Lots of Positives at the Break for Jaguars

MJD (Phil Coale/AP)

The Jaguars know they have rediscovered their running game and will take a 3-3 record into their bye week after beating the St. Louis Rams 23-20 in overtime.

Beating a team that came in with 15 consecutive losses and needing overtime to do it might not seem impressive, but it was big for the Jaguars following their 41-0 loss in Seattle last week.

"I thought the fact that the team didn't blink, kept fighting and managed to scratch out a victory there was huge," coach Jack Del Rio said. "It was big to get that lift heading into the bye, big for a young football team that's working so hard."

It gives the Jaguars a chance to be 5-3 at the halfway mark because after the bye they play two losing teams, Tennessee and Kansas City. But the close victory over a team that hasn't won since last October raised questions about how good they are.

Still, it'll give them a shot to celebrate the bye week.

"We'll get into a little bit of a bye week routine for ourselves and look to come out two weeks from now ready to roll, but we'll enjoy this time down," Del Rio said.

They showed they can come back in the fourth quarter after David Garrard threw an interception that Leonard Little returned 36 yards for a touchdown to give the Rams a 17-13 lead.

Garrard directed a touchdown drive to get the Jaguars back on top 20-17. After the Rams tied it with a field goal with four seconds left, the Jaguars won the coin toss and Garrard drove them in position for Josh Scobee's game-winning field goal.

One important development Sunday was the return of the running game. Maurice Jones-Drew last week said the Jaguars had to go back to their running game, and the Jaguars obviously listened. Jones-Drew got the ball 33 times and ran for 133 yards.

"We don't want him to have to carry it 33 times every week. We'd like it for him to carry about 25 times, 20-25 times. I think the special circumstance of this game and next week being a bye, I think we did what we had to do there," Del Rio said.

The Jaguars also showed that they have to stick with the run. Jones-Drew had only 11 yards on eight carries in the first half, and he had 36 yards in 15 carries after three quarters before exploding in the final quarter.

"I was frustrated about losing," Jones-Drew said about his comments last week. "People have to understand. The league isn't about guys cashing checks. The great teams care about winning. It was about winning, winning, you want to win, you want to win.

"I went overboard with it, but the guys were backing me up. The o-line did a great job of fighting all the time."

BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- Maurice Jones-Drew has had nine 100-yard rushing games in his four-year career. The Jaguars are 7-2 in those games.

LINEUP WATCH:
With Clint Ingram returning to the lineup at his outside rush linebacker spot in the 3-4, Daryl Smith moved back outside after filling in for Ingram last week. Eugene Monroe, who had been ill, returned to his starting left tackle job. Tra Thomas had filled in for him.

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