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8 Takeaways from Jets' Gritty 23-20 OT Win

Powell & McGuire Runs, Ealy PDs, Catanzaro Game-Winner Lift Green & White over Jaguars


The Legends were in the house, Kevin Mawae became the 18th member of the Ring of Honor at halftime, and he led the white-clad fans in a rousing J-E-T-S chant.

All the Green & White needed to crown the day was another inspiring home effort against another game Florida opponent and stun a lot of NFL spectators by rising to 2-2 after the first quarter of the season.

The Jets got the W. But it wasn't easy.

Led by the double-barreled ground game of Bilal Powell and rookie Elijah McGuire and a defense that got better as the game wore on, the Jets prevailed 23-20 in overtime.

The hosts had opened a 20-10 lead but had to survive two turnovers involving Josh McCown throws for Powell that allowed the Jaguars to tie it at 20 and send it to overtime. But after three exchanges of punts, the Jets were positioned to put it away and they did on Chandler Catanzaro's third field goal.

Here are eight takeaways from the win, which sets the Jets up to climb over .500 with a victory next week at Cleveland:

1. Powell to the House
The Jets yielded a TD drive on Jacksonville's first series but answered immediately, as on the next play from scrimmage. McCown pitched to Powell, who slashed off his right side, hit the ground, then bounced up without hesitation and kept running all the way for a 75-yard TD.

Referee Gene Steratore announced after the booth replay that Powell was not touched down and the TD call stood. And so Bilal had himself the Jets' longest run since Adrian Murrell's 78-yard run at Arizona in 1996 and the second-longest touchdown run in franchise history, behind Bruce Harper's, 78-yard score vs. Atlanta in 1983. And how appropriate that Powell hung that one up with Harper in the stands.

2. Jags on the Prowl
The Jets were applying blitz pressure against Blake Bortles, which produced one sack and 7-for-14 passing with 5:10 to play in the second quarter. But the Jaguars' ground game was tough as advertised and the Jets' run defense wasn't nearly as impenetrable as the Dolphins found it. Led by rookie Leonard Fournette and former Jet Chris Ivory, the Jags had 80 yards on 15 carries and the run game helped set them up for Jason Myers' 30-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead with 5:10 left in the first half.

3. Special Opportunity Squandered
The Green & White lost an excellent chance to take a 13-10 lead into the locker room at the half. The defense forced Bortles into three incompletions, the offense then seemed to stall as McCown was sacked twice. But the Jets' ran their first successful fake since 2014 and the Lac Edwards pass to Marcus Williams went for 31 yards and a first down with 12 seconds left.

But a delay pushed Catanzaro's field goal try back from 40 to 45 yards out, and he missed wide left with 8 seconds left.

4. Eli Eruption
Powell had 110 rushing yards at the half, the first Jet to clear 100 in the first half since Thomas Jones in 2009. Then he opened the second half with a 10-yarder. But he had help against the Jaguars' jagged run defense in McGuire, who followed that run with a 69-yard sprint to the East end zone for a 17-10 Jets lead. It marked the first time in franchise history the Jets ran for two 60-yards-plus touchdowns in the same game, and only the second time they had two runs that long since Jones had 64- and 71-yarders in that '09 loss to the Bills.

5. Ealy Big Play(s)
The Jets defense slowed the Jaguars run game and kept up the pressure on Bortles in the third quarter, especially on a rush up the gut by DL Kony Ealy, who swatted Bortles' pass into the air, picked it off and returned it 9 yards to the JAX-7. Ealy wound up with four PDs on the day.

The offense couldn't push it in but held ground for Catanzaro's 26-yard FG to give the hosts a 20-10 lead that they took into the fourth quarter. And the defense had been burned on screens earlier but on third-and-2 from the Jets 29, the Jags tried it again. But Bortles' screen to RB Corey Grant was snuffed out for a 5-yard loss by LB Julian Stanford, playing for Darron Lee (ankle). That set up Jason Myers' 52-yard field goal try, which faded right as the Jets still held their 20-10 edge with 13 minutes to play.

6. Unfortunate Turn of Events
The Jets were moving to a controlling score after the latest 40-yard reception by Robby Anderson into the Jaguars red zone. But on the next play McCown threw a backpass that Powell wasn't ready for. It bounced off his pads and into the hands of Myles Jack, who outran Powell for an 81-yard fumble return, the longest by an opponent since 2001. That put the visitors right back in things as the Jets' lead was pared to 20-17 with 10:20 to play.

7. Unfortunate Turn II
Then Powell slipped on a third-down pass and McCown's low pass went to A.J. Bouye, who was beaten on the  Anderson 41-yard pass, who came up with the pick at the Jets 35 with 3:19 to play. But the defense stiffened (with Ealy rejecting another pass behind the line on third down), so Myers came on to tie it at 20-20 with 46 seconds left in regulation.

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8. Game, Set, Match
The Jaguars appeared to win the field position battle on an exchange of punts but couldn't capitalize on their second drive of OT from midfield. Then the Jets evened the position up on the next exchange. Then Lachlan Edwards launched a 70-yard punt that, after a Jags illegal block set the visitors up at their 3.

And after Jeremy Kerley's short punt return and an unsportsmanlike-conduct call on Jacksonville's Paul Posluszny put the ball at the Jags 25, the Jets had an opening to a hard-earned victory. Three plays later, they got it on Catanzaro's third field goal of the game, from 41 yards out. And the Jets are now a .500 team.

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