The Jaguars couldn’t hold a halftime lead against the Patriots on the road in the AFC Championship Game last year and now they’ll have a chance to show that they can finish the job at home in the regular season.
They’ll also have a bigger lead to protect. Blake Bortles hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a touchdown with nine seconds to play in the first half and the extra point gave the Jaguars a 21-3 lead. The throw capped a sparkling half of football for Bortles, who has gone 17-of-25 for 200 yards and three touchdowns through the first 30 minutes of action.
Bortles has had particular success throwing the ball to wide receiver Keelan Cole. Cole has four catches for 77 yards including a touchdown and a one-handed grab that rivals or tops the Odell Beckham play that’s appeared on a million highlight reels.
Jacksonville’s attempt to hold this lead will come without the help of left tackle Cam Robinson. He’s been ruled out with a knee injury while Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers has not returned since going in for a concussion evaluation.