The Jacksonville Jaguars kept it close but failed to capitalize on opportunities in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
They kept it close for 3-and-a-half quarters, but the Jacksonville Jaguars did what they do best on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings – they found a way to lose.
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Blake Bortles didn’t throw the back-breaking interception and the offense didn’t turn the ball over in a key situation, but special teams let them down again and the defense failed to make plays when they needed to. It’s more of the same in a season that has had little consistency outside of the Jaguars losing.
Here are some more quick notes from today’s loss:
- I’ll start with a contrarian perspective from the game – the Jacksonville defense played fine. If you just look at some of the highlights, namely the two goal line stops, you’d think the defense played outstanding. They didn’t. They just played OK. The defensive line should have dominated what is maybe the worst offensive line in the league. Sam Bradford had about 10 seconds on the first play of the game to throw the ball, and he wasn’t really pressured on a consistent basis. The defense also failed to respond when they needed to, specifically when the Jaguars offense handed them a lead, then again near the end of the 4th quarter on a 3rd and 10 when the offense needed the ball back. Those plays are the difference between a good defense and a great defense.
- Offensively, the Jaguars are still bad. They managed to put together some decent drives, but they had to settle for four field goal attempts before Blake Bortles had an out-of-body experience and threw an uncharacteristically terrific pass to Bryan Walters for a touchdown. The play-calling has improved noticeably under Nathaniel Hackett, but the unit is still hampered by bad quarterback play.
- If there is a bright spot on offense, it’s the play of Marqise Lee. He looks elusive with the ball, has become a good route runner, and his ability to make contested catches has surpassed what Allen Robinson has done in 2016. He may earn a contract extension before Robinson does.
- A side note: the Minnesota Vikings received as much and sometimes more cheers from the crowd than the home team did. I’m sure that was not lost on owner Shad Khan has he continues to evaluate what to do with the coaching staff and front office.