Jags D, Scobee Upsets Ravens, 12-7

The Jacksonville Jaguars got their second win, upsetting the Baltimore Ravens 12-7, in a classic defensive battle on Monday Night Football.

The Ravens always have one of the best defenses in the league behind Ray Lewis, but the Jaguars showed that their defense can play with anyone as the two teams traded defensive stands and three-and-outs.  The game featured 16 punts between the two teams.

And to be clear – this wasn’t a sloppy offensive game, which many times passes for a “defensive struggle,” but the game featured good, hard-nosed defense and excellent tackling on both sides of the ball, as neither team gave up a big play.

The Jags held Baltimore to 34 rushing yards on 12 carries, and under 175 yards of total offense.  Maurice Jones Drew was the only offensive highlight of the night, with 105 yards rushing, but it took him 30 carries to get there, well below his season average yards per carry.

Jones Drew also fumbled the ball three times, although the Jaguars recovered 2 of the 3 fumbles.

Actually, all of the Jaguars points were provided by kicker Josh Scobee, who hit four field goals, three from beyond 50-yards, to secure the win in a game in which the Jags were unable to score a touchdown.

“Josh Scobee is Mr. Automatic,” QB Blaine Gabbert said. “He doesn’t miss, which is an awesome safety blanket, but we’ve got to come away with seven instead of three.”

Gabbert was 9 of 20 for 93 yards in the winning effort, while Ravens QB Joe Flacco was 21 of 38 for 137 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Both quarterbacks averaged under 5 yards per attempt.

In a game which has become so offense-focused that 300 and 400-yard passing games are becoming commonplace this season, it’s nice to see two teams prove that you can play old-school, smash-mouth defense.  And while fans of high-scoring shootouts may have been disappointed, this footage could be provided as a clinic on how to play defense and tackle, something a few teams around the league could benefit from watching.

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