It’s finally over – the disappointing, frustrating, and sometimes infuriating enigma that was the Jacksonville Jaguars 2015 season is now over. Despite the team getting so many breaks to make their schedule comically easy, the Jaguars finished with a 5-11 record, capped off by an awful performance in a 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans.
The win wraps up the AFC South title for the Texans, a prospect that seemed impossible after the team lost Arian Foster for the season. Unlike the Jaguars, the Texans overcame that adversity and bounced back to put together a terrific second half of the season and win a division that was completely up for grabs. With the Colts, Titans, and Texans are cycling through multiple starting quarterbacks, the Jaguars let too many 4th-quarter leads slip through their fingers and the team played poorly when they could least afford it.
Here are some quick notes from the Jaguars’ pitiful performance to wrap up the regular season:
- There’s not much to report from this game. Days after head coach Gus Bradley got the vote of confidence from owner Shad Khan, he had his team ill-prepared to face a Houston Texans team playing to make the playoffs. The Jaguars looked outclassed at every position group and they had no answers to jumpstart the offense or stop the Texans’ offense.
- Blake Bortles didn’t have a great day, but he didn’t stand much of a chance. Luke Joeckel might have had his worst game ever since being drafted with the 2nd overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, as he was abused consistently by both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. The right side didn’t fare much better, but Sam Young is a backup and understandably struggled against one of the best defensive lineman in the history of the NFL.
- There’s going to be a lot of talk this offseason about the offensive line, particularly the left side. Joeckel had a horrific, awful, inexcusably bad game, but he’s going to be the starting left tackle next season. Outside of a few poor stretches, Joeckel has been solid this year and has developed into a league-average tackle. That’s not great considering his draft slot, but it’s better than him being a total bust.
- Denard Robinson fumbled again (the fourth time in 3 games) and was consequently benched. Shoelace was given a golden opportunity in the last 3 weeks to try and cement himself as the change of pace back in 2016, but instead he effectively guaranteed he won’t be back in any capacity next season.
- Defensively, what is there to say? The same problems that have shown up in every game this season reared their ugly head today, most prominently the lack of a pass rush. Davon House being the exception, the secondary is just bad. Sergio Brown and Johnathan Cyprien were both out of position constantly, and the run defense regressed to a shell of itself in the second half.
- The Jaguars are a bad team, but they are probably more talented than their record and performance today would indicate. That’s an indictment on the coaching staff and is a very discouraging thought when you consider the guarantee Bradley got to come back in 2016. There needs to be some major changes this offseason for the Jaguars to have any hope of a playoff run in 2016.