The Denver Broncos defense shrugged off a slow start when they surrendered a touchdown on the Jacksonville Jaguars opening drive to frustrate Trevor Lawrence throughout the game. Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater and the Broncos offense controlled the ball and the clock on multiple scoring drives.
The result was a healthy fourth quarter lead that the Broncos defense sat on despite a special teams breakdown that made things somewhat interesting late. Denver would hang on for a 23-13 road win to take them to 2-0 on the season.
Each team had impressive opening drives that ate up half the quarter each. The first was Trevor Lawrence leading the Jaguars on a long drive that culminated with this third and 13 touchdown strike to Marvin Jones Jr. to take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Facing 3rd and long, Trevor Lawrence throws a touchdown on the Broncos' Kyle Fuller pic.twitter.com/rtjsuz3gxd— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 19, 2021
The Broncos followed it up with a long drive of their own, but a 16-yard sack on Teddy Bridgewater would end hopes for a touchdown-matching drive. They would get the Brandon McManus field goal instead.
Jaguars 7, Broncos 3. Full first quarter recap.
Denver found its stride offensively in the second quarter with a long drive of their own that Bridgewater capped with this 12-yard touchdown pass to Tim Patrick late in the quarter.
Defensively, the Broncos stepped things up against Lawrence once they got into Broncos territory. That led to two long missed field goals by Josh Lambo who hadn’t missed a field goal since joining the Jaguars last season.
Those misses helped the Broncos take a lead into the halftime.
Broncos 10, Jaguars 7. Full second quarter recap.
Denver came out looking to go for the jugular as two plays in Bridgewater went to Sutton deep for a huge 55-yard pass. That drive would be capped off by a touchdown pass to Noah Fant to put the Broncos up 17-7 early in the third quarter.
TeDdY bRiDgEwAtEr DoEsN't ThRoW dEeP pic.twitter.com/8NTEEnMnNd— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 19, 2021
After that first drive, the Broncos defense had continued to frustrate rookie Trevor Lawrence. That would culminate with a Kareem Jackson interception leaving Lawrence looking rather pedestrian at 6 of 18 for 20 yards and an interception midway through the third quarter not counting that first touchdown drive to start the game.
Nice rush by Malik Reed and Trevor Lawrence throws a pick to Kareem Jackson! pic.twitter.com/PdLdna8sfp— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 19, 2021
Broncos 20, Jaguars 7. Full third quarter recap.
Up by just 13, the Jaguars just needed to get a touchdown to get back into the game. Lawrence kept pushing the ball down the field into coverage and it finally bit him as Patrick Surtain read the ball perfectly for the interception at the Broncos six-yard line.
Patrick Surtain II with his first NFL interception pic.twitter.com/9hoWtlGTVr— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 19, 2021
After that interception, the Broncos capitalized by flipping the field on a long pass interference call on Tim Patrick. On a third and eight, the Broncos continued to focus on running the clock out but instead handed it off to Javonte Williams who got the first down and more to get Denver into field goal range.
That would lead to a 40-yard field goa from Brandon McManus to put the Broncos up decisively at 23-7 with five and half minutes left in the game.
Jacksonville would make it interesting as the Tom McMahon special teams unit gifted them a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to cut the lead immediately to cut the lead to 23-13 after the failed two-point conversion attempt.
Denver would recover the onside kick and the offense would run the clock down enough to secure the win.
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