After 10 days of hype to build themselves up as a playoff contender following a Thursday night win against the Tennessee Titans, the Jacksonville Jaguars laid an egg in a ho-hum loss to the San Diego Chargers.
Favored for the second week in a row, the Jaguars couldn’t capitalize against a fledgling Chargers squad that had lost 6 straight games leading up to this showdown. Philip Rivers got back on track as he meticulously and methodically decimated the Jacksonville secondary. The Jaguars pass rush has been an issue all season, but this was a whole-scale failure on defense, with every facet at fault for this performance. Now the Jaguars sit at 4-7 and are on the outside looking in as a playoff “contender.”
Here are some other notes from the Jaguars 31-25 loss to the San Diego Chargers:
- In all too familiar a fashion, Philip Rivers had a terrific statistical day against the block of swiss cheese that is the Jacksonville pass defense. Without any consistent pass rush, the Jaguars just had no way of getting Rivers out of the rhythm he was in and he made them pay. Rivers ended the day with 300 yards and 4 touchdowns, but it’s hard to overstate just how easy most of the plays he made were. The Jaguars more often than not rushed 4 or less guys, but Rivers still managed to find wide open receivers despite the 7 defenders in coverage. I put the onus of this loss mostly on head coach Gus Bradley and defensive coordinator Bob Babich as they never really made it difficult for Rivers at any point on Sunday.
- On the other side of the ball, Blake Bortles had yet another underwhelming game. He threw another interception that really put the game out of reach at the end of the first half, but even worse was his production in the red zone. Whether it’s the playcalling or Bortles’ decision making, something is inherently broken with the Jacksonville offense near the goalline. The Jaguars need to figure out something that works in that part of the field, and maybe they should start looking in T.J. Yeldon‘s direction.
- Some Jacksonville players did have good days, namely Julius Thomas and Allen Robinson. Both players made big-time receptions when the team needed it, and Thomas in particular had the kind of big plays expected of him when he signed that big money deal in the offseason.
- While not mathematically eliminated, this loss effectively ends any hopes the Jaguars had of the postseason. With the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts both winning to move to 6-5, the Jaguars need to win out and get some help to win the division. The wild card is also likely out of reach with the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, and the New York Jets all also winning. It’s probably for the best, as the Jaguars just aren’t a very good football team and don’t really have any business being in the playoffs the way they’ve been playing this season.