Corey Coleman, Browns receiver
He didn’t need long to get back in the swing of things.
Coleman had missed seven games with a broken hand but led the team with a career-high six catches for 80 yards. He had one of the four drops.
“Just trying to make plays to give our team the best chance to win,” he said.
Coach Hue Jackson believes that’s a glimpse of what Coleman can do and the contributions he can make to an offense that’s struggled for much of the season.
“Oh, absolutely. Because he walked back in there and made plays,” Jackson said. “In the first quarter, we couldn’t get the ball over there to him based on some things we were doing (from a protection standpoint). I just said forget it, let’s flip it. It ignited us a little bit and started making some plays.”
Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer said he’s had a connection with Coleman since they started to work together, so it wasn’t a surprise they got in sync so quickly.
“Corey Coleman came out and showed us exactly who he is as a receiver,” Kizer said.
Spencer Drango, Browns left tackle
The Browns have missed All-Pro Joe Thomas since he was lost for the season Oct. 22 with a torn triceps tendon. They really missed him against the Jaguars and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
He dominated Drango and really turned it on at the end, sealing the victory with a strip-sack of Kizer that was recovered in the end zone by linebacker Telvin Smith for a touchdown with 1:14 left. Ngakoue ran right around Drango and got Kizer as he tried to slide right.
“I took a set and I thought he was far enough around the corner, but DeShone was right there,” said Drango, who played well in his first two starts in place of Thomas. “So obviously I’ve got to keep setting, keep kicking and keep widening the hole for DeShone. I’ve just got to keep the little extra effort to keep pushing. I thought I was deep enough, but I wasn’t, so I’ve got to learn from it, move on and adapt.”
“You lose a guy like Joe Thomas who’s a Hall of Fame player, you’re definitely going to open up the left side of that offense and we’ve got one of the better pass rushers in the National Football League and he took advantage,” Jaguars safety and former Brown Tashaun Gipson said.
Ngakoue also beat Drango on a first-quarter sack and finished with 2.5 of Jacksonville’s five.
“I feel like every week could be a big week for me,” he said. “I feel like I could take advantage of every opponent.”
PLAY OF THE GAME
The teams traded punts to open the game, then Kizer made his first critical mistake.
He faked a handoff to Isaiah Crowell, turned around and fired over the middle for Coleman. Smith wasn’t fooled by the play-action, moved across the field and intercepted the throw. Four plays later, the Jaguars had their only offensive touchdown on a 10-yard Blake Bortles throw to tight end Marcedes Lewis off play-action that sucked in safety Derrick Kindred.
“It was one heckuva play by the backside linebacker playing through his coverage into where the ball was going,” Kizer said.
Jackson said Kizer needs to see that.
“You have to make sure you have wide vision and see the next linebacker,” he said. “That linebacker normally you would think would buy the fake and then work to the strong (side). He went weak, so he’s got to see that guy. He knows that. It is something he has to work through”
STATS OF THE GAME
Penalties for the Browns
Seasons with double-digit losses for the Browns since 1999
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“We had him in handcuffs. He is a rookie quarterback, but he will be a good quarterback in the future. Hats off to him and hats off to us. That is what we are supposed to do. Rookie or vet, we are going to go out there and get the best of them.” — Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler on Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer, who had four turnovers.
DeShone Kizer didn’t protect the ball and didn’t make enough plays. The run game was a non-factor.
The Jaguars ground out 139 rushing yards and Blake Bortles made just enough throws, including one for their lone offensive touchdown.
The Browns bounced back after a tough finish against the Lions but fell short of securing a win. They gave up too many yards on the ground and forced only one turnover.
The Jaguars got five sacks and stifled the run game. They can do it all.
Jabrill Peppers muffed two punts and lost one. Punter Britton Colquitt had a 47-yard average on a tough day to help with field position.
A penalty cost the Jaguars a recovered onside kick, punter Brad Nortman had a shank and Josh Lambo missed a 41-yard field goal.
Hue Jackson blamed youth for his team’s inconsistencies, and he’s right. He’s also won just once in 26 games.
Doug Marrone is 7-3 and in first place in the AFC South in his first year in Jacksonville. He’s figured out a way to win with a below-average quarterback.