Jacksonville Sports Day

NFL: New England Locks Up Playoff Spot in Rout of Jacksonville Jaguars, 50-10

Photo by Billie Weiss/Jacksonville Jaguars

The New England Patriots raced out to a 28-3 halftime lead and never look back, knocking off the Jacksonville Jaguars and sealing up a playoff spot in the process as New England won their 10th game of the season.

Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw three interceptions. Lawrence completed 17 of 27 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown. A 28-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to running back Dare Ogunbowale with 3:48 remaining in the game made it 50-10.

“You look around that locker room, it’s disappointing coming in there after a game like that,” Lawrence said. “It’s a bad feeling.”

Patriots QB Mac Jones threw three touchdowns, while Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for 142 yards combined and the defense did their part, picking off three Trevor Lawrence passes that helped the Pats pull away.

It was one of the best efforts of the season as the Patriots turn their sights to one more road game in Miami to close out the regular season.

The Patriots finished with 471 total yards and 32 first downs to 253 and 11 for the Jaguars.

The Jaguars lost their eighth straight game, the longest losing streak of the year, in one of the most lopsided losses in franchise history. The 40-point margin of defeat tied for the third worst in Jaguars’ history.

“I mean, there’s a lot of circumstances and things these guys are fighting through, and I’m just asking for them to give me their best at all times,” said Jacksonville Interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell said. “That’s what we’re hoping for. It didn’t work out for us today. We didn’t protect the ball on offense. We couldn’t get a stop on defense, and that made it a tough day.”

Jacksonville’s Matthew Wright connected on a 29-yard field goal to pull the Jaguars to within 7-3 with 2:18 remaining in the first quarter

With the Patriots win and a loss by the Dolphins, New England has officially clinched a playoff berth with one more Week 18 game in Miami to go. Conference seeding is still on the line with Miami trying to lock up a berth of their own, so there will still be something to play for next weekend but for the moment the Patriots can take satisfaction from making the postseason after missing out in 2020.

Buffalo held serve against the Falcons, keeping the Patriots’ hopes of retaking the lead in the AFC East on ice. New England is likely to be on the road against one of the division champs in the Wild Card round, and that could include a return trip to upstate New York for a third tilt against the Bills. If the playoffs started today, that’s where the Pats would be headed.

With the loss, the Jaguars moved to within one loss (or a Detroit win) from clinching the top overall pick for the second straight year.

The Jaguars close out the regular season at home Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

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