The Jacksonville Jaguars lost yet another game on Sunday, as the fell to the Baltimore Ravens 20-12. Since losing on the field isn’t enough, the Jaguars were labeled by two different writers as figurative “losers” as well in week 15.
First is Andrew Garda at FanSided, who is usually more optimistic than most about the Jaguars:
"Believe it or not, I really like Jacksonville and would love to see them good. They appear to be a team which has some talent, but they also appear to be a team which cannot seem to put together.You see the talent in moments like the come-from-behind win over the New York Giants. Then you see games like Sunday’s loss to Baltimore , where they just go flat and wonder how they can walk away from yet another game they could have won, instead letting it slip through their grasp…At least they appear to have found a new franchise quarterback. While Blake Bortles has certainly been as raw as advertised, he has shown some flashes of what made scouts believe he was worthy of the number one overall pick.That, if nothing else, is something to build on."
Garda reiterates the frustration fans have had with the team in recent weeks, specifically with letting winnable games slip through the cracks. While he doesn’t point out anything specific, it’s also nice to see him acknowledge Bortles’ solid performances in recent weeks.
Another writer who happened to label the Jaguars as losers this week was Robert Mays over at Grantland, who focused mainly on the offensive line.
"No one deserves the punishment dealt to Blake Bortles yesterday. It’s been a rough season all around for the Jacksonville offensive line, but yesterday marked its awful triumph. Baltimore sacked Bortles eight times and tallied 15 quarterback hits. Left tackle Luke Joeckel had his hands full with Terrell Suggs — who finished with 2.5 sacks — and in a battle of rookies, center Luke Bowanko was dismantled by Timmy Jernigan. It was a bad day for Lukes.Jacksonville’s brutal play up front has been frustrating all year. Save for a few decent Denard Robinson games against some ugly run defenses, the Jags have struggled to run the ball. Their sack rate — 10.8 percent of dropbacks — is comfortably the worst in the league. That’s not much help for a rookie quarterback who desperately needs it. Bortles has had his yeesh moments this year, but evaluating him isn’t any easier when he’s getting dumped in the backfield or seeing third-and-8 every series.What made yesterday’s horror show even worse is that the Jags had a real chance at the biggest upset of the season. The Ravens managed 13 points on offense as Jacksonville’s defense handed Justin Forsett his worst per-carry average all year — by a full yard. Forsett scraped together 48 yards on his 16 carries, and while Joe Flacco had a decent day, Baltimore was awful (4 of 12) on third down. At this stage of the Jags’ grand plan, sticking with — and, at times, outplaying — a team like the Ravens is a net gain, but man, it would have been nice to steal this one."
Mays is known for really poring through tape, especially in regards to evaluating offensive lineman, so it’s discouraging to see him highlight both Luke Bowanko and Luke Joeckel. While I don’t think Joeckel had an awful game, he definitely isn’t playing up to the level most expected when he was taken with the second overall pick. Some of the sacks were on Bortles for holding on to the ball too long, but the offensive line overall had a down day. Similar to Garda, it’s nice to see Mays giving the Jaguars a little bit of credit, mentioning that they outplayed the Ravens at times on Sunday. The Jaguars are making progress and people are starting to notice, even if it’s in a negatively skewed column.