Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - David Garrard threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Kassim Osgood midway through the fourth quarter, as the Jacksonville Jaguars got by the Denver Broncos, 24-17, in the 2010 season-opener for both teams at EverBank Field.
Garrard finished 16-of-21 for 170 yards and three scores -- two to Marcedes Lewis -- and Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries for Jacksonville (1-0), which ended last season at 7-9 and in the cellar in the AFC South.
Kyle Orton passed for 295 yards and a TD on 21-of-33 efficiency and Knowshon Moreno ran for 60 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos (0-1), who despite starting the 2009 season with a 6-0 mark, finished 8-8 and out of the playoff picture.
With Jacksonville up 17-14 after three quarters, lightning delayed the game for 33 minutes. When play resumed, Matt Prater's 54-yard field goal ended a 44-yard drive that tied the contest.
On the Jaguars next possession, the hosts would find the end zone to take the lead for good. Starting at their own 17, a short pass coupled with a 15-yard facemask penalty quickly moved the ball to the 34. A pair of Jones-Drew eight- yard runs and yet another personal foul -- face mask -- had the Jags in business at the Denver 35. Four plays later, Garrard hit Osgood for the 24- yard TD.
Denver mounted a threat on its ensuing drive, but facing a 4th-and-3 from the Jaguars 14, Orton's pass to Brandon Lloyd couldn't be pulled in with 4:47 to play.
Jacksonville milked the clock under the two-minute warning, but were forced to punt. However, Orton was picked off by Daryl Smith with 53 seconds left that sealed the game after Garrard took a knee twice to run the remaining time off.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Denver was on the move in the early stages of the second. Starting at their own four-yard line, the Broncos used a mixture on running and passing to get inside Jacksonville territory. Then Facing facing a 4th-and-1 situation at the Jaguars' 38, Moreno pick up the first down with a hard run over right end, but Correll Buckhalter fumbled two plays later to put an end to the drive with 8:16 left in the half.
Finally, the Jaguars put the first points on the board 50 seconds before the break. Jacksonville converted a key 4th-and-short at their own 49 just after the two-minute warning. Garrard then hit Mike Thomas for a 26-yard pass that moved it to the Denver 21. On the next play Garrard tossed a short out to Lewis, who ran down the far sideline for the score.
However, the visitors quickly answered with seven. Orton connected with Brandon Lloyd for a 41-yard pass and three plays later found Jabar Gaffney in the back of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown 16 seconds before the half. The game stayed tied at 7-7 heading into the intermission.
The Jags got a 46-yard kickoff return by Tiquan Underwood to start the third quarter that led to a Garrard-to-Lewis 10-yard TD that capped a seven-play, 53-yard drive.
Moreno banged in from a yard out to even things at 14-all with 4:07 left in the third quarter. The short 40-yard drive was set up when the Jaguars attempted to convert on 4th-and-inches and came up short.
However, Josh Scobee's 45-yard field goal with under a minute remaining in the third put the Jags ahead by three. The make finished off a brief seven-play, 26-yard drive that was set up by Underwood's 53-yard kickoff return.
Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow served as the backup to Orton and had two rushes for two yards. Tebow was taken with the 25th overall pick out of Florida in the 2010 draft. Denver rookie wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, the 22nd overall selection, was inactive with a foot injury, while Denver was also without starting offensive lineman Ryan Harris (ankle)...The Broncos will open their 2010 home schedule next Sunday against Seattle, while Jacksonville visits San Diego...Lloyd ended with five catches for 117 yards...Broncos wide out Eddie Royal pulled in eight grabs for 98 yards...Mike Thomas finished with 89 yards on six receptions for Jacksonville.