The Jacksonville Jaguars looked primed to win against the Colts to end the regular season, but Andrew Luck had other plans.
Interim head coach Doug Marrone was making a strong case to be legitimately considered for the head coach position midway through the regular season finale, but conservative playcalling cost the Jacksonville Jaguars the game in a 24-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
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The Jaguars came out firing on all cylinders, taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter right away. They looked to be in control until Jason Myers missed a field goal right before halftime. Andrew Luck took control of the game after that.
Here are some quick notes from the final game of the disastrous 2016 season:
- Doug Marrone did a much better job over two weeks with this roster than Gus Bradley ever did over the course of 4 seasons, but he probably won’t be given anything more than a courtesy interview. Even after the Jaguars blew an early lead, they had a chance to emphatically end the game with under 2 minutes left inside of Indianapolis territory with the game tied at 17. Marrone chose to run the ball 3 times and settle for a field goal, giving the Colts the ball back with over 90 seconds left. Andrew Luck marched down the field with ease against a pathetic prevent defense and scored a game-winning touchdown with 9 seconds left. You want to try and win the game, but Marrone and his staff got entirely too conservative.
- Blake Bortles played well again, with his only glaring blemishes coming on two turnovers (both fumbles). His mechanics are what they are this year but he made good decisions all day and dropped some absolute dimes. One criticism might be that he didn’t close the game out in the end, but the coaching staff is really to blame for not giving him the chance with some awful play calling. He’ll be back in 2017, but he’s going to have to prove to the new coaches that he deserves to start.
- Outside of that absolutely listless final drive, the Jaguars defense closed the season out strong. The secondary looked leaky in the 4th quarter, particularly Tashaun Gipson who was around the ball on a handful of long passes. He was supposed to solidify the free safety position but he’s been a liability at points this year.
- Even though this game seemed typical of what the Jaguars have done this year, I think it was still better than almost all the showings they had under Gus Bradley. This roster has some talent and it will be excited to see what a different (See: competent) head coach can do with it.