In what was one of the more predictable games of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars were torn apart by Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in a 38-27 loss that was much more one-sided than the score would indicate. The Saints took a 24-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter and it was effectively over before halftime.
The Jacksonville offense didn’t play great in the first half, but this game, as most of the games this season, is entirely on the defense. Blake Bortles did a good job of trying to make it a contest in the second half, but the defense failed to get Brees and the offense off the field (8-13 on third downs and 1-1 on 4th down).
Here are some quick notes from yet another terrible defensive performance:
- Hopefully you didn’t blink at the beginning of the game, because the Jaguars were down 21-0 early in the 2nd quarter. The Jacksonville offense once against sputtered to start the game, as Bortles and receivers continue to struggle during the scripted plays at the beginning of the game. I don’t want to get on a tangent about the offense because this loss isn’t on them. The Jaguars are a horrific team on defense and the reasons as to why are numerous. The pass rush, the linebackers, the lack of awareness in the secondary, and bad coaching are all to blame.
- Drew Brees is a good quarterback and losing to him is nothing to be ashamed about, but Brees played with a torn plantar fasciitis and still managed to decimate the Jacksonville defense. Because the Jaguars lack any semblance of a pass rush, Brees was able to stand in the pocket and wait for receivers to get open. Even with the injury to Dante Fowler Jr., it’s astonishing just how poor the defensive end play on this team is right now.
- Blake Bortles played a good game and he’s not really to blame for this loss. Unless he went off for 8 touchdowns, there’s no way he was going to keep up with Drew Brees and a Saints offense going against the limp noodle that is the Jacksonville defense. His first interception was on an obvious defensive pass interference that wasn’t called and the second one was just a terrible decision. Per usual, he was really the only reason this game had a respectable final score.
- The Allens balled out again, including a 90 yard touchdown by Robinson when he scorched Brandon Browner. Allen Hurns continues to be dependable (even though he had one very uncharacteristic drop) and showed why he was so dearly missed earlier in the year when he had a concussion.
- We’ll get into what happens this offseason after next week’s regular season final, but it would be complete lunacy if the front office didn’t seriously consider firing Gus Bradley this offseason. He’s lost a handful of very winnable games this year against bad teams, but the biggest indictment on his resume is his defense. In week 16 of his 3rd year as head coach, Bradley’s defense had the worst performance by yardage this season. The personnel clearly isn’t great but the results shouldn’t be this bad.