Questions Answered. Jacksonville Jaguars air assaulted by the Cincinatti Bengals.
By David Johns
Last week I had a few questions after the Jags’ victory over the Colts. For instance, I wondered what would happen if and when the Jaguars faced a team with a potent passing attack. Enter Andy Dalton and A.J. Green…
I haven’t been very high on him for some time now, and Rashean Mathis didn’t do much to inspire any confidence. 6 receptions. 117 yards and a touchdown. Mathis proved once and for all that he can no longer cover young, physical, elite wide receivers. Green just always seemed to be open with Mathis playing catch up. He looks done.
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
On to someone who is NOT done…Derek Cox. He’s aggressive. He’s physical. He can defend the pass. He’s…sometimes healthy. It’s time for Cox to take the next step. Health, as usual, will be key. I’m looking forward to seeing the young cornerback’s progression.
0 sacks through 3 games. I don’t know if it’s the coverage, lack of pass rushers, scheme, or maybe it’s a combination of all three. We have only one credible rush specialist, and that’s Andre Branch. Was anyone else impressed with how he took his man and pushed him all the way into Dalton’s lap? Other than that one play it looked like Dalton was playing backyard football with his receivers. No one can cover. No one can tackle. It seems as if the only thing that we had going for us has fallen to the wayside with the offense.
Speaking of the Branch rush, it forced Dalton to throw the ball right into the hands of…Kyle Bosworth. I don’t know how in the world Dalton managed to get the ball to the least athletic guy on the field, but he did. Everything went according to plan for the Bengals. I wonder if it was part of the plan to have Bosworth fumble the ball right towards offensive tackle Andre Smith. If that’s Daryl Smith with the pick…I guarantee it’s to the house for six. Speaking of yet another pick 6 left on the field we once again revisit our old friend (and I do mean old) Rashean Mathis. He dropped a sure fire pick six with nothing but daylight ahead of him.
Our offensive line gave up 6 sacks. It’s bad when an undrafted rookie free agent, Mike Brewster, replaces you in a regular season game (I’m looking at you Eben Britton). The Britton experiment should be shelved. He’s missed too much time over the years and it’s time to move on.
It’s pretty obvious. Stop Maurice Jones-Drew, stop the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Blaine had no time to throw, and when he did it was the regular old gutless short to intermediate stuff that is sure to “boost his confidence”. At some point we are going to have to stop blaming Gabbert’s shortcomings on the backs and receivers dropping the ball. Yes it is a problem, but we don’t call enough passing plays in the first place to even get those guys going. When he did finally throw down the field to free agent acquistion (and starting to look like a one year wonder) Laurent Robinson, the guy gets a concussion and is out for the remainder of the game.
The offensive line gives our quarterback no time to throw. The backs and receivers can’t catch. Our quarterback is scared.
This is a team that can’t push the ball downfield. This is a team that can’t rush the quarterback. In today’s NFL, those are the two most important things a team can do.
Mularkey says they have more work to do. Yes, I agree. He says they have a plan and they are going to stick to that plan until it works. He says we need to make more plays. He’s right.
You can’t make plays when you have no playmakers.
Look, I know all of this might sounds harsh. It is harsh, but it’s the truth. As of now, the Jaguars are at risk of having yet another 5-11 season. Probably worse if they don’t improve.
Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE
So what are some of the things they can do to improve? It’s quite simple. Let Gabbert play. I know there’s a huge possibility that he turns the ball over several times a game, but if the formula to beat the Jags is stop MJD and if the defense continues to play at this extremely low level then we’ll have no choice.
I was so shocked in the 4th quarter, 4th and long, Gabbert checks down. I know it’s how he’s being coached. He’s being coached to protect the ball, but it’s not working. This team needs to put up points. The defense can no longer keep them in games. MJD can’t do it on his own. It’s time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to take some risks. Right now it seems as if the coaching staff is doing everything in their power to protect Gene Smith’s investment in Gabbert. Stop being so careful and play like you want to win!
Face another 5-11 season, local interest will falter. Although they are the least popular team in the league, the Jaguars have a loyal fan base here in Jax. That loyalty is fading…fast. And why shouldn’t it? Local interest is what fuels small market teams. Lose local interest, ticket sales drop…team begins to lose money…I just honestly don’t see how Khan could even justify keeping the team here if they continue to perform like this.
There is so much at stake. Just not a winning season, but our team is on the line. All of it is connected. Gene Smith. Blaine Gabbert. Shahid Khan. Maurice Jones-Drew.
So the last thing I want to hear from our head coach is that they are going to stick to their plan.
If the pieces truly are in place to win, then those pieces better get to work because we play the Monsters of the Midway next Sunday…the Chicago Bears.
-David R. Johns