The Jacksonville Jaguars offense could not score on an afternoon where the defense shined.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew played like a rookie on Sunday. The 13-6 loss at home to the New Orleans Saints was by far his worst performance of his young career and a microcosm of the inability of the team’s offense to score points after showing improvement this season over the first five games.
The Jaguars lost to a better team on Sunday, but in doing so, exposed issues the team must still deal with over the final 10 games of the season. Jacksonville fell to 2-4 after the loss with games at Cincinnati and home against the New York Jets on the schedule the next two weeks.
"“I thought it was a hard-fought defensive battle. I think everyone that was out there saw that. I thought our defense came back from a game that they didn’t play well last week,” head coach Doug Marrone explained after the game at TIAA Bank Field.“I thought they did a nice job today, especially in the run game. Obviously, holding a team like that to one touchdown and the field goals and the stops that they had was a good job. I thought special teams went well. Offensively, we weren’t in sync. We’ve got to do a better job there.”"
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Yes, the defense did play better than it showed the previous week when it was blistered by the Carolina Panthers running game. This week, it was the offense that could not muster a solid showing, lead by a quarterback who looked out of sorts and was unable to formulate any kind of fourth-quarter magic at home.
"“Yeah it was a tough day; they are a good team,” Minshew told reporters. “I missed some balls that I can’t miss. They played good coverage at times and got after us up front at times. We’ll go look at the film and figure out what we need to fix.”"
The Jaguars came into the game averaging 22.2 points per game, which was in the middle of the pack of NFL teams this season, but much better than the 15 points per contest they averaged last season. The Saints defense deserves credit for not only causing issues for Minshew but for also treating DJ Chark like a No. 1 wide receiver and having Marshon Lattimore cover him like a blanket for the majority of the afternoon.
While no one on the offensive side of the ball seemed to grab any momentum through four quarters, it was the many under center who was the focal point of criticism after a fast start to the season that included four Rookie of the Week honors and a cult following that reached epic proportion.
The Saints outgained the Jaguars 326 to 226 for the game. Minshew threw for 163 yards passing with an interception.
"“Obviously, we just weren’t able to make plays. We had a turnover that gave them three points. That’s disappointing,” Marrone explained. “What I told the players is that I’ve got to do a good job. I’ve got to get this team to play well in all three phases. That’s going to be the formula for us to win football games. One game, the offense plays well, defense maybe not, special teams maybe not, things of that nature, you know, the turnover battle. When you are inconsistent, and you can’t play well in all three phrases, it’s very difficult to win.”"