Leonard Fournette carries Jacksonville Jaguars to win with career day

DENVER -- Leonard Fournette knew on Thursday night he was going to have a big day against Denver.

That's what his offensive line told him during their weekly dinner, anyway. After struggling to do much in the run game the first three weeks, center Brandon Linder reassured Fournette that things were going to be different against the Broncos. Boy, were they.

Fournette ran for a career-high 225 yards on a career-high 29 carries in the Jaguars' 26-24 come-from-behind victory at Mile High Stadium. He's just the second player in franchise history to surpass 200 yards rushing; the other is Fred Taylor, who ran for 234 yards in the Jaguars' 34-24 victory in Pittsburgh in 2000.

"The O-line had a dinner Thursday and Brandon and everybody else was like, 'Man, we're going to get you there this week,'" Fournette said. "And I believe in them. And I think little things like that, just bonding outside of football, going to lunch with each other ... and also getting trust back."

Fournette ran for 190 yards in the second half, including an 81-yard run that was the second-longest of his career and the second-longest in franchise history. The Jaguars had gone 22 games without a 100-yard rusher -- the second-longest current streak in the NFL (Philadelphia is at 32) -- and now they have one of only two players to have rushed for at least 225 yards in a game in the NFL over the past three seasons.

Fournette finished with 245 yards from scrimmage, which is the third-most in a single game in franchise history. He is now the AFC's leading rusher (404 yards) and is averaging 5.6 yards per rush -- by far the best per-carry average of his career.

Fournette had 179 yards on 43 carries in the Jaguars' first three games, and while that's a respectable 4.2 yards per carry, the bulk of that came on a 69-yard run against Tennessee in Week 3. Marrone said after that game on Sept. 19 and again last Monday that the Jaguars' run game struggles were mainly the fault of the offensive line and that the group wasn't giving Fournette a chance.

That changed against the Broncos.

"Honestly, we blocked better," Marrone said. "I don't want to say all of a sudden ... because that would be going against what I've been saying. There was some room there, but I will say that he was definitely finishing. I think once you get into the line of scrimmage, you're able to finish. If you're getting hit behind the line of scrimmage, it's very difficult to finish.

"... You're going to say he [Fournette] played well, you've got to give a little credit to those guys up front. We beat them up pretty much when we weren't running the football, so you've got to give them a little credit up there."

Said quarterback Gardner Minshew, who led the Jaguars to a pair of TDs and a pair of field goals in the second half (including setting up the game-winning 33-yarder by Josh Lambo): "That's what won us the game. Leonard, Rock [Ryquell Armstead] the whole offensive line and tight ends absolutely dominated. That makes everything so much easier for an offense."