Blake Bortles passed for 377 yards and four touchdowns as the Jacksonville Jaguars avenged last season’s loss in the AFC Championship game with a 31-20 victory over the visiting New England Patriots on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.
Keelan Cole caught seven passes for 116 yards and one touchdown for his third career 100-yard receiving game for the Jaguars (2-0). Donte Moncrief, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Dede Westbrook also caught scoring receptions for Jacksonville, which defeated the Patriots for the first time in eight all-time regular-season meetings.
Tom Brady passed for 234 yards for the Patriots (1-1) and threw two touchdown passes to wideout Chris Hogan. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, subject to recent criticism from Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey, had just two receptions for 15 yards.
The Jaguars outgained the Patriots 481-302.
Jacksonville played without standout runner Leonard Fournette (hamstring) and lost left tackle Cam Robinson (left knee) during the game. New England lost safeties Patrick Chung and defensive end Trey Flowers to concussions.
New England trailed 24-3 when Jacksonville receiver DJ Chark lost a fumble that Patriots safety Duron Harmon recovered at his own 48-yard line with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter. New England cashed in with Brady tossing a 7-yard scoring pass to Hogan to pull within 14 points with 1:42 left in the quarter.
The Patriots tacked on three more points on Stephen Gostkowski’s 46-yard field with 14:10 left in the contest.
New England got the ball back 47 seconds later when linebacker Kyle Van Noy recorded an interception at the Jacksonville 25 after Seferian-Jenkins couldn’t handle the pass. Two plays later, Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler strip-sacked Brady and recovered the fumble to thwart the drive.
Less than five minutes later, Westbrook turned a short pass into a 61-yard touchdown, catching the ball at his own 44 and meandering down the left sideline to make it 31-13 with 7:35 remaining. Brady threw a 29-yard pass to Hogan to trim Jacksonville’s lead to 11 with 3:40 left, but New England didn’t get the ball again.
Jacksonville started fast with two touchdowns in the opening 13 minutes with Bortles tossing a 4-yard scoring pass to Moncrief and a 24-yarder to Cole. The Patriots finally got on the scoreboard with 2:45 left in the half when Gostkowski booted a 29-yard field goal.
The Jaguars responded by driving 75 yards on 13 plays with Bortles connecting on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Seferian-Jenkins to make it 21-3 with nine seconds left in the half.
Jacksonville opened the second half with a 15-play, 71-yard drive that took just over seven minutes. Josh Lambo capped it with a 28-yard field goal to increase the margin to 21.
—Field Level Media