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Jones-Drew, Leftwich help Jaguars obliterate Jets

Oct 8, 2006 - 11:12 PM JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- The New York Jets won the coin toss. That's about where the good news ended.

Maurice Jones-Drew ran for two touchdowns and Byron Leftwich passed for a pair of scores as the Jacksonville Jaguars posted the second-largest win in team history with an impressive 41-0 victory over the Jets.

Fred Taylor also had a big day for Jacksonville (3-2), which was coming off consecutive road defeats to Indianapolis and Washington. But coach Jack Del Rio's team certainly took out its frustration on the Jets (2-3), who were dominated in every facet of the game from the opening kickoff to the final gun.

"The best way to take the sour taste of a loss out of your mouth is to get a win," said Taylor, who rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown. "And getting a win like this is even better. That was very convincing."

The Jaguars scored 28 points in the first half - the second-highest total in franchise history - and only finished shy of a 48-0 triumph vs. Cleveland on December 3, 2000 in terms of the largest regular-season win in team annals.

Jacksonville's defense also put on a clinic, limiting New York to 174 total yards and just 3-of-15 third-down conversions. The Jaguars intercepted Chad Pennington three times, recorded six sacks and held their ground on a goal-line stand early in the fourth quarter.

"Any time you get a shutout in this league, it's hard to come by," Del Rio said. "We were able to get a rush on the quarterback and I thought the secondary played a lot better."

"They just physically beat us up and out-executed us in every phase of the game," Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "It was offense, it was defense, it was special teams, it was coaching. Across the board, they played better."

Jones-Drew began the assault just over five minutes into the game, scoring virtually untouched on a six-yard run. Taylor added a 15-yard TD scamper five minutes later to make it 14-0.

The second quarter featured another touchdown by Jones-Drew and a one-yard TD strike from Leftwich to tight end George Wrighster. Josh Scobee added a 43-yard field goal and a 40-yarder in the second half, sandwiched around a 16-yard TD pass from Leftwich to Reggie Williams.

"I think we have begun to grow up as an offense," Leftwich said. "We have a lot of draft picks and young guys here and we are starting to make the plays we need to make. Things are coming together."

Leftwich completed 9-of-20 passes for 140 yards without a turnover in improving to 14-4 in his last 18 home starts. He has thrown 22 touchdowns over that stretch, including at least one in 16 of the 18 contests.

A 2003 graduate of Marshall University, Leftwich thoroughly outplayed fellow alumnus Pennington - a 2000 grad - who was just 10-of-17 for 71 yards with three picks.

"I'm disappointed in how I played," said Pennington, the all-time leading passer at Marshall. "You don't give your team much of a chance when you make three interceptions."

However, Leftwich did have a security blanket in the form of Taylor and Jones-Drew, who combined for 170 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

The duo allowed Jacksonville to fully take advantage of New York's porous run defense, which surrendered 160 yards to Indianapolis last week and entered having allowed more than 140 rushing yards per contest.

"I believe in running the ball," Del Rio said. "We were able to (run the ball), control the game. We were able to put away those touchdowns because we were able to run the ball early."

The Jaguars also got plenty of help from the Jets, who committed four turnovers and six penalties. The two most costly penalties were roughing-the-passer calls, both of which came on third downs to help extend touchdown drives.

Rookie Leon Washington rushed 23 times for 101 yards and Jerricho Cotchery caught four balls for 49 yards for the Jets, who lost for the third time in four games.

"It's a combination of feelings," Mangini said. "It's disappointment, it's anger, it's the understanding that we need to continually improve. This wasn't improvement. This wasn't growth and it wasn't progress. The only way we are going to continue to grow is to evaluate what we did poorly and make sure it doesn't happen again."

Williams had four receptions for 53 yards to lead the Jaguars, who played without second-year wide receiver Matt Jones (ankle). They also did not have the services of defensive linemen Marcus Stroud and Marcellus Wiley, both of whom are dealing with groin injuries.

Jacksonville's defense certainly did not suffer without two of its starters as cornerback Brian Williams notched an interception on the opening drive, picking off a deflected pass on a ball Pennington threw behind Laveranues Coles.

Terry Cousin intercepted Pennington early in the second quarter to set up Leftwich's pass to Wrighster. Deon Grant made the Jaguars' final pick midway through the third quarter and Leftwich capitalized three plays later, finding Reggie Williams in the end zone for the fourth time this season.

Jacksonville also benefited from a blocked punt in the second quarter, when Gerald Sensabaugh broke through the line and got a piece of Ben Graham's kick. Three plays later, Jones-Drew scampered into the end zone for a 21-0 lead.

"It'll be nice to be able to go into our bye week with a little more momentum, a little positive momentum," Del Rio said. "It makes that extra time that you have looking at yourself go a little bit better. I'm really proud of the way the guys came together."

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