Jacksonville Jaguars Defense Needs to Make Changes
Gus Bradley’s speciality is quickly becoming a major weakness for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The defense minded coach helped build something special in Seattle, but so far has failed to transplant that success to the Jacksonville Jaguars. While his initial campaign as head coach saw some progress on the defensive front later in the year, the guys playing defense have apparently regressed in year two.
This became even more apparent during the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday. The Colts gashed the Jaguars for 529 yards while moving the chains an impressive 27 times. It’s the third game in a row that the Jaguars have allowed over 400 yards on defense and marks the low point of their time under Bradley.
Part of the problem is the anemic offense that struggles to move the chains. In Sunday’s matchup the offense managed just two first downs in the first half behind quarterback Chad Henne. They had under 20 offensive plays heading into the locker room. As a result, the defense which was thoroughly gassed and already entered the game slightly outmatched gave up a 30 points in the first two quarters, the highest ever for a Jacksonville team.
The offense’s struggles only tell half of the story, however.
The Jaguars’ defense was struggling well before they found out they were going to stay on the field for pretty much the whole game. The secondary in particular was struggling to clamp down on the Colts’ wide receivers and the entire second level of the defense couldn’t tackle to save their lives. Andrew Luck was able to pick apart the defense to the tune of 370 yards passing, four touchdowns, and completing 31 of 39 passes. The Jaguars pass rush was slightly off their game, recording just two sacks and seven QB hits on the game.
If the team continues to give up 400+ yards a game (heaven forbid they allow another 500+ yard game) then even if Blake Bortles can stimulate the offense they will have a tough time keeping up. Further, it will be tough to see the Jags entering year three with Bob Babich still listed as the defensive coordinator. While this defense is solely Gus Bradley’s if they don’t start playing better somebody’s head will have to roll in the offseason and it likely won’t be the head coach’s after he received a major commitment from GM Dave Caldwell.
The Jags are not playing good defense right now and they will need to step it up in the near future in order to compete. The futility of the offense has been the major storyline thus far but if Bortles can continue to stimulate the offense then all the attention will turn to the defense. It’s a thin unit all around, but if they can’t gel and compete in games then Caldwell will have to start hunting for some new talent.