TEMPE, Ariz. – Without their starting quarterback and running back on Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars still had just enough to win their fourth straight.

Derrick Wimbush returned a kick 91 yards for a touchdown, backup quarterback David Garrard ran 16 yards for a score and the Jaguars held on for a 24-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Quarterback Byron Leftwich went down with a sprained ankle on their first offensive series and Fred Taylor didn’t even suit up because of an ankle injury.

After Arizona’s Kurt Warner threw incomplete on fourth-and-1 from the Cardinals 40 with 4:27 to play, and Anquan Boldin was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, Greg Jones ran 25 yards for a touchdown to put Jacksonville (8-3) ahead 24-10 with 4:20 to play.

The Cardinals (3-8) struck back quickly. Warner threw 40 yards to Bryant Johnson, then hit Larry Fitzgerald with a 5-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 24-17 with 2:56 remaining.

An onside kick try failed, but Jacksonville couldn’t move the ball and Arizona took over on its 20 with 1:52 to play. Arizona drove to the Jaguars 36, but Warner was hit from behind by Kenny Wright and Akin Ayodele, fumbled and Jacksonville’s Rob Meier recovered, assuring the victory.

Neil Rackers’ string of 31 consecutive field goals, tied for third-longest in NFL history, came to an end on the first series of the windy afternoon when his 43-yard attempt was wide left.

Warner completed 29 of 46 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Boldin caught 10 for 115 yards. Garrard was 12-for-26 for 115 yards and rushed for 62 yards in five carries.

Leftwich was hurt on the Jags’ first play when he was sacked by Adrian Wilson. He stayed in the game for four more plays, then limped off. A short time later, he was taken by cart to the locker room for X-rays and his day was over.

Garrard finished the 10-play, 67-yard drive, running 16 yards on a bootleg to make it 7-0 with 3:10 left in the first.

Josh Scobee kicked a 30-yard field goal to put Jacksonville up 10-0 at the half.

The Cardinals cut the lead to 10-3 on Rackers’ 42-yard field goal with 4 minutes left in the third, salvaging a drive marred by two personal foul penalties and one illegal formation call against Arizona.

It was a nasty game with several personal foul calls, two against Boldin and two against his defender Terry Cousin. Each team drew 11 penalties, Jacksonville for 81 yards and Arizona for 105.

After the field goal, Wimbush – whose previous best return this season was 36 yards – took the kickoff at the 9 and appeared to be stopped near midfield. He was spun around by would-be tackler Quentin Harris, broke free and ran untouched across the field and to the right corner of the end zone, making it 17-3 with 3:37 left in the third quarter.

Another personal foul, this one against Jacksonville’s Deke Cooper for a late hit on Boldin, aided Arizona’s nine-play, 81-yard drive that ended with Warner’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Eric Edwards, cutting the Jags’ lead to 17-10 with 13:34 to play.

AP-ES-11-27-05 1938EST


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