After one of the most promising halves of football in recent memory to start the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars imploded offensively and allowed the Philadelphia Eagles to trounce them 34-17. The Jaguar defense looked stout in the first half, but the offense struggled to stay on the field with Chad Henne at the helm. Here are some quick thoughts from the game:
- Chad Henne is what he is – an inconsistent quarterback who shouldn’t be starting for an NFL team. Henne had a great first half statistically, but he was helped out significantly by undrafted free agent Allen Hurns and some terrific field position thanks to the turnovers forced by the defense. The Jacksonville offense was anemic to say the least in the second half and it was almost entirely thanks to Henne. At one point, the Jaguars were 0-8 on 3rd down. Yes, the Jaguars had trouble running the ball and the offensive line wasn’t very good, but the bulk of the blame here has to fall on Henne. The fitting cap to his day was an overthrow to an open Marcedes Lewis on 4th down followed by a fumble that led to a final punctuating touchdown for the Eagles. The Jaguars coaching staff is going to have a hell of a time justifying starting Henne next week over rookie Blake Bortles.
- Allen Hurns might be the best Jaguars rookie this year. He made his impact exclusively in the first half, but he made a handful of tough catches and seemed to be making separation consistently throughout the day.
- The defense seemed to suffer quite a bit when Johnathan Cyprien left the game. Josh Evans came and and played poorly enough to warrant some playing time for Chris Prosinski, and the Jaguars paid dearly. Hopefully Cyprien isn’t gone for too long.
- The Jacksonville defensive line looked extremely effective in the first half. They were stuffing the run successfully and consistently getting pressure on quarterback Nick Foles. The offense’s inability to convert on 3rd down and stay on the field clearly played a part in the defensive drop-off in the second half. This was an encouraging performance by the defense, despite the 34 points given up in the second half.
- The running game is an issue moving forward. It starts with the offensive line, but it was perplexing to see Jordan Todman so much in the second half. Denard Robinson appeared to be much quicker when he was in the game and probably deserved more touches. It’ll be interesting to see how the running back rotation shakes out next week.