The Jaguars continue their better performances against better teams…while still falling short. I thought the point of frustration with this team was past and I was wallowing in a numb dissatisfaction with the franchise’s product this year, but then they make a game against the New England Patriots competitive and I get all caught up and raise my expectations yet again.
Only to be let down.
The Jaguars defense performed admirably in a close loss on Sunday. The defense held the league’s best offense (36 points per game) to just 23 points and forced two interceptions from Tom Brady. But, in regular Jaguar fashion, the offense let the defense down and stalled at only 16 points. Josh Scobee was three of four, adding to one Chad Henne touchdown pass in the first quarter. Jacksonville was tied with New England heading into the half but couldn’t keep pace in the third and fourth quarters. A pace of only 10 more points in 30 minutes of football. The Jags added just a field goal.
Henne was the most disappointing aspect of the game for the Jaguars. We already knew he probably wasn’t the man to put this team on his shoulders and carry them, but, even when given a shot to succeed by a usually poor defense, he let the team down this week. Two interceptions in scoring position is a rough way to go down.
The Patriots offense was nowhere near as efficient as it has been in the past. Brady’s four interceptions over the past two games are just one shy from his total (5) from the first 13 games of the season. He got it done, though, and managed two interceptions to finish 24 of 41 for 267 yards with the two picks and touchdowns. Wes Welker was the big receiver of the day with 10 receptions for 88 yards and one score. Despite decent production from Stevan Ridley (84 yards on 18 carries), the Patriots didn’t have the same offensive power that was expected coming into the game. The Jags were able to get pressure on Brady (three sacks) and disrupt plays well.
In the end the Patriots add another “W” heading toward the playoffs and the Jags lose another close one. It’s been said before that the measure of a great team is winning the close games. The difference between the Jags and the great teams was highlighted in Jacksonville this week.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims