TORONTO - The Jacksonville Jaguars couldn’t stop Darren McFadden Sunday.
Turns out, they didn’t have to, still finding a way to beat Oakland 38-31 in a wild finish.
The win sets up a crucial meeting next week between Indianapolis and the Jaguars that could decide who wins the AFC South and a playoff spot.
This was a meeting of two of the premier ground games and the team’s punched and counter-punched with only 10 seconds difference in time of possession. There were six scoring plays of at least 30 yards in the game, including three by McFadden, who was close to unstoppable. He scored three TDs on 209 yards rushing and receiving. Oakland had a 10-point lead but — in a three-minute span — the Jaguars turned the momentum with 14 points that included forcing an Oakland fumble on a kickoff.
David Garrard didn’t have glittering numbers but when he found Mike Sims-Walker with a TD pass with 3:44 left in the third quarter it gave Jacksonville its first lead.
They hung on to it and seemed headed for the showdown with Indy when McFadden burst free with 1:53 to play to tie the game 31-31. He jumped through a tackle on the run, gave a defender a straight arm and silenced the Jacksonville crowd.
But only briefly. A 65-yard kickoff return set up Maurice Jones-Drew for a 30-yard scamper on the next play from scrimmage leaving Jacksonville (8-5) a game ahead of the Colts. They can clinch the division title next week with a victory.
The Jaguars spread their offence with Rashad Jennings running for 109 yards and Jones-Drew adding 101 yards on 23 carries.
The Raiders (6-7) lost for the third time in four weeks and faded from post-season contention.