Jaguars 7, Broncos 6

-- The Jacksonville Jaguars are accustomed to playing close games. Now they're finding ways to win them, too.

The Jaguars lost three games in the final minute last season and finished 5-11. They've won twice this season in the waning seconds.

Denver running back Quentin Griffin fumbled a handoff on the Jacksonville 23-yard line with about 30 seconds to play, allowing the Jaguars to escape with a 7-6 victory over the Broncos on Sunday.

Last week at Buffalo, Byron Leftwich connected with rookie Ernest Wilford for a seven-yard touchdown pass as time expired to give the Jaguars a 13-10 win.

"We're keeping the cardiologists busy in town," Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio said.

Jacksonville (2-0) has played outstanding defense both weeks. But the unit almost gave this one away down the stretch.

The Jaguars had Denver (1-1) pinned inside the 20-yard line with a little more than two minutes to play when defensive end Lionel Barnes was flagged 15 yards for roughing the passer. The penalty came after an incomplete pass on third and four.

It gave the Broncos 15 yards and an automatic first down.

Jake Plummer then drove his team into field goal range with three completions and a nine-yard run. He spiked the ball to stop the clock. Griffin then gained a yard, setting up third and nine at the 23 with 37 seconds remaining.

It would have been a 40-yard field goal for Jason Elam -- with the wind at his back.

But Coach Mike Shanahan opted not to kick on third down, wanting to run more time off the clock and trying to get a shorter kick.

It backfired.

"We had plenty of time to hand the ball off and get a few more yards," Shanahan said.

Griffin never really got the ball from Plummer. Akin Ayodele recovered the fumble, and the Jaguars ran out the clock from there.

"I couldn't believe it," Jacksonville wide receiver Jimmy Smith said. "I laid back on the bench and thought it was over. The last two weeks I've done as much praying as anything. I don't know how it happens."

The Jaguars held Griffin to 66 yards, extending their streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher to an NFL-best 17 games. The shifty, undersized back had 156 yards last week against Kansas City, drawing comparisons to Barry Sanders.

Griffin left the locker room without speaking to reporters. Shanahan, though, defended his running back.

"I don't think he ever had it," Shanahan said. "It is different if a guy has it in his stomach and somebody strips it. He never got it from the quarterback. I'm not sure if Jake stumbled or what happened."

Plummer said both players were at fault.

"We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot," he said, acknowledging the fumble and the 33 percent success rate on third down.

The Jags were even less efficient, converting just one third down. But it was a big one -- Leftwich's 12-yard touchdown pass to Wilford in the second quarter.

Denver's Quentin Griffin, left, and Jacksonville's Akin Ayodele battle for Griffin's fumble late in the fourth quarter.