Jaguars fade in 2nd half, lose 17-10 to Jets
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With Jacksonville's offense sputtering, tight end Marcedes Lewis called his teammates together for impromptu meeting on the sideline.
It did little to turn things around.
"We can win these games, but not when we don't execute on easy things," guard Eben Britton said.
Like so many other times this season, hardly anything went right for coach Mike Mularkey's team.
Chad Henne had a pass tipped and intercepted near the goal line. Rookie receiver Kevin Elliott, starting in place of Cecil Shorts III, dropped two balls and was flagged for illegal touching on a key play with about a minute left. Britton was manhandled inside, giving up three sacks.
Josh Scobee missed a 55-yard field goal wide left to close out the first half. And the Jaguars just missed blocking two punts.
Especially gut-wrenching for Jacksonville (2-11) was Dwight Lowery's touchdown return that was overturned in the second quarter.
Lowery picked up Jeremy Kerley's fumble and took it 62 yards for an apparent score that would have given Jacksonville a 10-0 lead. But officials reviewed the play and ruled that Kerley had touched Lowery down. The Jaguars punted five plays later.
"We need things like that to happen for our team to help us win and help us with momentum," Mularkey said. "We're coming up short with them in one way or another."
Still, the Jaguars had a chance late.
Henne hooked up with Jordan Shipley for 28 yards on a fourth-and-15 play with 48 seconds remaining, moving the Jaguars into Jets territory. But Ellis Lankster ended with the game with an interception -- one that came two plays after Elliott stripped a near-pick out of his hands.
Henne completed 21 of 43 passes for 185 yards, with two interceptions. Justin Blackmon caught six passes for 57 yards, but also had a drop.
The most telling stat: Jacksonville managed just 6 yards in the third quarter.
The Jets (6-7), meanwhile, gained 99 yards in the decisive stanza.
Greene scored on a 1-yard plunge in the third quarter, and Powell added a 4-yarder early in the fourth. Powell's score made it 17-3 in a game that looked every bit like one featuring two of the NFL's worst offenses.
Although the Jaguars turned Sanchez's first-half fumble into a field goal, he ended up having a decent day. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards, including a 37-yard completion on third down that helped the Jets milk the clock in the closing minutes.
"I tried to put extra emphasis on being smart with the ball," Sanchez said. "I thought it was a good, efficient day for all of us."
Tebow, who sat out the last two games while recovering from two broken ribs, was healthy enough to serve as New York's backup quarterback in his hometown. But he never got off the bench.
"It's definitely special coming back," Tebow said. "The Jacksonville fans are always awesome. It was fun for me. ... You want to play. You want to help your team. It can be hard. I had some great memories in this stadium, from Pop Warner to college.
"If there was an opportunity, I would love to play. But I'm just happy we got a win."
About the only positive for Jacksonville was Montell Owens.
The longtime special teams ace made his first career start at running back and finished with 91 yards on 14 carries.
He seemed to catch the Jets by surprise on a second-and-17 play, running 32 yards for a touchdown that made it 17-10 with 7:06 remaining.
"I've always been a running back," Owens said. "I accepted the role as a special teamer with open arms. That is just what I've been asked to do. It's not about me or what I want to do. It's wherever I need to be to best help this team win."
NOTES: Jets rookie WR Stephen Hill injured his right knee in the second quarter and did not return. Ryan said tests would determine the extent of the injury. "Hopefully it's not too severe," Ryan said. The Jets already have WR Santonio Holmes on injured reserve. ... Owens' rushing touchdown was his first since December 2008. ... Owens, CB Derek Cox and TE Marcedes Lewis all left the game for Jacksonville, but later returned.
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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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