Jacksonville Jaguars deflate hope again in 27-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams


The Jacksonville Jaguars have become experts at extinguishing excitement, this time with a 27-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Here we go again.

Six games into the season and the Jacksonville Jaguars still have not found a way to win two consecutive games. A week after an impressive win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Jacksonville Jaguars stumble at home against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Jaguars had a chance to go to 4-2 and keep sole possession of the lead in the AFC South, but many costly mistakes proved to be the difference in another woeful performance. A few takeaways from another gutting defeat:

Special teams was a disaster

The Jaguars special teams unit was atrocious on Sunday against the Rams, and cost the team mightily. It took no time at all for the errors to arrive, as the Rams ran the opening kickoff back 103-yards for a touchdown. Then Brad Nortman booted a punt for just 16-yards, and the Rams had 10 points on the board before even gaining a first down.

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That was just the tip of the iceberg of a comedy of errors from the unit. In the second quarter Los Angeles blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown as well. The Rams finished with 27 points, but only put the ball in the endzone once on offense. That is tough to digest.

When it came to the Jaguars attempting to put points up of their own on special teams, Jason Myers proved that he cannot be the kicker of the future. Myers went 1-for-3 on field goals, and wouldn’t even have the one successful kick if not for a Rams penalty.

The final kick was as a baffling a decision as I have ever witnessed. Jacksonville was down ten with 1:13 to go in the game, and on a second-down play, decided to settle for a 54-yard field goal. I understand you need two scores and time was running out, but to not try to make it an easier kick for your already shaky kicker was inexcusable.

Special teams was an absolute catastrophe from start to finish on Sunday.

Blake Bortles continues to handcuff the offense

I know it is just piling on at this point, and Bortles wasn’t even the main catalyst of the loss, but he just cannot be counted on to lead a functional offense with his arm.

The Jaguars were down by just seven for basically a full quarter in the second-half, and had a multitude of opportunities to put together a game-tying drive. But when Jacksonville turned to Bortles to lead the team throwing the football, the offense sputtered in a way that has become nauseatingly familiar for Jaguars fans.

The Jaguars couldn’t muster anything, and let crucial opportunities slip away. After moving the ball to the Rams 28-yard line on a drive in the fourth quarter, Bortles threw a backbreaking interception that was returned for 31 yards. Without the run game doing the workload, the aerial attack is anything but an attack behind Bortles.

It is what it is at this point,  Blake Bortles just doesn’t have the goods.

The run/pass balance was perplexing

Speaking of Blake Bortles, the Jaguars had Bortles throw 35 times on Sunday, and had another five drop-backs that went for sacks. I understand needing to throw the football down late in the game, but it didn’t take trailing in the second half for Jacksonville to rely unusually heavy on Bortles’ arm.

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett seemed to overthink the play-calling in the first half, opting for far more play-action and roll-out passes than normal. Sure you need to keep the defense honest, but Hackett dialed up pass plays even when Leonard Fournette was having early success.

The Jaguars finished with just 26 rushing attempts. Having 40 drop-backs to just 26 rushes is a difficult formula with the continual unreliability of the passing game.

All losses are tough, but this loss to the Rams is another defeat that leaves a bitter, bitter taste. The Jaguars out-gained Los Angeles by 140 total yards and lost by ten. Jacksonville falls to 3-3 on the season with a divisional date in Indianapolis coming next Sunday against the Colts.