Nine weeks into the 2016 season, the Jaguars finally managed to put together a good running game.
Led by what could be seen as a breakout performance for struggling RB Chris Ivory, the team totaled 205 yards on the ground in a tough loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ivory ran for 107 yards on 18 carries. He was also the subject of a close call that potentially cost Jacksonville a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Ivory, in an attempt to score, stretched his arm out to the end zone – and fumbled. The Jaguars, and former VP of officiating Mike Pereira, thought the refs screwed up the replay, and that the ball did in fact cross the line prior to the fumble.
It wasn’t the Jaguars’ only chance to win on Sunday, though. It also wasn’t their only turnover; Ivory’s backfield partner T.J. Yeldon coughed up a fumble, as did Bryan Walters, and Bortles threw an interception.
This was the first game the Jaguars played with newly-promoted offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who replaced Greg Olson after Olson was fired last week. While the offense still showed some of the same issues it has struggled with all year, there were notable improvements. It’s an encouraging step in the right direction, but obviously it’s hard to win a game while committing 4 turnovers.
Hopefully this truly was a breakout game for Ivory and the Jaguars’ ground attack. It would be a much-needed development, taking pressure off of Bortles and allowing for more variety in play-calling.
If it truly is a turning point, hopefully it doesn’t come too late.
- Chiefs TE Travis Kelce was having a solid game before he was ejected for quickly acquiring two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Kelce felt that his faceguard was grabbed as he tried to catch a TD pass, and the replay suggested he was. He started shouting at the refs, then threw his towel at one of them.
- Fun fact: the Chiefs still got a field goal out of that drive.
- The Jaguars scored a touchdown in the first half on the road for the first time in quite a while. It came with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half, but hey, still counts!
Next week: the Jags will be at home to take on the division rival Houston Texans. If the team wants to turn its season around, this is a must-win game.