The Jacksonville Jaguars came away from Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos with their seventh straight loss – and not much else.
It was a game that the Jags expected to struggle with, as the team had several players out with injuries including star receiver Allen Hurns. That being said, the loss was made all the more frustrating by how many chances the Jags actually had to win against the defending Super Bowl champions.
It started off as a low-scoring affair, with the Jaguars drawing first blood early in the second quarter on a field goal kick by Jason Myers. Unfortunately, this seemed to open the flood gates, as Denver would then score on two of their three remaining drives before halftime.
The Jaguars had their chances to keep up with the Broncos. With just under five minutes remaining in the first half, the team had the ball on their opponent’s 37-yard line. On 2nd and 5, Bortles slang a deep pass to Allen Robinson just about 10 yards from the end zone. Robinson grabbed for the ball, but he bobbled it and couldn’t pull it in; instead, the ball was scooped up by a Broncos defender. The play quickly turned into a 36-yard interception return.
It’s something that has happened far too often this season – Bortles throwing to a receiver who bobbles the ball and keeps it alive for a defender to grab it. Jaguars receivers are actually the culprit behind a few of Bortles’ interceptions this year.
The Broncos didn’t score on that drive, but it still served to kill any momentum the Jaguars might have hoped to generate.
It was Bortles’ next interception – one that could only be blamed on Bortles himself – that would essentially decide the game. On a third quarter drive that saw the Jags march 40 yards up-field despite beginning with awful field position, the team looked poised to even the game up at 10 a piece. That’s when Bortles made an atrocious 3rd down throw that was picked off by Bradley Roby, who returned the interception for a touchdown.
The Jags would later score another TD on a Bortles run, but the damage had been done at that point. The Broncos held tight on defense, and added a field goal to secure their win.
On one hand, it was kind of impressive that the Jaguars were even in the game against the defending champion Broncos, who sit at 8-4 this season despite the loss of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. On the other, it was infuriating that what could have been a statement win for the struggling Jaguars has instead become a seventh straight loss and another example of offensive implosion.
The team managed 333 total offensive yards – 127 more yards than the Broncos. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter how many yards the team can gain if they can’t keep the ball.
Nothing is getting better this year. Bortles’ struggles continue, with his throwing ability seemingly getting worse with each drive. Receivers keep dropping passes, making even the occasional accurate pass attempts fall short and even occasionally turn into interceptions. The defense continues to play as hard as possible for no apparent reason, given that the offense has no interest in helping their cause.
It’s not going to change – at least not this season. There are things that absolutely need to happen, such as the firing of coach Gus Bradley, that don’t appear set to occur until 2017. It’s a tough position for Jaguars fans, as there’s almost no point in even watching the rest of this season. The team, or at least the offensive side of it, gave up weeks ago. It’s pretty hard to sell anyone on showing up to games (or more accurately, the one remaining home game) if they’re watching a team that keeps reaching new lows.
If no one shows up to next Sunday’s game, hopefully owner Shad Khan is wise enough to understand why.
- It was a very Broncos-heavy crowd on Sunday. As such, there were a decent amount of boos for former Bronco Malik Jackson when he was introduced before the game.
- A lovely stat via ESPN: Blake Bortles has more career pick-sixes (11) than career wins (10). No QB has ever thrown that many pick-sixes in his first 3 seasons.
Next week, the Jags take on the Minnesota Vikings at home. Please, have mercy on us.