- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2007

DENVER (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars meticulously and methodically moved downfield on the gassed Denver defenders, relegating the league’s top tailback to a sideline spectator kicking his cleats like a bored child on an anthill.

The Jaguars jump-started their 23-14 thumping of the Broncos yesterday with the longest drive in franchise history. Reggie Williams’ 3-yard touchdown catch from David Garrard — against 12 defenders, no less — capped the 18-play, 80-yard torture test that lasted 11 minutes, 44 seconds.

“It’s like being on the treadmill for a half hour straight,” linebacker Ian Gold said.

The drive gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead — and much more.

“I thought that was a big statement, and that set the tone of the day for us,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said.

The Broncos (2-1) never recuperated, surrendering scores on the next three possessions and watching the Jaguars (2-1) control the clock for nearly 39 minutes.

Denver’s offense never recovered from all that standing around, either.

The Broncos’ high-octane unit, which had piled up 911 yards the first two weeks, managed just 265 and scored on two of 10 possessions, turning the ball over on an interception, a fumble and twice on downs.

“We wanted to give our defense a rest, and we weren’t able to do that,” Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley said.

Travis Henry ran just 11 times for 35 yards, about 100 yards below his average.

“That’s what we usually do to people, and they did it to us,” Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.

The Jaguars controlled the game so well that Shanahan, out of timeouts and with his headset malfunctioning, went for it on fourth-and-5 from his own 9 with more than four minutes remaining and his team trailing 20-14 after Henry’s 6-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

“I just had a gut feeling with the way they were controlling the tempo of the game that that would give us the best chance to win,” Shanahan said. “And it almost turned out good.”

Tight end Daniel Graham dropped the potential first-down pass.

“I just hit the ground and dropped the ball. It’s on me,” said Graham, who spiked the ball in frustration, giving the Jaguars the ball at the 4.

Jacksonville was turned away inside the 1 for the second time, and John Carney’s third short field goal, this one from 18 yards, provided the final margin with 2:10 left.

The Broncos also had their troubles in the red zone. They burned their final two timeouts late in the third quarter before going for it on fourth-and-1 from the 3. Jay Cutler, however, was stuffed by Daryl Smith on a keeper in which the Broncos had no tight ends and three wide receivers.

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