JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Courtland Sutton’s career day helped the Denver Broncos beat woeful Jacksonville 23-13 on Sunday, handing the Jaguars a 17th consecutive loss.
Sutton finished with nine catches for 159 yards, including a shoe-string grab in the third quarter that surely rates among his best plays in four seasons. In Denver’s first game without Jerry Jeudy (ankle), Sutton showed he can be Teddy Bridgewater’s go-to guy.
The Broncos, who are 2-0 for the seventh time in the last nine years and the first since 2019, waited years to see this kind of performance from Sutton. The second-round pick in 2018 missed 15 games last season because of a torn knee ligament. It was just the third 100-yard receiving game of his career.
He looked unstoppable against the Jaguars (0-2), who struggled to keep pace with him down the field.
Sutton had nearly half of Bridgewater’s 328 yards passing. Bridgewater completed 26 of 34 passes, with TD tosses to Tim Patrick and Noah Fant, and played mistake-free football for the second straight week.
The Broncos has plenty else go right.
First-round draft pick Patrick Surtain II, making his first career start in place of cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring), notched his first career interception. The rookie made a great grab near the sideline in front of Tyron Johnson.
Surtain’s pick was then second of the day and fifth of the season for No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence capped an 83-yard drive to open the game with a 25-yard pass to Marvin Jones. But Jacksonville did little right the rest of the afternoon.
Jamal Agnew returned a kickoff 102 yards late in the game, but then promptly got flagged for delay of game on the ensuring kickoff.
Jacksonville’s home opener wasn’t as much of a debacle as their season opener a week early, but it wasn’t a whole lot better, either.
Bradley Chubb’s return from an ankle injury was short-lived. Denver’s standout linebacker left the game in the second quarter after re-aggravating the injury. Chubb looked noticeably upset as he walked off the field and to the injury tent and then the locker room.
He was ruled out a short time later.
Chubb and star Von Miller, one of the NFL’s most dominant pass-rushing duos, were on the field together for the first time in nearly two years. They last did that on Sept. 29, 2019, against the Jaguars. Chubb missed the rest of that season because of a left knee injury, and Miller sat out all of 2020 after dislodging a tendon in his left ankle in practice.
Chubb was inactive for last week’s opener at the New York Giants but tried to go despite being limited in practice all week.
Josh Lambo’s struggles continued Sunday, raising questions about whether the Jaguars will make a move at kicker. Lambo missed two field-goal attempts, making him 0 for 3 on the season.
Lambo, who had hip surgery last year but vowed earlier this month he’s “as good of a kicker, if not better, than I’ve ever been,” was wide right from 52 yards away and wide left from 48. He was wide left on a 55-yarder last week at Houston.
Broncos LB Josey Jewell left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. Jaguars lost TE James O’Shaughnessy (ankle), CB CJ Henderson (hip) and RG A.J. Cann (hamstring).
The Jaguars announced 58,461 tickets distributed for their home opener, and many of those went to Denver fans. Orange jerseys were prevalent throughout the stadium.
Broncos: Host the winless New York Jets next Sunday, ending a three-game opening stretch that’s likely the softest in the NFL.
Jaguars: Host Arizona next Sunday. The Cardinals have won the last three meetings.
By MARK LONG AP Pro Football Writer
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