Winless Browns fall to Jaguars 19-7 but still make NFL history
Blake Bortles threw a touchdown pass and Jacksonville linebacker Telvin Smith recovered a fumble for a TD with 1:14 remaining on Sunday as the Jaguars won their fourth straight, 19-7 over the winless Browns and moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC South.
Jacksonville’s top-ranked defense forced five turnovers — two in the final two minutes.
The Jaguars (7-3) built a 10-0 lead and turned things over to their “Sacksonville” defense. The Jaguars intercepted rookie DeShone Kizer twice, recorded five sacks and blanked the Browns (0-10) in the second half.
Cleveland’s last hopes ended when Yannick Ngakoue sacked Kizer and knocked the ball into the end zone, where Smith recovered. Earlier, Ngakoue and Calais Campbell combined to sack Kizer, who fumbled as he fell and it was recovered near mid-field by Dante Fowler with 1:48 left.
With the win, Jacksonville is leading its division after 10 games for the first time since 1999, when the Jags were atop the AFC Central at 9-1.
Josh Lambo kicked a pair of field goals for the Jaguars, who have held six opponents to seven points or less.
On a blustery, rainy and snowy afternoon, the Jaguars were unable to move the ball with much success. Their defense had another impressive performance, however, and backed up safety Tashaun Gipson’s prediction that Jacksonville keep the Browns winless — but it wasn’t easy.
Gipson, a former Pro Bowler in Cleveland, ripped the team’s front office earlier in the week and said the Browns will “probably go 0-16” and predicted a shutout.
His forecast was slightly off, but the Jaguars extended their longest winning streak since 2007 and continued a surprising season.
The Browns, on the other hand, fell to 1-25 under coach Hue Jackson and are 4-43 since Nov. 30, 2014 — the worst 47-game stretch in NFL history.