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That Was A Painfully Jaguarian Drive

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 04: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is helped up by head coach Doug Pederson after being injured against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at EverBank Stadium on December 04, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Jacksonville's Monday Night Football game against the Bengals was a significant one, as a win would've put the Jags atop the AFC alongside the Dolphins and Ravens. The Bengals, at 5-6 and with Joe Burrow on the shelf, should've proved no impediment for our boys in the teal and ... black, right? Those are their colors now? At any rate, the Jaguars were just not able to put away the Bengals at any point, and midway through the fourth quarter of a tie game, the franchise reverted to type.

The Jags called what seemed to be an inexplicable timeout, immediately following a stoppage for a false start penalty. Watching at home, there seemed to be a commotion on the field before the refs indicated that Jacksonville had indeed been charged a timeout. Only in time did it become clear that a Jaguars water boy had run onto the field, apparently mistakenly believing that a timeout had already been called. Head coach Doug Pederson then called the timeout to avoid being hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct pentalty.

“Evan [Engram] was asking for some water after a play that he made, and—just ran onto the field,” Pederson said. “It’s just unfortunate. Obviously it’s my responsibility. It’s an unsportsmanlike and they take a timeout away.”

Real dunderhead stuff, yes, but did it curse the Jags? Logic says no, but I say: maybe. Because just three plays later, Trevor Lawrence, got his ankle twisted up when his offensive lineman stepped on him, ending his night and potentially sidelining him for longer; he'll undergo an MRI today.

Could the vibes get worse? They could. The sack pushed the Jaguars out to the fringes of field goal range, and kicker Brandon McManus sliced it just too far to the right from 48 yards.

A surreal sequence only matched by the experience of watching it on the Manningcast following a strange ordeal in which Tua Tagovailoa serenaded the Mannii with Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven." And when I say "serenaded," I mean Tua went full guitar-guy-at-shitty-college-party mode.

The missed FG would come to haunt the Jaguars, with the game going to overtime before the Bengals eventually finished the job, winning the game 34-31. Despite a valiant effort from backup C.J. Beathard, this game was over in that one cursed sequence of events. It was a reminder that the things can never be too good in Jacksonville for too long and that also God is not through punishing the state of Florida for its many sins.

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