Fitzpatrick, Ivory lead Jets to 28-23 victory over Jaguars
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets were in big trouble, facing an embarrassing loss at home and a midseason crisis.
Then, the Jacksonville Jaguars bailed them out.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes while playing with a torn ligament in his left thumb, Chris Ivory ran for two scores and the Jets took advantage of late mistakes by the Jaguars to squeeze out a 28-23 win Sunday.
''We won,'' Jets coach Todd Bowles said flatly. ''That's the biggest thing. Obviously, there were some sloppy things that we've got to clean up.''
The Jets (5-3) certainly needed to hold their breath in this one.
Brandon Marshall had a diving 20-yard TD catch after the Jets recovered a fumbled punt return late in the fourth quarter, and New York ended a two-game skid in a ragged performance by both sides.
The banged-up Jets have a quick turnaround to prepare for former coach Rex Ryan's Buffalo Bills at home on Thursday night.
''We've got a short week,'' Bowles said. ''We've got to turn it around and correct it overnight. It was a win. It was a good win against a gritty team and we've got to move on.''
Blake Bortles was 24 of 40 for 381 yards and two touchdowns, including a 20-yard pass to Bryan Walters with 2:16 left for Jacksonville, which was coming off a bye-week break.
But Marcus Williams came up with his second interception of the game on Jacksonville's next possession as the Jets sent the Jaguars (2-6) to their 13th straight road loss.
''We just didn't finish it,'' coach Gus Bradley said. ''You look back on it, a lot of these were self-inflicted, the turnovers and the penalties at inopportune times. We did it to ourselves.''
Ivory's 1-yard touchdown run with 2:02 left in the third quarter gave the Jets a 21-13 lead.
The Jaguars were driving in the fourth quarter, but after a holding call on Jacksonville, Calvin Pace had a strip-sack of Bortles and recovered the fumble.
''I've got to get rid of the ball or take off and run or do something,'' Bortles said
The Jets couldn't do anything on the ensuing possession and were forced to punt - but Jacksonville's Nick Marshall fumbled it and Kellen Davis recovered to give New York the ball at the 25.
Three plays later, Marshall made his big grab in the back of the end zone that made it 28-16 with 2:41 left.
''Brandon had kind of a frustrating game in terms of not getting a lot of balls,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''Then, he comes up with a huge play at the end.''
Marshall, who had four catches for 44 yards, also recovered an onside kick and a fumble by Ivory.
Fitzpatrick had no issues with his thumb, which was injured last week at Oakland. He finished 21 of 34 for 272 yards, including touchdowns to Marshall and Eric Decker.
During the CBS broadcast of the game, a sideline reporter said Fitzpatrick told them during a production meeting that he probably wouldn't wait to have surgery to repair the thumb, and the reporter speculated that Friday could make sense since the Jets play Thursday night.
While Fitzpatrick said things are still ''up in the air,'' he acknowledged after the game that Friday is a possibility.
''Yes,'' he said. ''I have to get surgery at some point.''
The Jets are also dealing with some new key injuries. Kicker Nick Folk was lost to a strained right quadriceps during pregame warmups and was replaced on kickoffs and field goals by punter Ryan Quigley, who made all four of his extra-point attempts. Folk will have an MRI on Monday.
Not having Folk might have come into play on a fourth-and-3 for the Jets from the Jaguars 25 in the first quarter, when New York went for it rather than try for a field goal. Decker caught a 15-yard pass, setting up the first of Ivory's two TD runs - with this one putting the Jets up 14-3 with 43 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Center Nick Mangold left with a neck injury, saying it didn't respond well in the game after he was initially hurt at New England on Oct. 25.
Wesley Johnson, who started in Mangold's place last weekend, replaced him again in the second quarter. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie also left with a thigh injury, and safety Dion Bailey has an ankle injury.
With time winding down before halftime, New York curiously ran on three straight plays and then got just a 31-yard punt from Quigley that put the ball at the 50 for the Jaguars with 26 seconds left.
Bortles hit Allen Hurns for 20 yards and then found him again streaking away from Cromartie for a 30-yard touchdown that made it 14-10 with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
With the play, Hurns increased his franchise record to six straight games with a TD reception.
NOTES: The Jaguars' previous road win came on Dec. 1, 2013, at Cleveland. ... The Jets had six sacks, including the first two of rookie LB Lorenzo Mauldin's career. ... Ivory was held to 26 yards on 23 carries. ... Hurns had five catches for 122 yards and Allen Robinson caught six passes for 121 yards. ... Jaguars DT Michael Bennett left with a strained hamstring.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL