Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints: Three Biggest Factors In Loss

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On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars walked away with their 10th loss of the season in what could only be described as an utter disappointment. Fans couldn’t help but be excited as they awoke from their slumber realizing their team still had a chance to make the playoffs. Despite having to root for division rival Tennessee, if Zach Mettenberger could find a way to beat Houston, and the Jags beat the Saints, week 17 was set to be a boat loads of fun.

But as it’s been the case time and time again this season, dreams were crushed and that mess that took place in the Superdome was hard to watch. Defensively, the Jaguars were outmatched and didn’t even deserve to be on the same field. Offensively, success didn’t come until it was too late and the team was never able to recover.

Above all, the team received two huge blows on Sunday, a devastating loss and any chance of playing past next week. But now that I’ve used a couple hundred words to gripe, let’s take a look at the problems everyone saw on Sunday and the reasons for the fan base losing control the days thereafter…

1. The Entire Defense

I briefly mentioned it above, but the Jaguars defense was absolutely horrendous on Sunday afternoon. Drew Brees is Drew Brees, but he went into this game dealing with severe pain in his plantar fascia. Throughout the week Brees was said to have been rehabbing 24/7 hoping to play. Despite not being 100 percent Brees put up his highest passer rating of the season (135.4). The veteran Q-B torched the Jags for 402 passing yards and three scores.

The defense came into this game knowing they would have to play sound, mistake free football. The Jags run defense has been good, but who cares, when it comes to the Saints they are going to pass, and pass a lot. Brees completed 25 of 36 passes and as you would expect, failed to turn the ball over.

But remember that good run defense, they were torched too. Tim Hightower, who just got the starting job a couple weeks ago, finished with 122 yards on 27 carries.

Hightower hadn’t had a 100-yard rushing performance since December 12th, 2010 and I was still in high school then. The surest part of this defense couldn’t tackle, shed blocks, wrap-up, anything. It was atrocious and hard to watch. As per usual, the Jags lacked a pass rush and for a quarterback that hurt to move, that would have been nice.

The captain, Paul Posluszny had the only sack on the day and by that time, the game was already over. If Brees had wanted to sit in the pocket for minutes at a time, he probably could have.

But for this defense, there are two plays that really stuck out. So bad, that I can’t stop thinking about them…

After a great punt by Bryan Anger, the Saints were backed up deep in their own territory . Unfortunately Brandin Cooks showcased just how much faster he is than Nick Marshall or Johnathan Cyprien, and what you see above opened this game wide open.

This attempt at a tackle by Sergio Brown sums up this entire game. Travaris Cadet made him look absolutely stupid and the somersault really adds a nice touch don’t you think. Overall, this performance made every fan question whether or not Gus Bradley is the defensive mastermind he was brought in to be. Next week the Jags will have one last chance to prove to everyone they are improving, and for jobs sake, if these guys want to stay in this uniform, they’re going to have to act like it.

Next: Poor, Poor Blake