On the tenth birthday of Jacksonville’s love affair with London it took their spectacular defence forcing a lower than stellar go to from the Atlanta Falcons to lastly make their decade-long entanglement really feel worthwhile on the sphere quite than simply their again pocket.
The linebacker Josh Allen’s three sacks and a pressured fumble led his group’s fierce defensive effort whereas back-to-back opening half interceptions had been essential to a 23-7 win as they stay up for subsequent week’s assembly with the Buffalo Payments, one other landmark as Jacksonville play back-to-back clashes within the capital for the primary time.
Whereas the Jaguars will likely be thrilled to get again to a fair 2-2 on the 12 months, Jacksonville’s coffers are nonetheless very a lot on the coronary heart of proceedings as their simple win introduced up one other first for the group. In a brand new business daybreak the place the Jaguars are the only real beneficiary of ticket gross sales, merchandise and concession income, proceedings had been handled like several Sunday at EverBank Stadium in Florida, which has about 65,000 seats in comparison with Wembley’s 90,000. The mathematics of the significantly greater ticket costs right here and a keen viewers is kind of easy.
However after all of the furiously manicured hype of a manufactured anniversary, the quarterback Trevor Lawrence delivered with an beautiful 22-yard improvised run and a casual cross that will result in the previous Falcons receiver, Calvin Ridley, rating the sport’s opening landing. The quarterback confirmed no concern to throw an incoming Falcon astray with a feint after which sail a 30-yard rainbow to Ridley earlier than being flattened by one other onrushing defender.
Atlanta in the meantime wilted within the face of Jacksonville strain as they handed the ball again to the Jaguars for a second time. Allen would mark the cease with a primary sack of Falcons’ quarterback Desmond Ridder. Lawrence then discovered success once more with a 30-yard haul to Christian Kirk because the Falcons’ backfield once more left a receiver in open air to simply make a catch as a slowly simmering first quarter neared its shut. Sadly a sloppy offensive holding penalty would take the warmth out of their assault and go away them to accept a 56-yard subject aim from Brandon McManus because the second body started. Constructive sufficient although. A decade in and fittingly they’d a 10-0 lead.
The Floridian vibes had been in full movement because the solar kissed the Jaguars’ backs whereas they discovered additional dominance on defence by a well-recognized technique. The bulldozing Allen brutalised Ridder once more to clip the Falcons’ wings and drive one other punt. Atlanta would then start to maneuver the ball by the concussive drive of rookie running-back Bijan Robinson just for Ridder to throw an interception gleefully returned 61 yards by Darious Williams for a landing and a 17-0 lead.
Ridder’s afternoon would solely worsen. His subsequent throw was intercepted once more, this time by Andre Cisco. The group erupted in shock at how simple Atlanta and the moribund Ridder had been making this. Some air lastly was let loose of the balloon although as poor play calling from the Jaguars led to a turnover on downs deep in Atlanta territory. A possibility to fully kill the sport was misplaced however, because the half drew to an in depth, Atlanta’s 14 minutes of possession with solely 77 yards of complete offence confirmed how badly they had been being made to misfire.
However a brand new half delivered recent hope and a 15-yard landing from Ridder to Drake London put them on the board at 17-7. The scoring place granted by a 38-yard rumble from Robinson. It took till the second interval to get their most spectacular piece within the recreation however even at this comparatively early stage it felt too late. Robinson was rapidly again within the highlight as he took the ball off his personal goalline and located a vital Atlanta first down. The running-back subsequent discovered the sting to energy up the sideline for 21 yards however the Jaguars nonetheless had sufficient drive to halt any additional inroads.
Lawrence then took over again, leading the Jaguars back deep into enemy territory with a 19-yard pass and a 10-yard scramble, only for a 35-yard toss to be batted off the fingertips of JaMycal Hasty in the endzone. Jacksonville settled for a 43-yard McManus field goal bumping the advantage to 20-7.
The Falcons had the very faintest of hope in only being two scores down with 10 minutes still to play but their misery in attack would be neatly underlined as the 6ft 4in London soared into his namesake’s sky only to catch the ball for a touchdown but step out of bounds. Ridder found his man on one of his very few effective drives but the receiver could only tap a second foot off the field leaving him to hang his head on the sideline and any chance of victory up for the Falcons. Jacksonville would again use McManus’s boot for a 38-yard set of three before Allen’s sack of Ridder forced a fumble from the quarterback to tie a bow on his fantastic afternoon and his team’s win.
Allen and his defence will no doubt be thrilled they can keep rolling next week and turn things up to 11 for the Jaguars over in north London.