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Lawrence, Ridley and defense help Jaguars beat Falcons 23-7 in London

LONDON (AP) — Calvin Ridley caught a touchdown pass against his old team and Darious Williams returned an interception for a 61-yard score and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

The Jags (2-2) halted a two-game skid with a series of big plays as the team celebrated playing for the 10th time in London and held on as the Falcons tried to rally in the second half.

Trevor Lawrence side-stepped a blitzing Richie Grant and lofted a deep ball to a wide-open Ridley for a 30-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Williams stepped in front of wide receiver Drake London, intercepted Desmond Ridder’s pass and outran the second-year QB into the end zone to make the score 17-0 in the second quarter. It was the first pick-6 in London since 2016.

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The Falcons (2-2) have dropped two in a row and Ridder, making his eighth NFL start, showed some inexperience with interceptions on back-to-back throws in the first half.

After the pick-6, Andre Cisco intercepted Ridder’s next pass — intended for Kyle Pitts on a crossing route — and returned it to the Atlanta 20. Cisco fumbled but teammate Foyesade Oluokun recovered it at the 16.

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson opted against a chip-shot field goal for a 20-point lead and Lawrence was sacked on fourth-and-1 from the 7 by David Onyemata.

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Lawrence finished 23 of 30 for 207 yards and the TD pass. Christian Kirk led the Jags with eight receptions for 84 yards. Ridley, drafted 26th overall in 2018 by the Falcons, had two receptions for 38 yards.

Atlanta came out energized in the second half and Ridder finished a 75-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to London to cut Jacksonville’s lead to 17-7.

London only got one foot down at the back of the end zone on a fourth-and-3 from the 6 with just over six minutes remaining and the score 20-7.

Bijan Robinson rushed for 105 yards on 14 carries for the Falcons.

Brandon McManus kicked three field goals, including a 56-yarder for the Jags.

Ridder finished 19 of 31 for 192 yards, the TD pass and two interceptions.

EARLY BIRDS GROUNDED

The Falcons didn’t get a first down until early in the second quarter when Jonnu Smith caught a 15-yard pass to their 44. Atlanta only got across the 50-yard line with 5:55 left in the half when Robinson took an 8-yard carry to the Jacksonville 47. Two plays later, Williams had his pick-6.

Josh Allen had three sacks overall — taking his season tally to six — a week after the Jags had no sacks against the Texans.

STREAKY

The Jags snapped a three-game losing streak at Wembley, where they hadn’t won since beating the Baltimore Ravens 44-7 in 2017. Two years ago, Jacksonville ended a 20-game skid with a 23-20 win over the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

INJURIES

Falcons: Defensive back Dee Alford was evaluated for a concussion.

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Jaguars: Return specialist Jamal Agnew (thigh) was inactive after being listed as questionable. His backup, Parker Washington, was slow to get up after fielding his first punt in the first quarter. He didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Falcons: Host the Houston Texans on Sunday in the first of back-to-back home games.

Jaguars: Stay in London but switching to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for an “away” game against the Buffalo Bills.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL