The Jacksonville Jaguars did everything they could in order to ear their first victory of the 2021 regular season in Week 3 but it still wasn’t enough to upset the Arizona Cardinals, which won 31-19.
You have to give the Jags credit. They kept up with the Cardinals for three quarters. In fact, they were leading 19-7 early in the third quarter. Their defense held Arizona’s offense for most of the game but they ended up being too much for a young Jaguars’ team that it’s in the early stages of a rebuild.
After a rushing touchdown by running back James Robinson that gave the Jaguars a 19-7 lead in the third quarter, the Cardinals’ offense woke up and scored 14 unanswered points. Quarterback Kyler Murray went 28-of-34 for 316 yards with no passing touchdowns and one interception. On the other hand, the first overall pick in the 2019 draft scored a rushing touchdown. Also, running back James Conner chipped in with two rushing touchdowns of his own.
Even though the Cards averaged 3.0 yards per carry, they committed to running the ball, finishing the game with 91 yards on 30 carries. In the first two games of the season, the Jags had allowed just two rushing touchdowns.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense cooled down in the 4th quarter.
Ok, the Jaguars’ defense couldn’t stop the Cardinals but what about the offense? Up until the fourth quarter, the Jaguars had a chance to win the game. However, their offense wasn’t able to keep up with the Cardinals. Early in the fourth quarter, with the game still within reach, rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence fumbled the ball.
The Jaguars’ special teams also showed up. Early in the first quarter, Cardinals rookie Rondale Moore had a 27-yard return. But Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew returned the favor not long after and scored a 109-yard touchdown on a failed field-goal attempt.
Robinson had a season-high 15 carries for 88 yards and one touchdown. The Jags have increased his workload after giving him the ball just five times in the season opener. Once again, Jacksonville fell behind and started to throw the ball often. But it’s clear they need to keep the second-year running back involved.
The Jaguars showed improvement on both offense and defense but not enough to beat the Cardinals. They surely expect that progress carries over to Week 4, when they will take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.