For the second time in three weeks, the Baltimore Ravens were in position to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Once again, the Jaguars found a way to win.
James Stewart scored on a 4-yard run with 1:39 left left to cap a 23-point fourth quarter Sunday as the Jaguars recorded their eighth straight victory, 30-23.
Jacksonville is 8-0 against Baltimore, including five wins by three points or less. This was another tight one until the Jaguars' late flurry.
Two weeks ago, the Ravens (4-7) held Brunell and the Jaguars to a franchise-low 132 yards. Jacksonville won 6-3, but Baltimore was never out of it.
This time, the Ravens were in command until a pivotal 16-second span of the fourth quarter.
Down 16-7, the Jaguars began their comeback when Brunell converted a third-and-16 play with a 24-yard completion to Keenan McCardell. Four plays later, Brunell hit McCardell for a 1-yard score with 11 minutes left.
On first down from the 20, a pressured Tony Banks threw an ill-advised screen pass that Tony Brackens intercepted and took 15 yards for a touchdown. The conversion pass made it 22-16 with 10:44 left, shifting the pressure to Baltimore.
After an exchange of punts, the Ravens moved to the Jacksonville 3 on a 46-yard pass from Banks to Jermaine Lewis. Chuck Evas caught a 3-yard touchdown pass on the next play to put Baltimore back in front.
But when the Ravens play Jacksonville, no lead is safe. This was no exception.
Brunell took the Jaguars 78 yards in 12 plays, converting a fourth-and-1 from the Baltimore 34 along the way, before Stewart plowed into the end zone.
Banks went 17-for-34 for 214 yards and two touchdowns, but his lone interception fueled the Jaguars' comeback, and his 51st career fumble deep in Jacksonville territory killed a promising second-quarter drive with Baltimore up 10-0.
The Ravens, who failed to score a touchdown against Jacksonville two weeks ago, needed only three plays to move 87 yards and take a 7-0 lead. Qadry Ismail caught a sideline pass, fumbled near midfield and teammate Patrick Johnson took the ball to the 26.
Two plays later Errict Rhett scored on a screen pass that covered 20 yards, making Baltimore the first team to record a touchdown on its opening drive against the Jaguars in 29 games since December 1997.
A 20-yard punt return by Lewis and three short completions by Banks set up a 46-yard field goal by Matt Stover to make it 10-0. Baltimore had a chance to increase the lead after recovering a fumbled punt by Reggie Barlow, but Banks lost a fumble at the Jacksonville 15.
Late in the half, the Ravens moved 67 yards on 12 plays before Stover kicked a 31-yard field goal.
Brunell threw two interceptions in the third quarter, but he more than made up for it down the stretch.
Smith caught 10 passes for 132 yards, the first receiver to top 100 yards against Baltimore this season.
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