Jaguars cover record spread, make Broncos work for 6-0
The Denver Broncos opened as 28-point favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars and entered Sunday’s game still giving 27 points or so. That point spread was an NFL record.
The winless Jaguars turned out to be far less of a pushover than most anticipated. They trailed by as few as two points, 21-19, midway through the third quarter, then kept it respectable the rest of the way in a 35-19 loss — an easy cover for those folks out there who rolled the dice on the underdog. (Jacksonville had been a 19.5-point ‘dog earlier this season at Seattle; the Jaguars lost by 28, 45-17.)
The game started much the way Vegas expected it to, with the Broncos needing just 2:51 to take a 7-0 lead, thanks in no small part to a failed fake punt from Jacksonville. Peyton Manning then bumped the cushion to 14-0 on his second TD pass of the game, this one to Wes Welker.
But Jacksonville hit back in the second quarter. A pair of Josh Scobee field goals and a Manning pick-six to Paul Posluszny made it 14-12 at the half … and sent the Broncos off to the locker room with a chorus of boos from the home fans.
The home fans grew restless again when Maurice Jones-Drew answered a Knowshon Moreno TD with one of his own in the third quarter, again trimming Denver’s lead to two. That was as close as the Jaguars would get, though, as Moreno piled on two more touchdown runs and the Denver defense pitched a shutout over the final 22-plus minutes to seal the win.
The Broncos improved to 6-0 with the victory, while the Jaguars stayed winless at 0-6.
Jacksonville’s next chance to break into the win column comes next Sunday against San Diego. Current line on that one, per BetOnline: San Diego by 6.5.