CINCINNATI (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars jumped out to a surprising 14-0 lead in the first half and had the chance to put the Cincinnati Bengals in a deeper hole.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars drove to inside the Bengals’ 1-yard-line. With under minute left in the half, Lawrence tried to sneak it over right tackle, but the hole was plugged up by Cincinnati linebacker Logan Wilson and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi.
That was a turning point. Cincinnati came out and scored two third-quarter touchdowns to tie the game. The Bengals ended up scoring on all four second-half possessions, with Evan McPherson kicking the game-winning field-goal for the 24-21 victory as time ran out Thursday night.
No regrets by coach Urban Meyer, who said he had “no doubt” about going for the touchdown on fourth down that close to the goal line.
“We were close to making that play,” Lawrence said. “We all felt good with it, and it was something we had run all week. We were all on the same page.”
Meyer said he still felt good at halftime.
“I felt like our defense was playing so well,” he said. “And on offense, James (Robinson) was running ball, and we were controlling the line of scrimmage. That’s how you win games — take care of the ball and get first downs. I felt really good.”
Cincinnati (3-1), which couldn’t find any traction in the first half, grabbed the momentum away from Jacksonville in the second behind quarterback Joe Burrow’s 348-yard, two-touchdown passing performance.
“We’ll have to regroup a little,” Lawrence said. “This one hurts to be up 14-0 and somehow come up on the wrong side of it. We’ll bounce back. I know what we’re made of. Seeing how we handled the first three weeks, I know nothing will change. I really want to get a win with these guys.”
The Jaguars’ loss ruined the Ohio homecoming for Meyer, who grew up in the northeastern part of the state, played safety at the University of Cincinnati and coach Ohio State to the 2014 national championship.
The Jaguars are having some hard luck. They led Arizona 19-17 late in the third quarter, having done just about everything right for much of the game. A botched flea-flicker led to a Lawrence interception. The Cardinals forced two more turnovers in the fourth quarter and won 31-19.
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