Will the real Jacksonville Jaguars defense find its rhythm?
After two straight losses where the Jacksonville Jaguars surrendered 70 points, can this defense regroup and find its rhythm again?
The numbers may tell us the Jacksonville Jaguars still have a solid defense, but the players in the locker room know they all have to do better than they have the previous two games. Losing to both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys has proven the defense is not as good as it was last year, but with 10 games remaining in the season, there is still time to improve.
"“This wasn’t us,” defensive end Calais Campbell said after the game when he spoke with the media. “This wasn’t our kind of ball. We went out here and we played like somebody else, like a hostage. This wasn’t us and at the same time, we’ve got to wear it because it is us.”"
Solving the mystery of the lack of dominance in the past two weeks may be as difficult as predicting Florida’s gubernatorial race. So many things can happen between now and the end of the season. For now, finding a level playing field would help calm the masses, some of whom are calling for changes in personnel and the coaching staff.
"Per ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco, the Jaguars have given up 70 points, 332 yards rushing, six touchdowns in nine red zone possessions and 49 first downs in losses to the Chiefs and Cowboys."
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Those are numbers generally associated with a losing franchise. The fact Jacksonville is 3-3, losers of two straight and tied for first place in the AFC South speaks to the weakness of the division. Iy also means this team still has a chance to win the division, host a playoff game and challenge for a berth in Super Bowl 53.
While Campbell had a sack of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Yannick Ngakoue had two of his own, those might have been the lone bright spots on Sunday. There are many words to describe how this defense played.
The term poorly might be a bit kind. After a 3-1 start and a looking like world beaters, the Jacksonville defense has come back down to earth. It looks mortal. It looks beat up (injuries to Campbell, Malik Jackson, D.J. Hayden, and Jalen Ramsey). Most of all, it looked a step or two slow on Sunday while playing on a fast field.
Campbell said he and his teammates have to go out there and play the brand of football they have played in the past. Instead of talking about how good they are, they must play to their ability and prove it.
"“We’ve just got to play ball,” Campbell said. “Talking has never won a ballgame. Executing wins ball games.”"