Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) high-fives tight end Evan Engram (17) during the second quarter of a regular season NFL football matchup Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Jaguars edged the Ravens 28-27. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

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Clinging to slim playoff hopes, Lions, Jaguars clash

The Jacksonville Jaguars and host Detroit Lions bring identical records into their matchup on Sunday.

At 4-7, both teams would probably need to run the table to challenge for a playoff spot. Yet in different ways, they each enter the contest with a renewed sense of confidence.

Jacksonville rallied from a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens 28-27 last Sunday. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t often resembled a No. 1 overall pick, but he looked like a star in the making during the comeback.

Lawrence led the Jaguars on a 10-play, 75-drive in the final two minutes, culminating with a touchdown pass to Marvin Jones and a two-point conversion toss to Zay Jones.

It’s a much bigger longshot for the Jaguars to go on a winning streak and join the playoff race, but coach Doug Pederson won’t discount that possibility.

“I’ve been around this league a long time. Anything is possible,” Pederson said. “Detroit’s in a situation where they could go on a little run here and affect the outcome of their season too. Yes, we understand that it’s a one-game season, the importance of this game and we’ve got some really good opponents down the stretch here.”

Lawrence passed for a season-high 321 yards and three touchdowns against the Ravens.

“I see a player who’s gotten better, particularly over the last three or four weeks,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “That last drive last week was — that was big. Every week I feel like, man, if you’re not careful, he’ll pick you apart.”

The Lions had a three-game winning streak halted in their annual Thanksgiving Day game but earned some national respect in the process. Buffalo, one of the league’s top teams, needed a field goal in the closing seconds to escape with a 28-25 win.

“Oh, it’s turned (the corner),” quarterback Jared Goff said. “We’ve turned and have won three of our last four and felt like we had a good chance to win last week and feel like we can play with anybody. So, yeah, we’re there and certainly a different team than we were earlier in the year and can play with anybody and beat anybody.”

Goff hasn’t thrown an interception over the last three games. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes compared to three interceptions in six home starts this season.

“The offensive line is really good at protecting Jared,” Pederson said. “He’s done a nice job of distributing the football. They’ve been scoring points. It hasn’t been one of their issues. They’re putting points on the board and (gone on) a little bit of a hot streak recently.”

Jamaal Williams has emerged as a premier goal-line back, scoring an NFL-best 13 touchdowns.

Goff doesn’t feel like the playoffs are out of reach, despite the team’s record.

“Last year, you think about this time last year, and you’re kind of out of it. Just human nature, it’s hard to get going every day,” he said. It’s hard to get yourself ready to go on Sundays and even throughout the week, Wednesday through Friday. Now, we’re in the mix.”

Detroit’s biggest injury concern entering the game is offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who missed Wednesday’s practice due to an ankle injury. The Jaguars top running back, Travis Etienne Jr., was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a foot injury.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars roll dice, pull off dramatic victory over Ravens

Trevor Lawrence threw three touchdown passes and the Jacksonville Jaguars gambled on a successful two-point conversion with 14 seconds remaining to beat the visiting Baltimore Ravens 28-27 on Sunday.

Lawrence completed 29-of-37 passes for 321 yards for Jacksonville (4-7). With just over two minutes to play, Lawrense started the Jaguars on their eventual game-winning drive, covering 75 yards with 10 plays while eating just 1:48 off the clock.

The drive was capped off by Lawrence connecting with Marvin Jones Jr. for a 10-yard touchdown. On the two-point conversion, Lawrence found Zay Jones on a pass to the left side of the end zone. Jones finished the day with 11 receptions for 145 yards.

With just 14 seconds on the clock, Baltimore (7-4) put Justin Tucker in position for a 67-yard field-goal attempt, but his kick was short as the Ravens’ four-game winning streak came to an end. Tucker made four other field goals on the day.

Lamar Jackson totaled 343 yards of total offense for Baltimore, carrying the ball 14 times for 89 yards and completing 16-of-32 passes for 254 yards. His lone touchdown was a 12-yard strike to Josh Oliver that gave the Ravens a 27-20 lead with 2:02 remaining. Baltimore converted a two-point conversion after the score.

The game featured seven lead changes. Baltimore built a 6-0 advantage in the first quarter on field goals from 27 and 29 yards by Tucker. Jacksonville went ahead 7-6 on a 29-yard touchdown from Lawrence to JaMycal Hasty, who entered the game for an injured Travis Etienne Jr. It was Hasty’s first career TD catch.

The Ravens extended their lead to 19-10 in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run from Edwards. That score capped off a seven-play 25-yard drive for Baltimore, which was set up by Tyus Bowser’s strip sack on Lawrence. It was the 13th straight game Baltimore has forced a turnover, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Jacksonville responded with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Lawrence’s 1-yard TD pass to Jamal Agnew for a one-yard score, and then got a 29-yard field goal from Riley Patterson to take a 20-19 lead with 4:19 remaining.

The game’s opening kickoff was delayed 25 minutes for severe weather concerns.

Jacksonville linebacker Foyesade Oluokun set a franchise record for the most tackles by a Jaguars player in the first half with 13.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) takes the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens take aim at 5th straight win in visit to Jaguars

The Baltimore Ravens aim to build on their four-game winning streak Sunday when they visit the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars.

Baltimore (7-3) is coming off a dominant defensive performance this past Sunday, beating the visiting Carolina Panthers 13-3. The Ravens held the Panthers to 3-of-13 on third- and fourth-down conversions, forced the Panthers into three turnovers and sacked Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield four times.

The Ravens are second in the league in turnovers forced (19), third in fewest rushing yards allowed (864) and ninth in sacks (31). Their defense also leads the league in fewest third downs converted against, with just 38. Opposing teams convert on third downs just 32.8 percent of the time against the Ravens, a mark that is third-best in the league.

“It was a workman-like win,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “It wasn’t pretty, but our defense stepped up in a big way, controlling the run and getting the turnovers.”

Baltimore is, of course, also led by one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the game in Lamar Jackson. Against the Panthers, he completed 24-for-33 passes for 209 yards and an interception while also rushing 11 times for 31 yards and a touchdown.

Jackson leads the NFL in rushing yards per attempt with a 6.9 average. He has three rushing touchdowns this season and 16 passing scores.

The Ravens’ rushing attack could be bolstered this week by the return of running back Gus Edwards, who practiced on Wednesday. He’s been out since injuring his hamstring on Oct. 27 against Tampa Bay.

Harbaugh also said this week that tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and safety Kyle Hamilton (knee) are “trending in the right direction.” Harbaugh says veteran wideout DeSean Jackson will “hopefully” be back this week and he practiced Wednesday.

Jackson, Stanley, Hamilton and tight end Mark Andrews did not practice Wednesday. Neither did guard Kevin Zeitler, defensive tackle Calais Campbell, or corners Marcus Peters and Jalyn Armour-Davis (hip). Harbaugh said Jackson is dealing with an “issue” but will play Sunday.

“Just wanted to hold him back and let him rest today,” Harbaugh said.

Campbell spoke to reporters Wednesday and is also expected to play. He played in Jacksonville (3-7) before joining the Ravens in 2020. The 36-year-old is two sacks away from having 100 in his career.

“It’s a little sentimental I guess, but really, it’s just another football game,” Campbell said. “I’ve had some success on that football field, but my mindset is to stay in the moment … For me, it’s just another opportunity to get a big win.”

The Jaguars are coming off a bye week. In their Nov. 13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw a pair of touchdown passes, but was also sacked five times.

It’s been rare this season for Lawrence to be sacked that many times. Among quarterbacks who have started at least 10 games this season, only Jared Goff and Tom Brady have been sacked fewer times than Lawrence (17).

On the season, the Clemson product is completing 65.2 percent of his passes and has 13 touchdowns against only six interceptions — one season after tying for the NFL lead with 17 picks as a rookie. He also has three rushing touchdowns.

Lawrence’s improvement has led the Jaguars offense to ranking ninth in total yards this season at 362.2 per game.

“I think for us the key is playing complementary football,” Jacksonville wideout Christian Kirk said. “That’s one thing we have to do — offensively, defensively and special teams. For us, it’s putting it all together.”

Jacksonville placed linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson on the IR/Designated for Return List.

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (27) runs the ball in the second half against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars claim RB Darrell Henderson Jr., off waivers

The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed running back Darrell Henderson Jr. on Wednesday one day after the running back was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Rams.

Henderson, who led the Rams with 283 rushing yards, is expected to fill the backup role behind rookie Travis Etienne.

Jacksonville waived offensive lineman John Miller to open up a roster spot.

Henderson received just four snaps as the Rams lost 27-20 to the host New Orleans Saints on Sunday. He rushed twice for 9 yards.

Rams coach Sean McVay said Monday that Henderson had a knee issue during pregame drills.

Henderson, 25, carried the ball 70 times in 10 appearances (seven starts) this season and scored three touchdowns. He also had 17 receptions for 102 yards.

Henderson rushed for 1,742 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 66 passes for 474 yards and four scores in 50 games (28 starts) for Los Angeles.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with wide receiver Kadarius Toney (19) after a touchdown during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes’ 4 TD passes lead Chiefs past Jaguars

Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers as the Kansas City Chiefs captured a 27-17 win over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Mahomes completed 26 of 35 passes for 331 yards, finding Travis Kelce, Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Noah Gray in the end zone. Mahomes also threw one interception as Kansas City (7-2) won its third straight game.

Kelce had six receptions for 81 yards, and Isiah Pacheco rushed for 82 yards on 16 carries.

Trevor Lawrence threw for 259 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Christian Kirk on 29-for-40 passing for the Jaguars (3-7), who have lost six of their past seven.

Travis Etienne was held to 45 yards on 11 carries, and Kirk nabbed nine catches for 105 yards.

Lawrence threw a 4-yard touchdown to Evan Engram on Jacksonville’s first drive of the third quarter, but the score was nullified due to an ineligible man downfield. The Jaguars settled for Riley Patterson’s 35-yard field goal, punctuating a march that ate 9:14 of the clock.

But Kansas City later went up by 17 as Mahomes and Kelce teamed for a 7-yard touchdown near the end of the third. Kirk’s 19-yard TD catch cut Jacksonville’s deficit to 27-17 with 5:26 remaining, but that was the closest the Jags came.

In the first half, Mahomes’ 13-yard TD strike to Gray gave the Chiefs a 20-point lead with 46 seconds left, but Jacksonville responded with a vengeance.

The Jaguars took just 31 seconds to move 61 yards in five plays, pulling to 20-7 just before the break when Lawrence found Kirk in the end zone from the Kansas City 3.

In the first quarter, Kelce’s 46-yard reception highlighted a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Mahomes’ short pass to Toney, who tiptoed along the sideline from 6 yards out for his first NFL touchdown and a 7-0 edge.

After Patterson missed a 51-yard field goal, Mahomes found Valdes-Scantling three plays later for an 18-yard TD to double the Chiefs’ advantage with 9:55 left in the first half.

Kansas City receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster exited the game in the second quarter after taking a hit to the head, forcing him to enter the concussion protocol.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (9) celebrates after a catch and run against the Tennessee Titans during overtime of the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster injured, out vs. Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars with an apparent head injury.

Smith-Schuster was running a crossing route in the middle of the field before being hit by Jaguars safety Andre Cisco with 6:40 remaining in the second quarter. Cisco made contact with Smith-Schuster’s head but was not penalized since it appeared he had led with his shoulder.

Smith-Schuster wasn’t able to secure the ball and fell to the ground immediately. He was taken to the locker room with the help of the training staff.

Prior to exiting, Smith-Schuster had two catches for 33 yards. He entered Sunday’s game with 44 receptions for 582 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with Kansas City.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gestures on the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans during the second half of the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson guides Jags vs. former mentor Andy Reid’s Chiefs

There often comes a day when the student becomes the master. Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is just hoping that day doesn’t come any time soon.

Reid will be pitted against one of his former disciples Sunday when the Chiefs take on the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC showdown.

Doug Pederson is in his first year as coach of the Jaguars (3-6) but knows a thing or two about Reid after serving on his coaching staff in Kansas City and Philadelphia after also playing for him in 1999.

Reid knows Pederson will have his team ready to go.

“They look organized, and they have good energy,” Reid said of Jacksonville. “When you watch enough tape, there’s a certain trust that you can see through the players to the coaches indirectly.”

Pederson values the lessons he’s learned from Reid, but come game day, winning takes precedence.

“He’s taught me a lot about this game. It’s always fun to go against him and his teams because you know they’re going to be well coached and well disciplined,” Pederson said. “But once we tee it up, we’re focused on the game.”

In an attempt to oust his former mentor, Pederson will likely heavily utilize running back Travis Etienne, who blossomed midway through the season despite not starting the first five games.

Etienne, who missed last season due to a foot injury, has officially taken over as Jacksonville’s lead back after James Robinson was traded to the New York Jets. He’s rushed for over 100 yards in each of the last three games while recording all four of his touchdowns during that span.

Due to his increased workload, Etienne has also climbed his way up the leaderboards and now has the fifth-most rushing yards in the league (680).

“If you’re not giving that ball to one (Etienne) at least 25 times a game, what are you doing?” Jaguars tight end Evan Engram said according to the team’s website. “That kid’s special. Our offensive line is one of the best in the league, too, so we have to run the ball. That’s our identity. We have to keep going with it.”

Following a performance in which he racked up 109 yards along with two touchdowns in Jacksonville’s 27-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday, Etienne now turns his attention to a Chiefs defense that has struggled to contain the run as of late.

Kansas City (6-2) allowed an average of 65.8 yards on the ground through its first four games but has since surrendered an average of 138.3 over the last four.

Derrick Henry went for 115 yards as part of the Tennessee Titans’ 172-yard rushing performance against the Chiefs last weekend, but Kansas City was able to escape with a 20-17 win in overtime.

The Chiefs will be searching for their third straight win, but might be without wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who missed Wednesday’s practice with an abdomen injury.

Safety Rayshawn Jenkins (concussion) did not participate in the Jaguars’ practice on Wednesday, while Engram (back) was limited.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Mack Hollins (10) gestures after a first down during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars overcome 17-point deficit to take down Raiders

Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns as the Jacksonville Jaguars ended a five-game losing streak with a 27-20 victory against the visiting Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday afternoon.

Trevor Lawrence completed 25-of 31 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (3-6), who trailed 20-7 late in the first half.

Davante Adams caught 10 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders while quarterback Derek Carr finished 21 of 36 for 259 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders (2-6), who dropped to 0-5 on the road this season.

The Jaguars trailed 20-10 at the half before Jamal Agnew ran the second half kickoff back to the Las Vegas 46-yard line. Jacksonville scored nine plays later on a 7-yard pass from Lawrence to Christian Kirk to cut the deficit to 20-17 with 10:15 left in the third quarter.

Etienne scored his second touchdown on a 5-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to cap a 12-play 82-yard drive and give the Jaguars their first lead at 24-20.

The Raiders failed to convert a fourth-down pass with 2:25 left, and Riley Patterson kicked a 48-yard field goal to extend the lead to 27-20 with 1:03 remaining.

Carr hooked up with Adams for a 25-yard touchdown on the second drive of the game to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead with 4:45 left in the first quarter.

Daniel Carlson booted a 38-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with 14:08 left in the second quarter.

The Raiders extended the lead to 17-0 with 10:51 left in the first half. Carr faked a double reverse and hit Adams wide open in the middle of field for a 38-yard touchdown, the 80th of Adams’ NFL career.

The Jaguars altered the dynamic from there. Etienne scored on a 1-yard run to cut the lead to 17-7 with 4:50 left in the first half.

Carlson nailed another 38-yarder, his 41st consecutive made field goal, to extend the lead to 20-7 with 45 seconds left in the first half.

The Jaguars had time to move the ball into Raiders territory and cut the lead to 20-10 on a 44-yard field goal by Patterson as time expired.

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) warms up before a game against the Houston Texans at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Slumping QBs take spotlight in Raiders-Jaguars battle

The Las Vegas Raiders might feel like they’re looking in a mirror when they visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Both teams are hungry for a win and desperate for better play from their quarterbacks, who were considered the backbone of their teams heading into the season.

Vegas (2-5) has lost two of three and quarterback Derek Carr is coming off one of his worst performances in a 24-0 loss at the New Orleans Saints last Sunday. The ninth-year starter completed 15 of 26 passes for 101 yards and an interception.

The Jaguars (2-6) are stuck on a five-game losing skid and the adjusted quarterback rating for Trevor Lawrence has plummeted to 46 percent, which ranks 21st in the NFL.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has thrown 10 touchdowns but has been intercepted six times and has lost four fumbles.

He’s beginning to face sharp criticism, both nationally and in Jacksonville.

“If you want (the criticism) to go away, you start working on it, and you work on it to go away,” Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson said. “That’s something that I can help him with. I know the staff can help him with and try to put most of this behind him. Trevor does a nice job of sort of compartmentalizing things and keeping things on the back burner and just focusing on his job.”

The Jaguars acquired skilled wide receiver Calvin Ridley from the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, but Ridley is suspended through at least the 2022 season for betting on NFL games during the 2021 season.

Pederson said he’s not allowed to communicate with Ridley until he’s reinstated.

“We won’t know what we have until the league clears him,” Pederson said. “We understand that, but at the same time, we feel like we’re getting a really good football player and adding (him) to a good room, and great leaders in that room that will embrace him when he finally gets here.”

Wide receiver/kick returner Jamal Agnew (knee) was the only Jacksonville player on the Wednesday injury report. He was listed as limited.

Carr received a nod of approval from Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler when he met with reporters on Wednesday.

Ziegler said he’s been impressed with how fluidly Carr has adjusted to a new offensive system under first-year coach Josh McDaniels.

“From the mental side of it, very smart, picked up the system, learned the system well, and he’s continued to grow into the system,” Ziegler said of Carr. “I think that there’s a natural progression to that, and I think he’s made steady progress in terms of learning the system, learning the checks, being comfortable with the reads, and I think he’s done a good job. He competes very hard, and I think he’s done a lot of good things. I think he’s improved as the season’s (gone) on.”

The Raiders lured wide receiver Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers in the offseason, but he’s been mostly hot and cold with Las Vegas. Adams caught just one of five targets against the Saints for 3 yards.

“Whether it’s (Carr) or another player, they all need to continue to work to improve,” Ziegler said. “But I think Derek’s done a good job. I think he’s done a good job leading the team. I think he’s done a good job managing the game and, like I said, with him and every other player, we want to see continued improvement.”

Adams was limited during practice on Wednesday because of an illness as was tight end Darren Waller (hamstring). Wideout Mack Hollins (heel) was also limited. Starting linebacker Divine Deablo (back/wrist) did not participate.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) runs after a catch against the Washington Football Team in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Jaguars trading for suspended WR Calvin Ridley

The Jacksonville Jaguars are trading for suspended Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

The sides are trying to finalize the deal, reportedly complex, ahead of the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Regardless, Ridley would remain suspended through at least the 2022 season for betting on Falcons games in 2021.

The Falcons are set to receive a 2023 fifth-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-rounder that could potentially become a second-round pick, per the reports.

According to ESPN: The pick will remain Round 4 if Ridley is on the Jags’ roster; it elevates to Round 3 if Ridley reaches certain incentives; it becomes a Round 2 if the Jags sign Ridley to a contract extension.

Ridley was suspended last March for at least one year for betting on NFL games during the 2021 season. Ridley bet on games between Nov. 23-28, 2021, while away from the team for personal reasons. Ridley forfeited his 2022 salary of $11.1 million, which tolls to the next season (2023) and would become a liability of the Jaguars.

Ridley played in five games (all starts) last season. He finished 2021 with 31 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

Since being selected No. 26 overall by the Falcons in the 2018 draft, Ridley has 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 TDs in 49 games (35 starts).

–Field Level Media