Ex-UMaine star Owens strong, but Jaguars lose to Jets

Posted Dec. 09, 2012, at 8:13 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 09, 2012, at 9:09 p.m.
Jacksonville Jaguars fullback Montell Owens (24) runs past New York Jets free safety Eric Smith, left, for a 32-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL  game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. Owens is a former University of Maine football standout.
Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP
Jacksonville Jaguars fullback Montell Owens (24) runs past New York Jets free safety Eric Smith, left, for a 32-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. Owens is a former University of Maine football standout.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With Jacksonville’s offense sputtering, tight end Marcedes Lewis called his teammates together for impromptu meeting on the sideline.

It did little to turn things around.

The Jaguars faded in the second half — Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell gouged them up the middle — and lost 17-10 to the New York Jets on Sunday.

“We can win these games, but not when we don’t execute on easy things,” guard Eben Britton said.

Like so many other times this season, hardly anything went right for coach Mike Mularkey’s team.

Chad Henne had a pass tipped and intercepted near the goal line. Rookie receiver Kevin Elliott, starting in place of Cecil Shorts III, dropped two balls and was flagged for illegal touching on a key play with about a minute left. Britton was manhandled inside, giving up three sacks.

Josh Scobee missed a 55-yard field goal wide left to close out the first half. And the Jaguars just missed blocking two punts.

About the only positive for Jacksonville was former University of Maine star Montell Owens.

The longtime special teams ace made his first career start at running back and finished with 91 yards on 14 carries.

He seemed to catch the Jets by surprise on a second-and-17 play, running 32 yards for a touchdown that made it 17-10 with 7:06 remaining.

“I’ve always been a running back,” Owens said. “I accepted the role as a special teamer with open arms. That is just what I’ve been asked to do. It’s not about me or what I want to do. It’s wherever I need to be to best help this team win.”

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, benched last week in a 7-6 win against Arizona, was hardly a factor. Neither was backup Tim Tebow, who spent his homecoming on the sideline.

Although the Jaguars turned Sanchez’s first-half fumble into a field goal, he ended up having a decent day. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards, including a 37-yard completion on third down that helped the Jets milk the clock in the closing minutes.

REDSKINS 31, RAVENS 28: With Robert Griffin III sidelined with a sprained right knee, the Washington Redskins rallied behind backup Kirk Cousins to tie the game in the final minute of regulation, then Kai Forbath kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime Sunday for a 31-28 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Griffin was hurt at the end of a 13-yard scramble while attempting to lead the game-tying drive with the Redskins trailing 28-20. He left for one play, returned for four, then was no longer able to continue.

Cousins stepped in and hit Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass, then ran in the 2-point conversion with 29 seconds to play.

The Redskins have won four straight to improve to 7-6. The Ravens lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2009 and fell to 9-4.

COWBOYS 20, BENGALS 19: The grieving Cowboys rallied for a significant win on Dan Bailey’s 40-yard field goal as time ran out.

Dallas overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes behind Tony Romo, who held his hand over his heart during a moment of silence to honor teammate Jerry Brown before the kickoff.

Brown died in an auto accident early Saturday. Defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, remained in jail in Irving, Texas, charged with intoxication manslaughter.

The Cowboys (7-6) learned about Brown’s death on their flight to Cincinnati on Saturday. Coach Jason Garrett told his team that the best way to honor him was to play well in a game with playoff implications for both teams.

A late comeback was just enough to beat the Bengals (7-6).

Romo threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, then led the drive to Bailey’s kick.

PANTHERS 30, FALCONS 20: Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run.

Newton piled up a career-high 116 yards on the ground as the Panthers racked up 475 total yards to avenge an early-season loss with a dominating performance against the NFC South champion Falcons.

Carolina (4-9) came in with little to play for except to gain a measure of revenge on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, whom they felt disrespected them after Atlanta’s 30-28 come-from-behind win earlier this season at the Georgia Dome.

Ryan threw for 342 yards and two scores and had a costly fourth-quarter interception.

The Panthers opened a 23-0 lead en route to snapping a five-game losing streak against the Falcons.

VIKINGS 21, BEARS 14: Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Smith returned an interception for a score.

Peterson topped 100 yards before the first quarter was over, helping the Vikings (7-6) overcome another lackluster day from quarterback Christian Ponder to get a win that will keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

Jay Cutler threw for 260 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and couldn’t finish the game for the Bears (8-5), who have lost four of their last five. He took a wicked hit to the head from Everson Griffen in the fourth quarter, remained in the game for the rest of that drive, but was replaced by Jason Campbell with 3 minutes to play.

BROWNS 30, CHIEFS 7: Rookie Travis Benjamin’s electrifying 93-yard punt return touchdown gave Cleveland momentum and the Browns won their third straight game.

Benjamin’s game-changing runback helped the Browns (5-8) continue their resurgence under second-year coach Pat Shurmur, whose future in Cleveland remains uncertain. The Browns have one more win than last season, and their longest winning streak since 2009.

Trent Richardson had a pair of 1-yard TD runs for Cleveland.

Jamaal Charles ran for 165 yards, breaking off an 80-yard TD run on the game’s first play for Kansas City.

It was the first road game for the Chiefs (2-11) following linebacker Jovan Belcher’s suicide. The 25-year-old killed his girlfriend at their home before driving to the team’s practice facility on Dec. 1 and shooting himself.

CHARGERS 34, STEELERS 24: Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, two to Danario Alexander, and San Diego won for the first time in 15 regular-season visits to Pittsburgh.

The Chargers (5-8), who snapped a four-game losing streak, dominated from the outset. They never let Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get comfortable in his first game in nearly a month.

Roethlisberger completed 22 of 42 passes for 285 yards and three second-half touchdowns. But he also threw an interception and had a botched screen pass turn into an easy San Diego score as Pittsburgh (7-6) hardly played like a team readying for a postseason run.

COLTS 27, TITANS 23: Andrew Luck led Indianapolis back from a 13-point second-half deficit and Adam Vinatieri made two fourth-quarter field goals.

Luck has now engineered six fourth-quarter comebacks for Indy (9-4).

It wasn’t all Luck.

Delone Carter cut the deficit to 20-14 with a 1-yard TD run on Indy’s opening possession of the second half. And after Pat McAfee’s 52-yard punt went out of bounds at the Titans 1-yard line, Cassius Vaughn jumped in front of Nate Washington, picked off Jake Locker’s pass and scored on a 3-yard interception return to make it 21-20.

Rob Bironas gave the Titans (4-9) a 23-21 lead with a 25-yard field goal, but VInatieri hit from 53 yards to retake the lead and from 40 to seal it.

EAGLES 23, BUCCANEERS 21: Nick Foles threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final four minutes, including a 1-yarder to Jeremy Maclin with no time remaining.

The rally allowed the Eagles to end an eight-game losing streak — their longest in 42 years.

Foles completed 32 of 51 passes for 381 yards in his fourth start in place of the injured Michael Vick. The rookie threw an 11-yard TD pass to Clay Harbor with 3:55 remaining, then led the Eagles on a 64-yard game-winning drive after the Philadelphia defense forced a Tampa Bay punt.

Doug Martin rushed for 128 yards and Josh Freeman shrugged off a slow start to throw for two second-half touchdowns to help Tampa Bay overcome a 10-0 halftime deficit and take a 21-10 lead on Martin’s 4-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.

RAMS 15, BILLS 12: Sam Bradford threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds left.

Bradford was 5 of 8 for 68 yards to cap a 14-play, 84-yard drive. St. Louis (6-6-1) continued its late-season resurgence by winning its third straight for the first time since closing the 2006 season with three victories.

The Bills (5-8) blew a lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter for the second time this season. They squandered a six-point lead in a 35-34 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 21.

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