The Jacksonville Jaguars wrapped up their 2014 campaign on Sunday, as they failed to match their 2013 win total in a 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans. The Jaguars had a chance to win the game with a minute left at the goal line, but they failed to punch it in on 4 tries in what was a really a microcosm of their entire season – an offense that was just too young and inexperienced to click at the right time and get things done.
Here are some quick notes from the Jaguars’ final game this season:
- The Jacksonville Jaguars need a young pass rusher, and Sunday’s loss was just further evidence of what might be their sneakiest deficiency. Yes, the Jaguars finished with 3 sacks and 7 QB hurries, but Case Keenum had a lot of time to throw on way too many dropbacks. Keenum, someone who wasn’t even on an active roster a few weeks ago, came in and threw for 250 yards on 35 attempts, and he missed on a handful of throws on his own accord. I expected the Jacksonville defense to frustrate Keenum more, but he had a very good game.
- The Jaguars need to sort out the running back position this offseason, but it looks like Jordan Todman will be in the mix in 2015. He played 45 snaps, the most he had all season, and he was the Jaguars most explosive player. He rushed for 52 yards on 7 carries, including another explosive run that went for 34 yards, and he was the lucky recipient of a 23 yard touchdown pass from Cecil Shorts on a trick play. Todman isn’t an every down back, but he appears to be developing into the ideal change-of-pace/third down back.
- The Jaguars have some decisions to make at the wide receiver position. Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson appear to be sure-fire bets to start next season, but Cecil Shorts is a free agent and Marqise Lee had his worst game of the year in week 17. Shorts played better than he had in recent weeks, but the argument could be made that he dropped the game winning touchdown pass from Bortles. Lee was credited with 3 drops, and all of them really were just inexcusable. He’s had his moments this year, but he’s been far too inconsistent for the Jaguars to count on him as a reliable producer in the passing game for now. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jaguars look elsewhere and sign a veteran free agent to elevate this receiving corp.
- Blake Bortles did not have a great game. He missed on a handful of “layup” throws, and he held the ball too long on numerous occasions, including J.J. Watt’s safety. Still, it was encouraging to see Bortles put the offense in position to win the game in the final drive. He made plays with both his arms and his legs, and he is still showing flashes of why he was the third overall pick. This offseason is going to be huge for him – he can’t keep having statlines like he did on Sunday (14/33 for 117 yards and 3.5 yards per attempt). He has a lot of things to work on, and he’s going to be judged at a different level in 2015.