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Broncos stymie Jaguars for 20-7 win

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2005) -- Dwayne Carswell has caught more than a dozen touchdown passes in 12 seasons.

None of them were this special.

Carswell, a Pro Bowl tight end in 2001 who switched to offensive tackle this season, caught two TD passes in his hometown, and the Denver Broncos dismantled the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-7.

"It's nice to have that type of game in your hometown," Carswell said, estimating he had 40 friends and family members at the game. "Always nice to do when you're family is watching you."

Several other Broncos also put on a show.

Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell combined for 175 yards rushing, and Denver's defense harassed Byron Leftwich and Fred Taylor all afternoon.

Leftwich was sacked twice, knocked down even more and committed three turnovers -- a fumble and two interceptions. Taylor ran eight times for 14 yards, part of a franchise-low 12 yards rushing for the Jaguars (2-2).

"It was just an ugly day," Jags right tackle Maurice Williams said. "It looked like a franchise-low everything. We can't be the type of team we want to be playing like this."

The Jaguars finished with four turnovers and 15 penalties for 119 yards, including six false starts -- at home.

"We didn't quite grasp the mental part of the game," Taylor said.

If either team was expected to have problems this week, it would have been the Broncos (3-1), who were coming off a short week and having to deal with a long trip and an early start. They also had a history of stumbling in Florida and were playing without star cornerback Champ Bailey.

None of that was a factor Sunday.

The Broncos won their third straight despite coming off a Monday night victory against Kansas City and improved to 3-10 in Florida. They had been 0-2 in Jacksonville.

Denver caught a break with the weather when it rained before and during the game, cooling temperatures and alleviating problems typically caused by heat and humidity.

Denver's lone problem came when Jimmy Smith caught a 45-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter and cut the lead to 14-7. Smith caught a simple slant pass in front of Karl Paymah, slipped between linebacker Al Wilson and safety Nick Ferguson -- the defenders collided on the play -- eluded John Lynch's diving tackle and outran Domonique Foxworth to end the end zone.

It was Jacksonville's only highlight.

"He's been the one consistent scoring threat that we have had thus far," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "We need to find a few more."

The line struggled in pass protection and run blocking, an all-too-familiar scene for the team this season.

Leftwich, who was 20 of 34 for 240 yards, has now been sacked 13 times. The Jaguars' previous rushing low was 26 yards against Pittsburgh in 2000.

The Broncos were much more effective.

Anderson gained 115 yards on 23 carries, and Bell ran 15 times for 60 yards. The success of the running game -- somewhat surprising against Jacksonville's vaunted front -- created play-action pass and bootleg opportunities for Jake Plummer.

He was 19 of 26 for 136 yards. He directed two long touchdown drives in the second quarter that wwere the difference.

He led a 17-play, 80-yard drive, a work of art that featured nine passes and eight runs, and capped it with a 2-yard pass to Carswell.

"I'm hardly the secret weapon," Carswell said. "You have certain plays you're expected to make, and those were plays I was able to make."

Carswell was wide open on the first touchdown, but linebacker Akin Ayodele was draped all over him for the second one.

"I've always told people that he has the best hands on the team, including all the wide receivers and the running backs," Wilson said. "I think that second touchdown showed it. Jake threw him a bullet and he just caught it with ease. It's good to have a guy like that who has such versatility."

Notes

  • Bailey's streak of 99 consecutive starts ended when he was inactive with a hamstring injury. Bailey had started every regular-season game since entering the league in 1999. * The Broncos also played without CB Darrent Williams. * Jags LT Mike Pearson, still recovering from major knee surgery, was inactive. He shared series with Ephraim Salaam in the first three games. LG Vince Manuwai was benched midway through the game in favor of former practice squad player Derrick Fletcher. * Jason Elam missed a 41-yard field goal attempt and had a 47-yarder blocked. But he rebounded and made two in the fourth quarter.
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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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