GLENDALE, Ariz. | When Calais Campbell scoped up a fumble and went 10 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, he thought his homecoming would end exactly the way he hoped.
But instead of enjoying their fifth consecutive victory, Campbell and the Jaguars suffered their first loss since Oct. 15 when Phil Dawson kicked a 57-yard field goal with one second remaining to give the Cardinals a 27-24 victory on Sunday.
For Campbell, it was his first return to Arizona to play his former team after signing a four-year, $60 million free agent contract with the Jaguars in March. He had played nine seasons with the Cardinals.
“I didn’t want it to be about me, I just wanted to go out here and get try to get that eighth win,’’ Campbell said. “You know after Thanksgiving every game is tough.’’
The Jaguars didn’t enjoy their first lead until just two minutes into the fourth quarter when defensive end Yannick Ngakoue came off the edge and sacked former Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert and forced him to fumble on ta third-and-10 at the Arizona 15.
Campbell scoped the up the ball and rambled into the end zone for a touchdown.
It was the Jaguars’ first sack and takeaway of the game and provided the momentum surge they had been looking for on an otherwise difficult afternoon on both sides of the ball.
“At that point and time, I just knew we had the game locked up,’’ Campbell said. “But after that they made some big-time plays. We were inches from making plays that could have won the game. I felt like I didn’t play my best game.’’
Campbell finished with three tackles, but the NFL’s sack leader (11.5) failed to add to his total. On a 52-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown that put Arizona ahead 24-17, Campbell just missed getting to Gabbert.
The Jaguars entered the game with a league-leading 40 sacks, but Ngakoue’s fourth-quarter sack on Gabbert was their only one of the day. The Jaguars had several hits on Gabbert, but he was able to avoid the Jaguars’ pressure on several plays
Gabbert did a good job completing passes to the tight ends in the flat in front of the Jaguars linebackers. Ricky Seals-Jones had four receptions for 72 yards to lead all Arizona receivers. The Jaguars also played the second half without outside linebacker Telvin Smith, who was diagnosed with a concussion at halftime.
“They did a nice job of getting rid of the ball quickly,’’ Coach Doug Marrone said. “He (Gabbert) made some scrambles for first downs and moving around in the pocket. We got to get that little extra, but they did a nice job. You have to give them credit.’’
The Florida Times Union