The Jaguars seized control at the end, did what they needed to do to win at the Meadowlands and moved to 5-4 while all but ending the Jets’ playoff hopes with a 24-22 win.
As for the end-of-game scenario, bravo to Maurice Jones-Drew passing on the free touchdown the Jets offered him with 1:48 on the clock. He scores and his team’s got a 6-point lead, but the Jets have some remaining life -- they wanted to get the ball back with sufficient time on the clock to drive the field for a game-winning TD.
Jones-Drew’s knee at the 1-yard line is being lauded as the smartest play of the season by some.
But I'm not sure all the clock management was fantastic.
The Jaguars finished the game with two timeouts in hand, and ran the clock down to three seconds before sending Josh Scobee on to kick the 21-yard game winner on third-and-three from the Jets’ 3-yard line.
Is it better to leave a little more time there and allow for the possibility of a bad snap? The holder could fall on the ball, call timeout and have a second chance. I guess Jack Del Rio traded that for the assurance a successful field goal would be the game’s final play.
I saw ESPN.com colleague Seth Wickersham tweet that for a clock management story he did not long ago, one coach told him “the ultimate clock management is scoring game-winning points as game ends. Jags did it today, by strategy.” (He’s @sethwickersham.)
Another good clock management strategy is to show some killer instinct and put away a game you controlled in the first half. Jacksonville had 21 points, 250 net yards and 14 first downs while holding the Jets to 140 yards.
In the second half, Jacksonville had 97 yards and four first downs while allowing 182 yards and scoring only the field goal on the final play.
It was a great win, with great contributions from MJD and David Garrard, who spread the ball around. The offense converted over 50 percent of its third downs (while the defense allowed the same).
It’s too easy to predict results and be wrong. But the Jaguars host Buffalo next week and the Bills don’t defend the run well at all. Odds would indicate Jones-Drew won’t have to show any clock-related self-restraint against them.