James White rushed for 33 yards on the drive. The Patriots had a chance to put more points on the board, but wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson stumbled backward for a loss of two yards after fielding a screen pass from Brady on third and 4.
Absolute momentum killer by Patterson. But Gostkowski drills the FG and it's now 24-13 Jaguars with 14:10 left 4Q. Still plenty of time left...— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Injury update: Jaguars receiver Donte Moncrief has a knee injury and is questionable to return.
Jaguars 24, Patriots 10 (0:47): Jaguars go three-and-out on 65-second drive.
Jaguars 24, Patriots 10 (1:42): Tom Brady connects with wide receiver Chris Hogan for a seven-yard touchdown.
Brady to Hogan, quick slant for the 7 yard touchdown. Jalen Ramsey in coverage— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Brady hit each of his three pass attempts on the eight-play, 48-yard drive and rushed for 10 yards. Sony Michel also rushed for 20 yards on the drive. Defensive end Calais Campbell was flagged for unnecessary roughness following the score.
Jaguars 24, Patriots 3 (5:48): Cornerback Stephon Gilmore strips Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark, and safety Duron Harmon recovers the fumble at Jacksonville’s 48-yard line.
Jaguars 24, Patriots 3 (7:50): Josh Lambo makes a 28-yard field goal.
Flowers and Chung ruled out: Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers has been ruled out with a concussion. He left the game in the first quarter. Patriots safety Patrick Chung has also been ruled out with a concussion.
Patriots defensive personnel updates to start the second half:
The Eric Rowe benching continues into the second half. Jason McCourty still in— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
First-half stats: Tom Brady completed 12 of his 18 pass attempts for 107 yards, while Bortles completed 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 200 yards. Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon leads all rushers with 49 yards on five carries, while Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole leads all receivers with 77 yards and a touchdown on four catches. The Patriots’ wide receivers (Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett) were limited to 26 receiving yards, while their running backs were held to 29 rushing yards.
Jaguars 21, Patriots 3 (0:09): Blake Bortles and Austin Seferian-Jenkins connect for a four-yard touchdown. Jacksonville has scored a touchdown on three of its four drives.
Jags LT Robinson won’t return: Jacksonville left tackle Cam Robinson has been ruled out with a knee injury. He went down about midway through the first quarter.
Jaguars 14, Patriots 3 (2:45): Stephen Gostkowski drills a 29-yard field goal. The Patriots advanced the ball 83 yards to Jacksonville’s 11-yard line but couldn’t connect for a touchdown in the red zone. On the 16-play drive, running back James White caught two passes for 21 yards and Tom Brady completed 9 of 11 passes for 57 yards on the possession. The 8-minute-20-second drive was the longest by New England since 2015.
Jaguars 14, Patriots 0 (4:14): Linebacker Telvin Smith is flagged for lowering his helmet before hitting Chris Hogan. The penalty was half the distance to the goal, moving the Patriots to the Jacksonville 11-yard line.
Telvin Smith called for lowering the head. Not sure I see the penalty on that one, as he led with his shoulder. Referees saw the big hit and felt something should be called— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Jaguars 14, Patriots 0: After Keelan Cole beat Eric Rowe for a touchdown, Jason McCourty replaced Rowe in the lineup.
Eric Rowe, beaten by Keelan Cole 2x on that last drive, is now on the bench. Jason McCourty playing corner opposite Gilmore.— Nora Princiotti (@NoraPrinciotti) September 16, 2018
Jaguars 14, Patriots 0 (2:10): Cole beats cornerback Eric Rowe for a 24-yard touchdown. Bortles completed five of his six passes on the seven-play, 84-yard drive.
Keelan Cole with his best Bo Jackson impression, running all the way up into the tunnel.— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Jaguars lead, 14-0, with 2:10 left 1Q.
Wow. That video of Josh McDaniels chewing out the offense. His face turned nuclear red— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Jaguars 7, Patriots 0 (4:30): Wide receiver Keelan Cole reels in a one-handed grab for a 22-yard gain.
Catch of the year by Keelan Cole— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Jaguars 7, Patriots 0 (6:14): The Patriots go three-and-out. Running back Sony Michel touched the ball on all three plays. Michel caught a pass for 7 yards, rushed for 2 yards, and rushed for a loss of 1 yard.
Jaguars 7, Patriots 0 (7:46): Quarterback Blake Bortles connects with wide receiver Donte Moncrief for a four-yard touchdown. Bortles completed five of his seven passes on the drive for 43 yards.
Bortles with the fade pass to Donte Moncrief, great catch over Stephon Gilmore for the TD. Went right at Gilmore— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Patriots 0, Jaguars (8:23): Defensive end Trey Flowers is down on the field after colliding with lineman Keionta Davis. Flowers walked off the field under his own power and visited the blue medical tent. The Patriots later announced he is being evaluated for a concussion.
Patriots 0, Jaguars 0 (11:39): Stephen Gostkowski misses a 54-yard field goal. He was
Patriots 0, Jaguars 0 (13:12): Tight end Jacob Hollister hauls in a 23-yard reception for his first catch of the season.
The Patriots’ offense opened with this group as the starters: QB Tom Brady, RB Rex Burkhead, WR Phillip Dorsett, TE Jacob Hollister, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Dwayne Allen, T Trent Brown, G Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, G Shaq Mason, T LaAdrian Waddle.
The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff.
Game-time temperature nears 100 degrees
It is hot: The game-time temperature was announced as 97 degrees, making this the hottest contest in Jacksonville history and the hottest game the Patriots have ever played.
New England has played two 90-degree games (at Carolina Panthers in 2005, at New York Jets in 2008) but never one hotter than 90 degrees.
Quarterback Tom Brady is back in his old helmet: Brady was spotted sporting his familiar Riddell VSR-4 after wearing the Riddell Precision Fit SpeedFlex throughout the preseason and in Week 1. Brady is one of several NFL players who have to change their helmets by the start of next season after 10 styles were banned by the league for performing poorly in laboratory research testing for impact severity. Players may continue to wear the banned styles this season, but Brady had already begun experimenting with an approved model.
Brady previously told reporters there are just a “few little tweaks” he’d like to make to the newer helmet — namely, to the facemask.
Who will field punts for the Patriots? Perhaps this is an indication:
Patriots have Patrick Chung and Chris Hogan fielding punts. Hogan has never done it in an NFL game. Chung has done it seven times (three returns for 11 yards, four fair catches)— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
Nora Princiotti wrote about why the Patriots can’t just have a kickoff returner field punts. “They’re two very, very different balls to field,” special teams coach Joe Judge said.
The pregame scene
A plane flying a banner that reads “MYLES JACK WASN’T DOWN” was spotted over TIAA Bank Field ahead of kickoff. Here is why a group of fans raised funds to make it happen.
WR Coleman among Patriots’ inactives: Offensive lineman Brian Schwenke, cornerback J.C. Jackson, wide receiver Corey Coleman, defensive end Derek Rivers, running back Kenjon Barner, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, and cornerback Keion Crossen are inactive for New England.
Brady's weapons today:— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 16, 2018
WR: Hogan, Dorsett, Patterson
RB: Burkhead, White, Michel
TE: Gronk, Allen, Hollister
Running back Leonard Fournette headlines Jaguars’ list of inactive players: In addition to Fournette, linebacker Leon Jacobs, defensive tackle Eli Ankou, offensive linemen Chris Reed, Josh Walker, and Will Richardson Jr., and defensive end Dawuane Smoot are all inactive.
Pregame story lines
Rookie running back Sony Michel reportedly will make his NFL debut: Michel, who missed the majority of the preseason due to recovery from a knee procedure, is set to play his first game as a Patriot, according to multiple reports. Michel did not play against the Houston Texans in Week 1 and was initially listed as questionable after being limited in practice last week. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Friday Michel “gets better every day.”
If he clears pregame warmups without any setbacks, running back Rex Burkhead is expected to play as well. Burkhead, also listed as questionable, entered concussion protocol last week. It is unknown when he suffered the concussion. Burkhead missed practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday and Friday. Belichick did not have an update on his status Friday, telling reporters the team will follow protocol.
Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell (knee) has been added to the Jaguars’ game status report as questionable: Throughout the week, Campbell was a full participant during practice and did not appear on the injury report.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette likely will not play: According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars do not expect Fournette to play Sunday. The 23-year-old did not participate in practice last week after he strained his right hamstring against the New York Giants in Week 1. Fournette rushed for 41 yards. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone was initially optimistic about Fournette’s status, telling reporters Friday that the back has stayed involved with team meetings and would be “ready to go” if healthy.
Fournette was listed as questionable on the team’s most recent game status report and was expected to be a game-time decision.