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Big 1st Half Leads Jaguars To Win

The Jacksonville Jaguars ended their slide with a record-breaking performance, courtesy of the bumbling Baltimore Ravens.


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  • took advantage of five Baltimore turnovers Sunday in a 45-19 victory. By halftime, the Jaguars already had their franchise record for points in a game and were preparing for the joyous task of running out the clock.

    "We got things going early and now we feel good about ourselves again. It's not every day that you score 45 points," Jacksonville offensive tackle Tony Boselli said.

    The Jaguars' previous franchise record for points was 40, set last season against the New York Giants. Jacksonville surpassed that with 2:59 left in the second quarter.

    How lopsided was it? Jaguars punter Bryan Barker didn't walk onto the field until the third quarter. Mark Brunell was roaming the sideline with 12 minutes left as backup quarterback Jamie Martin made his first NFL appearance since 1996.


    Jaguars' Donovin Darius and Kevin Hardy (51) jar the ball loose from Baltimore's Eric Green during the first quarter. Jacksonville recovered the ball. (AP)
    is just what we were looking for," Brunell said. "We needed a fast start to put points up on the board early."

    The Jaguars scored at a furious pace, building a 42-13 halftime lead after getting three touchdowns off Baltimore fumbles and another on a blocked punt.

    The Ravens (2-6) had more yardage and held the ball twice as long as Jacksonville (6-2) in the first half, yet left the field to a chorus of jeers from the disgruntled sellout crowd of 68,915.

    The Ravens called this a must-win game, but instead lost their fourth straight. Now the main mystery remaining in their season is whether coach Ted Marchibroda will be around until the end.

    "That's not my decision. We'll wait and see," he said.

    Marchibroda watched in horror as the Ravens committed five turnovers, including a franchise-record four lost fumbles. Baltimore is 0-6 against the Jaguars and went 0-for-2 against Jacksonville as the Cleveland Browns.

    "I don't think we've played a worse game than this," Marchibroda said. "I don't think there is any question that today we hit bottom. Whether we come out of it, I don't know."

    Jacksonville regained sole possession of first place in the AFC Central after Pittsburgh lost to Tennessee. The Jaguars, following successive losses to Buffalo and Denver, scored a team-record 28 points in the second quarter.

    "We had a rough couple of weeks and we needed to get back on track," Brunell said. "This game was really important for us."

    Brunell was 8-for-10 for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the decisive first half and finished 13-for-20 for 237 yards. Fred Taylor scored twice and finished with 87 yards rushing.

    Jim Harbaugh, making his first start since Sept. 20, went 27-for-34 for 243 yards and three touchdowns. But it wasn't nearly enough offense to overcome his error-prone teammates.

    "I've never been in a game like this. I hope I'm never in one like this again," Harbaugh said. "I'm pretty speechless about it. I can't even come up with an excuse. It's embarrassing."

    The game turned immediately after the Ravens made it 7-7 late in the first quarter. On the next snap, Brunell threw a 78-yard touchdown pass to Taylor to start a 35-point run.

    Things quickly went from bad to worse for Baltimore. Tight end Eric Green lost a fumble at the Ravens 25 and Jacksonville made it 21-7 early in the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Taylor.

    On the Ravens' next possession, Roosevelt Potts lost a fumble on the Baltimore 28 and the Jaguars' Daimon Shelton scored his first NFL touchdown on a 2-yard run.

    Then, after Baltimore's Patrick Johnson dropped a sure first-down pass, Alvis Whitted blocked a punt, picked up the ball and ran 24 yards to make it 35-7.

    The taunts of the home fans become louder at that point, and it didn't stop there. Green lost the football stretching for a first down, and Donovin Darius took it 83 yards for a 42-7 lead.


  • Jacksonville's Keenan McCardell sprained his shoulder in the second quarter and did not return.
  • No expansion team has reached 30 victories faster than the Jaguars (30-26).
  • Jermaine Lewis' touchdown catch in the first quarter was his fifth in four games against Jacksonville. The 6-yard TD matched the shortest of his career.
  • Ravens defensive tackle James Jones started his 100th career game.
  • Taylor's 78-yard touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage against Baltimore in franchise history.

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