Several members of the media put the onus of Sunday’s loss at home against the San Diego Chargers squarely on the shoulders of head coach Gus Bradley. Front and center was Bradley’s inability to get a timeout called when Keenan Allen gained extra yards after being down by contact and Bradley’s indecision on going for it near the goal line costing the team a timeout.
While Bradley is probably to blame for not getting that timeout, his gaff ultimately didn’t cost the Jaguars since Philip Rivers somehow managed to get no points despite the Jaguars committing 73 penalties inside the 5 yard line. Bradley is a first year head coach who is still obviously learning the intricacies of gameday decisions. Some of the blame also falls on the officials for failing to even consider reviewing the play and letting the Chargers get the snap off so quickly.
Bradley’s call near the goal line in the third quarter is a bit trickier to analyze. There are really two mentalities in that situation – “why the hell not” since we probably aren’t going to win anyway and “the smart thing to do here is take the points” because I actually think we can win this game. Bradley clearly took some time to make his decision – hence the timeout- but he ultimately decided that the Jaguars were better off taking the points and asking the defense to give the offense a chance.
My reasoning is less subtle. The Jacksonville Jaguars are downright terrible in the red zone when it comes to scoring touchdowns. The Jaguars have scored touchdowns on only 27.78% of their red zone trips this season. That’s the worst rate in the league by almost 10% and a pretty laughable number when compared to Denver’s red zone efficiency at 78.79%. The odds were against the Jaguars scoring a touchdown, so the statistically logical thing was to take the sure points and not take a pretty wild risk on fourth down.
Ultimately the blame for this loss doesn’t fall on head coach Gus Bradley. It falls on Chad Henne, the offensive line, the pass rushers, and the rest of the subpar units on the team.
- Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89