After arguably the most inept 8 game stretch in the history of the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars responded after their bye week with their best performance of the season. The Tennessee Titans were favored by as much as 13-points at home and for good reason – the Jaguars have been outscored by 176 points in 9 games this season.
There were several positives to take away from the Jaguars’ 29-27 win on Sunday, almost all of them coming on defense.
- When he was on the field, Jake Locker was pressured and made bad decisions partly because of the defensive line play.
- The defensive secondary was outstanding, particularly cornerbacks Dwayne Gratz and Alan Ball. Will Blackmon had the play of year with his fumble-strip-touchdown play to seal the game.
- Chris Johnson was held in check and never really had a chance to break a big run. He hasn’t been good all season and the Jaguar defense kept it that way.
- Most of them were careless fumbles on the Titans’ part, but the Jaguars forced four turnovers and had a +2 turnover margin.
- Jordan Todman responded well after some struggles in London and made the most of his 3 carries. He should compete with Denard Robinson for snaps behind Maurice Jones-Drew
The defense stepped up and showed some of the consistency that had been lacking over the first 8 weeks. Still, we saw a lot of the flaws that made this team 0-8 and those deficiencies aren’t going away this season.
- Quarterback is still the weakest spot on this roster by a wide margin. Chad Henne made the mistakes he had avoided in his last few starts by throwing a couple of terrible interceptions. The Jaguars won despite Henne.
- The interior offensive line was horrific the entire day and was manhandled by the Titans’ defensive front. Uche Nwaneri and Austin Pasztor in particular were blown up constantly on the right side. The Jaguars only averaged 1.8 yards a carry and that is almost entirely the offensive line’s fault.
- The most disheartening part of the offense really is the lack of average quarterback play. Without the right guy getting them the ball, it’s hard to evaluate players like Ace Sanders and Mike Brown. This offense might have an abundance of riches as far as skill players, but we won’t know until next year.
While it temporarily sets the Jaguars back in the Teddy Bridgewater sweepstakes, it’s great to see Gus Bradley and his coaching staff get a win. All I wanted to see was improvement and it was definitely there on the defensive side.
- Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89