This is a tough way to lose a lead.
With his Jacksonville Jaguars leading the Indianapolis Colts, 17-14 in the third quarter Sunday, Trevor Lawrence took a shotgun snap on first-and-20. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner hit him as he threw the ball, which landed on the turf near the line of scrimmage and bounced into running back Tank Bigsby’s hands. Bigsby dropped the ball on a hit by Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin.
Players from both teams slowed down as if the play was over on an incomplete pass. But it wasn’t. Buckner, recognizing that the whistle didn’t blow, scooped up the ball and returned it 35 yards for a Colts touchdown.
Replay confirmed that the play was indeed a fumble and not an incomplete pass. Lawrence’s hand wasn’t moving forward before the ball was dislodged. The touchdown was likewise upheld, and Buckner starts the season with a sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown, the holy grail for defensive linemen.
The play gave the Colts a 21-17 lead and the Jaguars a lesson on fundamentals early in the season. Bigsby learned the hard way in his first NFL game.