Did the result of the game on Sunday factor into the decision to keep the rest of the Jacksonville Jaguars front office intact in 2020?
Will Jaguars owner Shad Khan still retain both general manager David Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone following the team’s 24-12 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Per Ian Rapoport, it is likely both men will return to their posts in 2020.
Khan is looking closely at the play of his team. So was Falcons owner Arthur Blank when the two teams met this weekend. Decisions must be made, which is why the performance of the players and the coaches in these final weeks are so important.
The Falcons looked prepared for the game Sunday afternoon. The Jaguars did not.
The Falcons started strong in the first quarter and exploited the Jaguars defense for a touchdown. A fumble on a kick off return gave Atlanta another easy touchdown. But the runaway scoring ended. The Jaguars got a first down on a fake punt resulting in a beautiful pass by Logan Cooke. A Josh Lambo field goal followed.
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What Khan and Jaguars fans learned from the first half? Here are a few things. First, special team coach Joe DeCamillis should be retained next season. He has built a solid special team unit. Second, everyone learned both Matt Ryan and Julio Jones of the Falcons remain stars in this league and are a tough duo to beat.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew struggled in the first half, completing only three passes for 21 yards. The offensive line had some issues with pass protection and the wide receivers had trouble separating from defenders. On the positive side, Leonard Fournette has become a complete back. He blocks and catches passes. Finally, the young linebackers Donald Payne and Austin Calitro continue to shine.
The Jaguars have proven to be a better team in the second half of games in the past few weeks, but it has not helped them win football games. Minshew was able to move around out of the pocket which created more plays downfield. It would seem the rookie needs more pressure situations to perform at his best. The Jaguars managed just a field goal in the third quarter.
As the fourth quarter began the Falcons found their offense again and the Jaguars had no answer for the running game. Minshew’s magic briefly returned again and he threw a touchdown pass to Chris Conley. There was no fourth-quarter comeback this week and this team now has 10 losses for the season
I wonder what Khan is thinking about going into the final game of the season. If he decides to keep Marrone after this game there must be some changes in the coaching staff and philosophy. It’s obvious the Jaguars have a talent gap but there are coaching issues as well. The offense is very predictable, the offensive line is a penalty and mistake waiting to happen, and the receivers just don’t catch the ball.
On defense other than the edge rushers and a few other veterans, this unit is made up of young and inexperienced players. How did this team become so barren of talent? That could be a question for Caldwell.
With one game left this season, I am hoping that whatever decisions are made will produce a more competitive team in 2020.