From Wembley: Jaguars Dominate Falcons on London Return

From Wembley: Jaguars Dominate Falcons on London Return

The Jacksonville Jaguars marked their 10th game in London with a comfortable 23-7 win over a lacklustre Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium.

Nearly 86,000 fans descended on the home of English football to witness Trevor Lawrence lead his side to victory, in the first leg of their historic back-to-back games in the capital.

Jacksonville, who played as the home team in London, kicked off with a first-quarter touchdown courtesy of Calvin Ridley, who caught a 30-yard pass from Trevor Lawrence against his old team.

The Jaguars dominated possession throughout the first quarter, gaining 146 yards compared to a measly five from Atlanta. Lawrence looked fairly comfortable throwing the ball but gained the majority of his yards using his feet early on.

Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder made his job more difficult by throwing an interception before the half to Jaguars defensive back Darious Williams, who ran it 61 yards back to the end zone for a pick-six.

Ridder’s horror-show continued as he threw his second interception of the day on his next pass. The throw, intended for Kyle Pitts, was picked off by Andre Cisco who ran it back to the Atlanta 18-yard line. However, the ball was then fumbled but recovered by Jacksonville’s Foyesade Oluokun.

The first half ended 17-0 in favour of the home side, with Atlanta showing very little on offense in front of the British fans.

The Falcons did, however, manage to get themselves on the board in the third quarter after Ridder’s pass found Drake London in the endzone, who managed to keep both feet in bounds.

The fourth quarter was a routine affair for the Jaguars after making an important defensive stop on fourth down. Brandon McManus scored two of his three field goals in the final quarter which helped secure the win for Jacksonville.

Speaking after the game, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith reflected on a difficult day for Ridder and the team.

“Those are tough lessons for a young quarterback. You find out about yourself when you go back out there. That’s why in the second half he was able to push the ball down the field a little bit. I thought he operated cleaner in the pocket and he was not risk adverse after that.

Smith remained optimistic after the loss at Wembley, but admitted there were key areas that warranted improvement.

“But it goes back to reality. We have to find a way to jump start early and it’s always going to start with me. We’ve got the right guys in that locker room but the reality is thankfully we’re 2-2 and we’ve got to get back to Atlanta and get this thing jump started.”

Despite the disappointing result, Smith spoke to Decyfr and acknowledged the support from the British fans and the clear growth that the game is showing in the UK.

“It’s great to have the Falcons fanbase as you see the game growing internationally. Not pleased at all by the result today, we had a better result last time but the overall experience of playing over here has been excellent. It’s good to see the game grow.”

Ridder, also downbeat with the result, praised the support his team received this week at Wembley.

“It was great, for anyone that came from London or anywhere else in the world to be here to watch us we thank them. It was a great atmosphere and a great place to play.”

Atlanta will now travel home while the Jaguars remain in London to face the Buffalo Bills at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in week five.

Latest News: