Bortles hits Benn for 51-yard TD, Jaguars beat Bears 17-16
CHICAGO (AP) — Arrelious Benn went five years between touchdowns. Once he finally scored, he sure made it count.
Blake Bortles threw for 271 yards, and a slipping Benn caught a 51-yard touchdown in the closing minutes, lifting the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The Jaguars (2-3) wiped out a 13-0 deficit in the fourth quarter in a matchup of last-place teams. And the go-ahead touchdown might have been helped by the oft-criticized turf at Soldier Field.
Benn slipped as he caught a slant and so did Tracy Porter as he tried to tag the receiver. That allowed Benn, who spent the past three seasons on injured reserve, to get up and run untouched for his first touchdown since he caught three for Tampa Bay during the 2011 season.
“That goes to show you that I went through a lot of adversity,” said Benn , who was sidelined by injuries to his knee and clavicle. “I had a lot of injuries, being injured three years, being out of football for three years. I know it’s a slow process as far as getting back, especially behind the guys we have here.
“For me, I looked at it as an opportunity for me to better myself as far as those years I missed and also to bring that veteran leadership to the younger guys and help make those guys better.”
Benn’s TD put Jacksonville on top by a point with 2:49 left and sent the Jaguars to just their fifth win in 26 road games in coach Gus Bradley’s four seasons.
It also gave the Bears (1-5) another loss after they dropped the previous game to Indianapolis on a late TD pass by Andrew Luck. Chicago racked up 389 yards, but came away with just one touchdown in four trips inside the 20.
“It’s not lack of heart, lack of trying,” Bears coach John Fox said. “Our guys battled. We just don’t play well enough right now. That’s on all of us.”
The Bears’ Brian Hoyer threw for 302 yards — his fourth straight 300-yard game filling in for the injured Jay Cutler (sprained right thumb).
Cameron Meredith had 11 catches for 113 yards. Alshon Jeffery added 93 yards receiving — all but three in the first half.
Willie Young had two sacks for Chicago. Porter intercepted Bortles in the end zone early on, but Chicago fell to 2-9 at home in two seasons under Fox.
The Jaguars didn’t score until the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, when Ivory ran in from the 1 to cut it to 13-7. On their next possession, a strip-sack by Young and recovery by Akiem Hicks gave Chicago the ball at the Jacksonville 28, leading to a field goal by Connor Barth.
But Jacksonville cut the lead back to six with 4:59 remaining on a 30-yard field goal by Jason Myers.
Porter intercepted Bortles in the end zone on Jacksonville’s first possession off a pass that popped out of Allen Robinson’s hands, stopping a drive that began at the Bears 10.
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley: “We have the capabilities of doing this. We have to mature as a team. We have to grow up as a team. When you go and experience this, this is a good sign. This is a good step toward that.”
Hoyer on the Bears’ struggles: “No one is going to give us a chance the rest of the way and that’s OK. As long as the people in that room believe we’ll be fine.”
Jaguars: FS Tashaun Gipson (knee) was active after being listed as questionable on Saturday.
Bears: WR Eddie Royal left with a toe injury in the fourth quarter. ... Porter hurt his knee near the end of the game. ... LG Josh Sitton left in the closing minutes because of an ankle injury. He was already dealing with a shoulder problem. ... Besides Cutler, the Bears were missing LB Leonard Floyd (calf), NT Eddie Goldman (ankle) and RB Jeremy Langford (ankle).