October 24, 2012

2011: Scobee Kicks Jaguars to Upset of Ravens

The Jacksonville Jaguars were floundering at 1-5 with no relief in sight as they took on the Baltimore Ravens on October 24, 2011. It had been nothing but one defeat after another for Head Coach Jack Del Rio’s team following an opening-week victory over the Titans. While the offense contained a formidable talent in RB Maurice Jones-Drew, scoring points was difficult with QB Blaine Gabbert very much a work in progress and a weak receiving corps. The defense was the far better unit, but could only do so much without more point production.

Meanwhile the Ravens, under Head Coach John Harbaugh, had been to the postseason in each of the previous three seasons and was 4-1 coming into the contest at Jacksonville. Long known for solid defense, Baltimore’s offense featured an outstanding running back of its own in Ray Rice and a skilled, if oft-criticized, quarterback in Joe Flacco.

There was a crowd of 62,976 for the Monday night game at EverBank Field. Neither offense was able to move effectively during the first quarter. The Jaguars got the first break when Rice fumbled (his first in 522 touches) and CB Rashean Mathis recovered at the Baltimore 34. But after a drive that featured Jones-Drew runs of 11 and 12 yards, the star running back fumbled on a first-and-goal play at the three and LB Jameel McClain recovered for the Ravens (originally ruled down by contact, the call was reversed upon replay).

Baltimore couldn’t get beyond its own seven yard line in the ensuing series and Sam Koch’s punt was returned 28 yards by WR Mike Thomas to give the Jaguars good field position at the Ravens’ 33. A nine-yard sack of Gabbert by LB Terrell Suggs in a third-and-four situation moved the ball back to the 36, but Josh Scobee (pictured above) successfully kicked a 54-yard field goal to make it a 3-0 game in favor of Jacksonville.

The defensive struggle continued into the second quarter. Midway through the period, Gabbert started a series for the Jaguars with back-to-back completions of 24 yards to WR Jason Hill and 11 yards to WR Mike Sims-Walker to get to the Baltimore 38. The drive stalled there and once again Gabbert was sacked on third down, but the ensuing punt was nullified when DE Paul Kruger was penalized for running into the kicker. While it was just a five-yard penalty, it led to three more points for the Jaguars as Scobee again connected from 54 yards. Neither of the teams was able to get out of its own territory for the remainder of the period and the score remained 6-0 at halftime. The Ravens had failed to register a first down and gained a total of just 25 yards of offense for the half (as opposed to 85 yards for the home team).

Jacksonville got the ball first in the third quarter and put together a long drive of 68 yards in 16 plays, helped along by three costly penalties on the Ravens. Scobee kicked his third field goal of the game from 22 yards to extend the lead for the Jaguars to 9-0.

Baltimore responded with a series that made it to the Jacksonville 27, but on third down Flacco was sacked for a seven-yard loss by FS Dwight Lowery and Billy Cundiff missed a field goal attempt from 52 yards.

Heading into the fourth quarter the teams traded punts until, with 5:22 on the clock, the Ravens put together a long scoring drive. Starting from their 10, Flacco completed five straight passes and, going to the air on every play, went 10 for 13. The last was complete to WR Anquan Boldin for a five-yard touchdown and, with the successful extra point, it was a two-point game at 9-7.

Now with just over two minutes remaining, Baltimore attempted an onside kick, but it was touched by a Raven before going the required distance and Jacksonville took over. Three short carries by Jones-Drew set up a 51-yard field goal attempt by Scobee that was successful. While there was still time for the Ravens to try and win the game, a Flacco pass was intercepted by CB Drew Coleman to nail down the 12-7 win for the Jaguars.

In a game in which neither offense had much success, Jacksonville led in total yards (205 to 146) and first downs (13 to 11). Baltimore’s normally proficient ground game was held to 34 yards while the Jaguars had just 73 net passing yards. The Ravens turned the ball over twice, to one turnover by Jacksonville, and also hurt themselves with 10 penalties.

Maurice Jones-Drew (pictured above) was, not surprisingly, the key to the offense with 105 yards on 30 carries, making him the first running back to reach the 100-yard mark in a game against the Ravens defense in 2011. Blaine Gabbert completed 9 of 20 passes for 93 yards, and while none were for scores, he also threw no interceptions. Jason Hill was the top receiver with 4 catches for 62 yards. Josh Scobee became the sixth NFL placekicker to boot three field goals from over 50 yards in a game.

For the Ravens, Joe Flacco was successful on 21 of 38 throws for 137 yards with a TD and an interception. Ray Rice rushed for just 28 yards on 8 carries but also led the club in receptions with 5 catches for 35 yards. Anquan Boldin gained 40 yards on his four receptions that included the only touchdown of the game.

“It finally feels good to win one after all those losses,” said Maurice Jones-Drew.

“They basically beat us with their defense,” summed up Coach Harbaugh for the Ravens. “I don’t think it was any one thing. It was a lack of execution. It’s almost as bad as you can play on offense.”

“You’ve got to give them (the Jaguars) credit,” added Anquan Boldin. “They played like it was their Super Bowl.”

The Jaguars lost the next week and won just once more before Coach Del Rio was fired. Overall, they ended up with a 5-11 record to finish third in the AFC South. Baltimore recovered to win 8 of their remaining 10 regular season contests and top the AFC North at 12-4. The Ravens advanced to the AFC Championship game before succumbing to the New England Patriots.

Maurice Jones-Drew led the league with 343 carries for 1606 yards and was a consensus first-team All-Pro as well as Pro Bowl selection.

In his eighth season with Jacksonville, Josh Scobee ranked third in field goal percentage (92 %) as he connected on 23 of 25 attempts. He was five of six from 50 or more yards out.


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