A failed two-point conversation in the closing moments of the game on Sunday cost the Jaguars in a 13-12 loss to the Houston Texans.
The Jacksonville Jaguars played a throwback game where the defense was the order of the day. Both defenses played well but the Houston Texans prevailed at the end.
The Jaguars were playing catch up most of the game but it looked like we could pull victory from the jaws of defeat. The offense struggled most of the game, but when it was needed most, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew led the team down the field on what could have been a winning scoring drive.
"As stated by Jon Kurland on Big Cat Country “Minshew guides the team down the field and scores what should have been the game tying touchdown, but Doug Marrone is a moron and blows a two point conversion call with a(nother) hand off to Fournette who is stopped an inch short of the goal line.”"
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The Jaguars are 0-2 and play their nemesis the Tennessee Titans on Thursday. This is not the start the team wanted. As I made my pick of the week for Black and Teal, I felt we could win if three things happened. First, Minshew needed to have another good game and he did. He was 23 of 33 with a quarterback rating of 97.2. Next, Leonard Fournette must have 100 yards from scrimmage and he had 87.
Finally, defensive coordinator Todd Wash had to make defensive adjustments as needed. I have been very critical of Wash but this game the defense played great football without unwarranted penalties. The defense needed two turnovers. The defense had no turnovers but did produce four sacks.
This time, the loss is on the offense. So my hopes came true, but the Jaguars still lost a nail-biter.
The Jaguars offense did not make any consistent effort to stretch the field with long passes. The playcalling was very conservative and as a result, the third-down efficiency was an abysmal 3 of 13. The Jaguars managed just 12 points on the day. The NFL is a passing and scoring league and although I personally love defensive battles, it’s not winning football in this era.
Minshew, despite his three fumbles, did everything possible to win the game. He has the heart of an NFL quarterback and, sadly, is playing in a very difficult situation. When the opposing team stays close to the line of scrimmage and our coordinator calls runs and short passes most of the day, he has little chance to move the ball forward.
Also, I have to say that Fournette is not running very well. I hope it’s just the poor play calling. He looked better in Week 1 against the Chiefs.
The best news of the day was the play of the Jaguars rookies and backups on defense. Quincy Williams had nine tackles and our first-round draft choice rookie, Josh Allen, had four tackles and a sack. Cornerback Tre Herndon and Jarrod Wilson played solid games. Linebacker Leon Jacobs had five tackles and half a sack.
So what happens now? The defense and Wash found a way to make his scheme work this game. I applaud the effort. This should continue heading into Thursday night’s game with the Titans. The offense can do the same next week and it’s time to take some downfield chances.
Minshew has shown that he belongs in the NFL as has Chark. There should be no more leash in the offensive play calling. Let’s open the playbook and see what happens. I think we will be very happy with the results.