It finally happened. The Jacksonville Jaguars got their first victory of the Urban Meyer-Trevor Lawrence era in a thriller against the Miami Dolphins in London. In all honesty, it wasn’t pretty, and it took a pair of Matthew Wright field goals to get it done. Either way, a win is a win.
Meyer got his first victory as NFL head coach after a disappointing 0-5 start to the year, and the Jaguars looked somewhat decent, albeit against a one-win Dolphins team.
After the victory, Meyer got honest about the game, which featured a back and forth battle the whole way through.
Urban Meyer and the Jaguars finally get it done but in painful fashion
The Jaguars and Dolphins both had chances to close this one out in the waning minutes, but ultimately it was the leg of Wright who got the job done and gave them their first win of the 2021 campaign despite the return of Tua Tagovailoa.
Meyer wasn’t loving this one throughout and made that clear in the postgame press conference with a perfect response (h/t Sam Inkersole).
“We needed a win. My players love coming here. We were desperate. We saw a young quarterback make a big time play at a big time. I didn’t enjoy the game, it was a 3hr root canal but I did enjoy the locker room after the game.”
Urban Meyer on first NFL win vs Dolphins
The Jaguars were desperate, and Meyer was even more desperate after a frustrating start to his NFL coaching career. A loss to the lowly Dolphins would have put even more questions into his future as a head coach. But those conversations can be set to rest– for now, at least.
Matthew Wright plays hero, somehow
With Jacksonville down by three with less than four minutes remaining, Wright kicked an unreal field goal to tie it up. Somehow the ball looked good, then looked bad, and finally curved in at the last second to go through the uprights in one of the wonkiest field goals of recent history.
The Dolphins then got the ball back and failed to score, putting the ball in the hands of Lawrence. The Jaguars were moving the ball before a crucial 4th-and-8 on the Dolphins 44-yard line. The broadcast was expecting a hail mary, but instead, Lawrence threw a dart to Laviska Shenault Jr., and they were able to call a timeout with one second remaining.
In came Wright, and the Jags kicker, elevated from the practice squad, sent London into a frenzy with the game-winning field goal.
It wasn’t ideal, and Meyer’s root-canal example is perfect. Nonetheless, the Jaguars head back to the United States with a victory, and Meyer can breathe a sigh of relief for now.
Meyer’s first victory wasn’t pretty, but it was good enough
Meyer’s tenure in Jacksonville has been a mixed bag, to put it generously. The offense has been off, the defense has been patchy, and his off-the-field actions have been the buzz of the NFL, unfortunately.
As Meyer said, the team was ‘desperate,’ and now they can relax a little bit during their bye week, although there need to be more performances such as this one from now on. Lawrence played well, finishing 25-of-41 for 319 yards and a touchdown, including some huge plays down the stretch.
The Jaguars will now head into their bye week before a Halloween matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, and Lawrence, Meyer, and the rest of the group will head to vacation with a bit of a smile on their faces.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference