Jaguars Come Up Short in 14-10 Loss to Browns

The Jaguars’ comeback came up short. They couldn’t take the final step.

Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw an incomplete pass into the end zone on the game’s last snap, capping a curious sequence of plays by Jacksonville in the closing seconds and giving the Cleveland Browns a 14-10 win Sunday over the Jaguars.

Gabbert, who had some good and bad moments, threw behind wide receiver Mike Thomas in the middle of the end zone with the ball bouncing off Thomas’s outstretched hands, denying the Jaguars (3-7) a victory that was within reach.

“Plain and simple, I have to make a play,” Gabbert said. “I have to find a way for us to score. That’s on me. I have to learn from that and get better. At the end of the day, it’s my job to score a touchdown.”

After Browns kicker Phil Dawson missed a 38-yard field goal with less than three minutes left, Gabbert drove Jacksonville from its own 29 to Cleveland’s 5, helped along by a pass interference call against the Browns. But with the end zone and a thrilling victory right in front of them, the Jaguars got bogged down when they couldn’t afford to.

On third down, Maurice Jones-Drew picked up 3 yards and a first at Cleveland’s 2 with 33 seconds left. Coach Jack Del Rio elected not to use his only timeout, and by the time the Jaguars snapped the ball again, 20 seconds had elapsed. Jones-Drew then picked up another yard and Del Rio called time with 8 seconds left.

Del Rio said the play took too long to run.

“We were way too deliberate,” Del Rio said. “You get lined up in that situation for sure. It wasn’t a matter of the timeout after that play, it was a matter of how long we sat there to get that (first down) play off. It was not what it needed to be.”

On second down, Gabbert’s pass to the back corner of the end zone bounced off wide receiver Jason Hill’s chest with 3 seconds left. Browns cornerback Joe Haden believed he got a hand on Gabbert’s throw.

Then, on the final play, Gabbert couldn’t connect with Thomas, allowing the Browns to escape.

Gabbert wasn’t going to second-guess anything that happened. He just wants to learn from the experience.

“Hindsight is 20-20,” said Gabbert, who went 22 of 41 for 210 yards. “Everyone is going to have their opinion and think they have the best play to call, but it’s our job to go out and execute. We’ve got to put the ball in the end zone.”

Jones-Drew rushed for 87 yards and a 6-yard TD.

Del Rio was asked why he didn’t give the ball to his best player on the last play.

“”You can make a case for doing that,” Del Rio said. “You can guess any number of plays when you don’t connect. We had two guys with the ball in the air in the vicinity — missed opportunities.”

Jones-Drew didn’t second-guess the late-game decisions. He reasoned that wouldn’t change the final score.

“It hurts every time you lose, especially when you have an opportunity to win,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep working. Somehow, some way, the locker room has to get tired of losing. That’s on the offensive side. Ten points is not going to win the game in this league at all. Our defense has been good week after week. We’ve got to make plays.

“If you can’t make plays, there’s no need to be playing football.”

When the Jaguars moved inside Cleveland’s 10, quarterback Colt McCoy took a knee on the sideline, closed his eyes and the young quarterback asked for some help from above.

This week, the Browns got it.

“There’s nothing wrong with praying,” McCoy said. “We deserved this one.”

Last week, the Browns lost 13-12 to the St. Louis Rams when Cleveland botched a snap and reliable kicker Phil Dawson missed a 22-yard field goal try. This one nearly ended under similar circumstances as Jacksonville’s final drive was set up by Dawson missing a 38-yarder that sailed over the top of the right post.

“Everybody played their hearts out and it’s about time it went our way,” said Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who covered Thomas tightly on the final play. “We knew it was up to us. Right there. We had to make the play and we did.”

McCoy shook off an apparent shoulder injury and threw a 3-yard TD pass to Josh Cribbs in the fourth to give Cleveland a 14-10 lead. But Dawson’s stunning miss with 2:49 left gave the Jaguars (3-7) a final chance and Gabbert, who had some good and bad moments, nearly pulled off the comeback.

Notes: Browns RB Chris Ogbonnaya rushed for 115 yards and scored on a 1-yard run … Jaguars LBs Clint Session, Matt Roth and CB Kevin Rutland left with head injuries. Del Rio provided no details. … Jaguars TE Mercedes Lewis had 7 catches for 64 yards. … Jaguars S Dawan Landry intercepted McCoy near the end zone in the third. … Jacksonville’s TD drive took 18 plays, covered 92 yards and ate up 9:53.

Bills Storm Back to Beat Bengals

Angry at the officials for giving host Cincinnati another play to kick a field goal. Angry at themselves for getting in such a big hole in front of such a small crowd.

Angry enough to pull off their best comeback in 13 years.

Ryan Fitzpatrick matched his career high with four touchdown passes, and the Bills rallied for their second straight win, 49-31 over the bumbling on Sunday.

“We could’ve easily folded our tent,” said cornerback Drayton Florence, who returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown during the comeback. “It looked like they folded their tents.”

Buffalo (2-8) took advantage of Cincinnati’s depleted secondary for its biggest comeback since it overcame a 26-0 deficit and beat the , 37-35, on Sept. 21, 1997. The turning point came at the end of the first half, when the clock ran out but the officials ruled Cincinnati had called timeout with one second left.

The Bengals (2-8) used that restored second to kick a field goal for a 17-point cushion. But Fitzpatrick and Buffalo took advantage of a defense down to four healthy defensive backs by game’s end. Steve Johnson caught three of Fitzpatrick’s touchdown passes, including an 11-yarder that put Buffalo ahead, 35-31, early in the fourth quarter.

“We are terrible,” receiver said. “And I don’t blame the fans for booing us. I don’t blame people for not wanting to come and see the performance we’ve put up” in the last seven games.

Win in Overtime

Graham Gano kicked a 48-yard field goal in overtime as the Redskins kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 19-16 victory over the , who self-destructed so thoroughly on their home field that the fans booed repeatedly and Vince Young left without speaking with reporters after being knocked out of the game with an injured thumb. Young was 12 of 16 for 165 yards but left after his hand slammed into a helmet while completing a pass. Coach Jeff Fisher said Young, who threw his jersey and his shoulder pads into the stands as he left the field, had a torn flexor tendon in his right thumb that may need season-ending surgery. Either way, Fisher said the rookie Rusty Smith was now Tennessee’s starter. Young wrote on three hours later that he was fine and “sorry to my teammates.” He then tweeted, “Just want to play.”

Wins for A.F.C. Leaders

After spotting the visiting a 3-0 lead, threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth as the rolled at home, 35-3. The Steelers (7-3) made Oakland (5-5) one-dimensional by limiting Darren McFadden to 14 yards on 10 carries. Richard Seymour, long one of the league’s top defensive players, displayed Oakland’s frustration by punching Roethlisberger in the face as Roethlisberger celebrated a touchdown pass late in the second quarter. Seymour was ejected.

¶Dwayne Bowe caught two touchdown passes to help the remain unbeaten at home with a 31-13 victory over the fading Cardinals. Bowe set a team record with at least one score in six straight games; he has 563 yards receiving and 10 touchdown catches during the span. Kansas City (6-4) took sole possession of first place in the A.F.C. West. The Cardinals (3-7) lost their fifth straight.

Win Again

The Cowboys beat the visiting , 35-19, after Jon Kitna put the game away by throwing two short touchdown passes to Miles Austin and surprising everyone with a 29-yard touchdown run, the longest of his 14-year career. The win was the second straight, and the first at home this season, for Dallas (3-7) since Jason Garrett replaced Wade Phillips as coach. The Lions (2-8) lost their 26th straight on the road.

¶Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes — three to Greg Jennings — as the beat the host , 31-3. threw his 17th interception and looked ready for retirement, with six seemingly meaningless games left for Minnesota (3-7) in the epilogue of his 20-year career. “This has got me at a loss for words,” he said. The Packers (7-3) kept pace in the N.F.C. North race with the Bears (7-3).

In Other Games

Maurice Jones-Drew followed a 75-yard reception with a 1-yard touchdown dive, and the host Jaguars overcame six turnovers to beat the banged-up , 24-20. Jones-Drew broke four tackles on a screen pass from David Garrard and weaved his way toward the end zone, with the rookie Joe Haden making a touchdown-saving tackle that ended up taking precious seconds off the clock. Jones-Drew scored two plays later, with 1 minute 16 seconds left.

¶Matt Ryan threw two scoring passes and directed an offense so dominant that three St. Louis defenders left with cramps in the Falcons’ 34-17 win over the host .

¶Marques Colston and Robert Meachem each caught two touchdown passes from in the ’ 34-19 win over the visiting . New Orleans (7-3) remained one game behind Atlanta in the N.F.C. South.

¶Baltimore’s defense returned consecutive interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth quarter and Joe Flacco threw for 301 yards as the visiting beat the , 37-13. The Ravens (7-3) finally rattled Carolina’s fill-in quarterback, Brian St. Pierre, to break it open. St. Pierre was given the starting job by Carolina (1-9) after Matt Moore (shoulder) and Jimmy Clausen (concussion) were hurt.

¶Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and the Buccaneers beat the stagnant , 21-0, for their first win at Candlestick Park since 1980. Tampa Bay is 7-3; San Francisco dropped to 3-7.