The Jacksonville Jaguars got their first victory with Urban Meyer as the head coach on a last-second field goal against the Miami Dolphins in London. It was a wild finish for the international fans that filled the stadium yet again, and Trevor Lawrence finally showed why he was the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Jaguars victory was not pretty, but it doesn’t matter. As the cliche goes, a win is a win. It was ugly, and Meyer even compared it to a root canal afterward. While Lawrence and running back James Robinson played well, the Jaguars head coach needs to send a giant thank you card to a former software engineer for crediting him with his first victory as an NFL head coach.
Matthew Wright goes from software enginner to Jaguars hero
Matthew Wright. Never heard the name before?
It’s ok, most hadn’t until Sunday’s London surprise. The Jaguars recently elevated Wright from the practice squad and he came in clutch, not once but twice.
After the game, Lawrence mentioned that Wright was a software engineer a month ago. Now, he is the hero of the Jaguars organization and surely a giant apple in the eyes of Meyer and Lawrence, who whiffed on their first five attempts in the 2021 season and were on the brink of unfortunate history.
All that can be put to rest as the Jags avoided losing their 21st consecutive game, just a few games short of the NFL record.
The silent kicker got the game ball
After the victory, Wright got the game ball because why not? First, he kicked an absurd, must-see 54-yared field goal that looked good, looked bad, and then finally swerved in at the last second just like a car changing lanes at the vert last moment.
Minutes later, Wright stepped up and nailed the game-winner to send the Jaguars sidelines and fans into a wild uproar in a filled stadium in London. After the game, Meyer touched on Wright’s reaction to receiving the game ball (h/t Mia O’Brien).
“That might’ve been the most we’ve ever heard him talk.”
Urban Meyer after Matthew Wright received the game ball
The 25-year-old played his college ball at UCF and is now the kicker for the Jaguars. With Josh Lambo’s time with the Jags up in the air, Wright has done nothing but make a legitimate case for the job.
Wright is now 3-4 on the year and 6-7 on PATs. Lambo has gone 5-7 on PATs but has yet to make a field goal on the year, and perhaps Meyer and the Jags stick with Wright going forward.
The pair went back and forth in practice all week, and the best decision Meyer has made in Jacksonville was choosing the ex-software engineer over the veteran incumbent.
The Jags and Meyer can take it easy– for now
It took until mid-October, but the Jaguars were finally able to notch their first win of 2021. Meyer got his first in the NFL, Lawrence his, and the franchise as a whole won its first game since September of 2020. Things looked better on Sunday, although they were going up against the Dolphins.
Jacksonville will go into the bye week before facing a brutal stretch of the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts, with two of those three on the road.
After a brutal start to the year, perhaps this is what the team– and Meyer– needed to save his job, at least for the time being.
All of this is because of a guy who was doing software engineering not more than a month ago. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference