With the Houston Texans on their bye week and the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans facing each other, that left just one other team from the AFC South in play this week. The Jacksonville Jaguars were prohibitive underdogs going into Green Bay to face a resurgent Packers' squad without the main cog of their offense, Maurice Jones-Drew. The Packers escaped with a hard-fought 24-15 victory, but the Jags showed some fight in the loss.
When the Packers blocked a Jacksonville punt to jump in front 14-3 midway through the second quarter, it appeared the rout was on. But Blaine Gabbert showed that he just might be the answer in Jacksonville after all, rallying the Jags for 9 unanswered points to leave the Jags only two points down at the half.
An Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass at the beginning of the fourth quarter once again appeared to be the dagger that would kill the Jags, but they bounced back with a field goal drive of their own to keep it a one score game. Not until Mason Crosby delivered a 25 yard field goal with 25 seconds left was the game finally clinched for Green Bay.
Gabbert topped 300 yards and did not throw a pick as the Jags' passing game became the new focal point of their offense. Rashad Jennings filled in for MJD, but didn't provide the ground support needed, gaining only 59 yards on 17 carries.
It was the Jacksonville defense which stood tall, allowing only two offensive touchdowns from a Green Bay offense that had been on fire the previous three weeks and was finally returning home. Rodgers threw two TD passes, but was held under 200 yards for the day and Green Bay rushed for only 2.5 yards per carry. On the day, the Jags outgained the Packers 279-172. That may be the most startling statistical outcome of the NFL season thus far.
Still, the Jags leave Wisconsin 1-6 and losers of four straight. Their only win remains against the Colts on that miraculous 80 yard slant route. Jacksonville will be without Jones-Drew for a second straight week as they host the Detroit Lions.
In addition to the Colts-Dolphins clash in Indy, the Texans return from their bye week in Chicago to face the Bears in what some think may be a Super Bowl preview. The Texans ball control offense will face a major challenge from a stiff Bears' defense.
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