There are several reasons the Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-7 ahead of Week 11 but Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report thinks their inexperience may be the biggest one.
Knox recently put together a list of every NFL team’s most glaring weakness in 2021 and believes inexperience is the Jags’ biggest one. He points out they have a rookie quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and a first-time NFL head coach in Urban Meyer. Knox goes on to say Lawrence has struggled at times and Meyer has made several puzzling decisions. On the other hand, he thinks Jacksonville could pull off a few upsets in the next few weeks if other teams underestimate them.
"Lawrence has made his fair share of rookie mistakes—he’s thrown eight touchdowns and nine interceptions—while Meyer has made some questionable decisions on and off the field. However, this does appear to be a team finding its way, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jacksonville play spoiler over the last two months of the season."
Knox says teams must exploit the Jaguars’ “collective lack of seasoning” for the remainder of the season. He adds that showing up and “trying to outplay the Jaguars” won’t get the job done.
The Jaguars need to surround Trevor Lawrence with better talent.
There’s no doubt Lawrence has played like a rookie at times but his numbers would look better if he had more help from his supporting cast. His wide receivers often fail to create separation and drops have plagued the offense this season. Also, the Jags have committed penalties at a high rate. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10, they were flagged eight times and the offense was behind seven of them.
Moreover, Lawrence hasn’t always had optimal protection and has had to scramble often. The fact that he’s cut down on his interceptions should be a sign he’s improving. The Jaguars need to put the top overall pick in the 2021 draft in a position to succeed. They can’t fail him next offseason and must focus on upgrading their wide receiver corps and the offensive line.
On the other hand, Meyer’s lack of familiarity with the NFL has come to surface at times. His disconnect with Lawrence after Week 5 reflects poorly on him. So does saying every week is like playing Alabama. Also, rumors about players not being thrilled with his approach have popped up. Having said that, the Jaguars look better than they did one year ago, and the head coach deserves credit for it. In fact, it’s even more surprising when you take into account he’s made several poor decisions in his short tenure in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars are indeed a young team learning how to win but a roster that lacks playmakers has played a bigger role in their inability to win football games this season. Lawrence and Meyer will continue to get experience and having more talent all around should make their jobs a bit easier next year.