JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On one night, on one big stage, the Jacksonville Jaguars did everything better than the Baltimore Ravens.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 105 yards against the NFL’s best run defense, Josh Scobee kicked four field goals and the Jaguars snapped a five-game slide with a 12-7 victory over the Ravens on Monday night.
Stepping into the national spotlight for a few hours, the Jaguars used their best defensive effort in five years to slow down Ray Rice, Joe Flacco and Co.
Jacksonville (2-5) didn’t allow a first down until the 5:26 mark of the third quarter, a mix of stout defense and inept offense. Flacco finally got the Ravens (4-2) on the scoreboard with a little more than two minutes remaining. He capped a 90-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin.
The Ravens failed to recover an onside kick when the ball bounced inches short of going the required 10 yards. Scobee followed with his third field goal of at least 50 yards.
Baltimore had a final possession, but in fitting fashion, Jacksonville’s defense came up big. Drew Coleman stepped in front of Ed Dickson and intercepted Flacco’s final pass.
The Ravens finished with 146 total yards. The Jaguars had 205.
The Jaguars set a franchise record by allowing only 16 yards in the first half, including 1 yard passing by Flacco, who was under relentless pressure for much of the night.
Baltimore finally got a first down on its 28th play of the game when Rice broke off a 12-yard run. That was only the second play longer than 10 yards for the Ravens, although they picked up two more first downs on the drive. It ended when Dwight Lowery sacked Flacco, and Billy Cundiff’s 52-yard field goal was wide right.
The teams combined to go 0 of 16 on third-down conversions in the opening half. The Jaguars began the third quarter with six first downs, only for the Ravens defense to stiffen after yet another mistake.
The Ravens stopped Jacksonville, but Brendon Ayanbadejo was called for a personal foul and ejected from the game when he punched Guy Whimper in the facemask after the play. That gave the Jaguars first-and-goal from the 3, but Blaine Gabbert failed to complete two passes in the end zone and Scobee kicked a 22-yard field goal.
Scobee, who extended his franchise record with a field goal for the 15th straight game, earlier kicked a pair of field goals from 54 yards.
The Ravens had 10 possessions through three quarters — eight punts, a missed field goal and Rice’s fumble in the third quarter. The first time they reached Jacksonville territory, midway through the second quarter, they went backward 33 yards. Michael Oher was called for holding twice, and Flacco completed two passes that lost yards both times.
In a play that summed up Baltimore’s night, Jeremy Mincey knocked down Flacco’s pass. Flacco caught the ball and ran toward the left sideline until he was slung down for an 8-yard loss.
The Jaguars’ previous record for fewest yards allowed in a half was 33 against the Cleveland Browns in 2000. The six points were the fewest scored in the first half on a Monday night since the Ravens and Denver Broncos were tied at 3 on Oct. 9, 2006.
Jacksonville wasn’t much better offensively, though that wasn’t a surprise. The Jaguars are last in the NFL in offense, the lone hope coming from Jones-Drew. He carried 30 times, most of them right into the middle of Baltimore’s revered defense.
Gabbert completed 9 of 20 passes for 93 yards.
Flacco was 21 of 38 for 137 yards. Rice ran eight times for 28 yards.
Baltimore’s star was Sam Koch, who punted nine times for a 52.2 yard average.