The Jacksonville running back stopped at the 1 and took a knee, keeping the clock ticking and setting up Josh Scobee’s(notes) 21-yard field goal that gave the Jaguars a 24-22 victory over the New York Jets as time expired Sunday.
“Sorry to my fantasy owners,” Jones-Drew deadpanned. “I apologize. I had myself today. It was a tough call, but whatever it takes to get the victory, that’s what counts.”
With the Jaguars (5-4) facing second-and-6 from the 10, Jones-Drew took a handoff up the middle and went down to give Jacksonville first-and-goal from the 1 with about 1 1/2 minutes left.
“They said get a close as you can and take a knee,” said Jones-Drew, who had an earlier 33-yard touchdown run. “I was looking for someone to tackle me.”
New York (4-5) had no timeouts left, and the Jets offense could only watch from the sideline as the time melted away.
David Garrard(notes) took a knee on the next two plays, giving Scobee the opportunity to kick the winner for the Jaguars and make up for an earlier 49-yard miss. Jones-Drew’s play reminded Garrard of when Philadelphia’s Brian Westbrook(notes) also took a knee at the 1 to seal a late-season win over Dallas in 2007.
“It was impressive to see him do that for the team,” Garrard said. “There are a lot of questions to be asked about what if this doesn’t go right, or that doesn’t go right. Everything went right, so we can smile on the way back to Jacksonville.”
The Jets came out of their bye-week break making the same mistakes that plagued them in the first eight games. New York has dropped five of its last six, and is headed to AFC-leading New England next Sunday.
“Now we’re 4-5 and we’re not impressive,” wide receiver Braylon Edwards(notes) said. “We’re not scaring anybody. We’re not intimidating anybody coming onto the field, so that 3-0 start is a wash. That’s over with.”
Thomas Jones(notes) gave the Jets a 22-21 lead on a 1-yard touchdown dive with 5:04 remaining. The score capped a 16-play drive that included three third-down conversions and a fourth-and-1 conversion—a 14-yard run by Shonn Greene(notes) that got the Jets down to the 1.
New York went for the 2-point conversion, but Edwards dropped it when he was hit hard. Given a lead, the Jets’ defense, which came in ranked No. 2 overall, couldn’t hold the Jaguars.
New York’s defense had trouble tackling in the first half, allowing Jacksonville to gain 250 yards. With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, the Jets allowed a 15-yard catch by Mike Thomas(notes) and a 33-yard grab by Marcedes Lewis(notes) to help set up Scobee’s kick.
Jones-Drew had 123 yards on 24 carries, becoming the first player to rush for 100 or more yards against the Jets this season. Garrard was 16 of 26 for 221 yards and a touchdown to Mike Sims-Walker(notes), and also ran for a score.
“It might as well have been a pick-6,” Sanchez said. “That’s the way you feel as a quarterback and that’s the way you look at the game.”
Jacksonville took advantage immediately, giving the ball to Jones-Drew five straight times with the final carry a 33-yard scamper up the middle for a touchdown.
Garrard gave Jacksonville a 14-10 lead with an 11-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
Sims-Walker made it 21-10 with 2:44 left in the first half with a 26-yard catch. New York had a chance to end the drive on fourth-and-4 from the 34, but Thomas caught a 7-yard pass to allow Jacksonville to become the first team to convert on fourth down against the Jets.
“We can’t wait for somebody to make a play,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “We have to go make it and be in attack mode. Right now, there’s something missing and we have to find it.”
NOTES: Del Rio said wide receiver Jarrett Dillard suffered a season-ending broken right ankle on the first play of the second quarter. Mathis strained a leg midway through the fourth quarter, and will be re-evaluated Monday. … Leonhard left briefly after injuring his right thumb in the first quarter. It was heavily wrapped, and he wasn’t sure of the severity of the injury.