The first text came at 9:17 p.m. Saturday.
It simply said: “Sorry man.”
I was sitting in the press box at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville while my friend, sports radio host Mark Moses of AM-1560 The Fan in Melbourne, was watching the Jaguars-Chargers game on TV.
The Jaguars were trailing 27-0 and halftime hadn’t even arrived yet.
My immediate reply was just as simple: “They can still come back!”
It’s something I’ve watched for the past two months. The Jaguars stink in the first half and come out of the locker room like Popeye after eating spinach.
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Fortunately for the Jaguars, they scored just before halftime but still trailed 27-7.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, the Chargers got the ball first after the half.
The Jaguars’ defense held and forced a Chargers punt. Jacksonville then went on a 14-play, 89-yard scoring drive that took 7 minutes, 17 seconds.
After the extra point, the next text from Mark came in at 10:27 p.m.: “27-14.”
Again, my immediate response was: “Never count them out.”
However, with just 5:11 left in the third quarter, they were going to need plenty more defense and to speed things up on offense.
The Chargers kicked a field goal on their next possession to go ahead 30-14, but the Jaguars answered quickly, going 68 yards in 2 minutes, 14 seconds to score a touchdown and make the score 30-20 just before the third quarter ended.
The Chargers then ate up 6 minutes, 57 seconds of clock only to miss a field goal.
At 10:59 p.m., Mark texted: “No good!”
I quickly answered: “Believe!”
The Jaguars then went 70 yards in 3 minutes, 22 seconds, scored a touchdown and got the two-point conversion to make the score 30-28 with 5:25 to play.
After the Jaguars’ defense forced a three-and-out, everything seemed set up for a storybook ending in the most amazing sporting event I’ve ever seen in person.
The Jaguars pushed the ball 61 yards in just over three minutes, setting up the potential game-winning field goal.
After the Chargers called a timeout, I texted Mark: “I’m on pins and needles.”
Moments later, Riley Patterson booted the team into immortality as the Jaguars pulled off the third-largest comeback in playoff history.
Mark’s final text came after the kick at 11:31 p.m. “Amazing.”
I then reiterated what I had said earlier: “Never Count them out.”
Will it be more of the same Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs?
Or are the Comeback kids about to have their Cinderella season come to a close?
Joining me again this week on “The *State* of Florida Sports Podcast,” powered by the USA TODAY Network, is Jaguars beat writer Demetrius Harvey of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.
We’ve discussed the Jaguars over the past two weeks on this podcast because there’s certainly no shortage of storylines with this group of Cardiac Cats.
We’ll discuss the meeting between the Jaguars and Chiefs earlier this season, a 27-17 loss that which seemed to set off a spark inside the Jaguars.
“It was a game that never felt like even when they were down 20-0 for some reason at least watching it from the press box in Kansas City, it just seemed like that game was never out of hand,” Demetrius says during the podcast. “It was clear that the Chiefs were just the better team. But it was never something where you’re just like, ‘oh man, the Jaguars didn’t even show up today.’ So I think that there’s some things to take away.”
After the Jaguars lost to the Chiefs, they won six of their final seven regular season games to make it into the playoffs.
If you still can’t believe what you saw last weekend and want to hear more before this rematch, you have to give us a listen.
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