JACKSONVILLE – That was brave, even a little glorious.
The result was a dramatic, from behind – and late in the game – victory for a young, improving Jaguars team in need of such a moment.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence had perhaps his most impressive performance in the NFL and running back Travis Etienne Jr. scored two touchdowns as the Jaguars moved from a 17-point deficit in the first half to a 24-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders by 62,758 at TIAA Bank recovered field Sunday afternoon.
“It was a great team win,” said head coach Doug Pederson.
It was the second biggest comeback in franchise history. The Jaguars rebounded from a 21-point deficit in a 25-24 win over the New York Giants in 2014.
“It was just everyone playing together,” said Lawrence, who completed 25 of 31 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. “We kind of knew we had to get this one this week. Of course you don’t try to put more pressure on yourself than necessary, but everyone knows where we are in our season.
“No one panicked when we got into that hole early and of course it feels good to win one. We found ways to overcome today. It’s not like we played perfect but we did found a way to win.”
Etienne’s touchdown in the first game of the fourth quarter gave the Jaguars their first lead, and a 48-yard field goal from kicker Riley Patterson with 1:03 remaining gave them the final win.
“It shows the maturity and character that we have in this locker room,” said wide receiver Christian Kirk. “We had our backs to the wall, but we had the maturity and leadership to have a short-term mindset. We knew it would finally break open for us.
The Jaguars knocked out the Raiders in the second half, with rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd intercepting a cross in the Raiders’ final multilateral game to secure the win.
The Jaguars (3-6) broke a five-game losing streak, a losing streak in which all five losses were by fewer points and the Jaguars led in every game. The Raiders slipped to 2-6.
“It feels a lot better,” said Etienne, who rushed for 109 yards on 28 carries – his third straight game to rush for more than 100 yards. “We have the ‘W’. We just wanted it more. We just said to hell with it. We were tired of losing. I feel like everyone had this attitude, ‘Just give it your all and let’s see what happens.’ It sucks coming here every week, every day just knowing L happened.
“We just had this mindset. We were just tired of losing.”