JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the Jacksonville Jaguars trudged into the locker room down 10 points at halftime, Maurice Jones-Drew called an impromptu meeting.
The Jaguars responded even better to his motivational speech than the running back planned.
David Garrard, Rashad Jennings and Jones-Drew led a barrage of big plays — just enough to offset Darren McFadden's huge day — and the Jaguars beat the Oakland Raiders 38-31 Sunday in a wild game that featured six touchdowns of at least 30 yards.
Jones-Drew's halftime words left an impression, but not because of the tenor, tone or timing.
"It meant something because it came from him," receiver Mike Sims-Walker said. "He's not a talkative guy, a loud person. But he felt like we were letting the game slip away by doing things we don't normally do. He gave us some words and we listened. We came out and fed off it."
The Jaguars (8-5) won for the first time in franchise history when giving up 30 points and overcame a halftime deficit for the first time since Oct. 18, 2009, against St. Louis. This one was significant. It gave Jacksonville five wins in its last six games and set up a critical AFC South showdown at Indianapolis next week.
Jacksonville is a game ahead of the Colts and can clinch the division next week with a victory and a loss by Houston. Jones-Drew might want to prepare a pregame speech for that one.
"He let us have it in his own way, saying, 'Let's get it going and keep your heads up,'" rookie Deji Karim said.
The Raiders (6-7) lost for the third time in four weeks to fade from postseason contention.
McFadden did his part to keep Oakland in the game. He had a 67-yard TD reception, a 51-yard scoring run and a 36-yarder that tied the game at 31 with 1:53 remaining.
But Karim returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards, and Jones-Drew went untouched on the next play for a 30-yard score. Jones-Drew could have gone down at the 1-yard line and taken some time off the clock — like he did against the New York Jets last year — but he wanted the touchdown.
"It's been a long time since I've been in there," said Jones-Drew, who had his sixth consecutive 100-yard game.
The Raiders had a final chance and moved the ball into Jacksonville territory. But Jeremy Mincey ended the threat by sacking Jason Campbell.
"At critical points of the game, we just didn't make the plays," Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. "When it came down to it, we gave up too many big plays on defense. You aren't going to beat anybody doing that."
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Garrard completed 11 of 22 passes for 159 yards and tied Mark Brunell's franchise record with his 20th TD pass of the season. Jones-Drew ran 23 times for 101 yards, and Jennings carried five times for 109 yards.
The Raiders dominated the first half, outscoring the Jaguars 17-7 and gaining twice as many yards. They got a nearly flawless performance from Campbell, who had a perfect passer rating in the first 30 minutes.
But Jacksonville turned things around with three touchdowns in the third quarter. Garrard threw a perfect deep pass to Jason Hill for a 48-yard score, Jennings ripped off his big run and then Garrard found Mike Sims-Walker in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yarder.
The biggest play in the quarter came after Jennings' scamper, which was twice as long as Jones-Drew's longest this season. Ford fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Jaguars great field position and all the momentum. Garrard and Sims-Walker then hooked up on third-and-goal.
"Heck of game, just too many big plays defensively," Raiders coach Tom Cable said. "We gave up too many. The turnover on the kickoff return was big. I think just those two things were the difference in the game."
The Jaguars looked as though they would seal the victory with defense. But Will Middleton's helmet-to-helmet contact on Campbell negated a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Kyle Boller briefly replaced Campbell and threw an interception to end the drive.
Jacksonville punted, though, and McFadden came up huge again. He broke a tackle and scampered up the middle for the tying score. He finished with 123 yards rushing, 86 yards receiving and three scores. It wasn't enough to overcome Jones-Drew's speech or Jacksonville's big plays.
"It's very frustrating," McFadden said. "A game like that it don't mean nothing if you don't win."
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