In a game that never should have been as close as it was, the Jacksonville Jaguars blew a big lead against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Jacksonville Jaguars came into London a desperate team, trying to avoid an 0-4 start the would effectively end their season. Despite their best efforts, the Jaguars managed to hang on for a 30-27 win against the Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars built a big lead coming out of halftime (23-6) but they let the Colts crawl back into it. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. Here are some more quick notes from the Jaguars first win of the season:
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The most promising aspect of this game was the performance of the defense. The best players on the field for the Jaguars were Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler Jr., and Telvin Smith. That’s a heck of a defensive core, and they got contributions from Sheldon Day and Myles Jack as well. The defensive scheme isn’t doing them any favors, but there’s undeniable talent on this team and it’s something to build on moving forward.
The Jaguars are still committing entirely too many penalties. On every Colts scoring drive, the Jaguars helped the offense out with one or more avoidable (stupid) penalties. Whether it’s Fowler with yet another offsides or Johnathan Cyprien committing a pass interference after getting torched in coverage, the discipline on this team is an issue. That falls directly on the coaching staff.
Barring an uncharacteristic reaction by Shad Khan, Gus Bradley will remain the coach after this game. The Jaguars played well in the first half – partly because the Colts are very bad – but not getting completely outclassed will sadly be enough to keep the maligned coach employed. The team’s second half collapse is still inexcusable, as it shouldn’t be so difficult for the Jaguars to close out a game against a significantly less talented squad. The blown coverage on the long Philip Dorsett touchdown can be pinned on the coaching, and there’s clearly something to the notion that good coaches know how to finish games. The hope is this game helps turn the season around, but I’m not holding my breath.