The Jacksonville Jaguars came close to ending a losing streak when they played the New York Giants in Week 7. With a bit more than a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Jags needed to score a touchdown to win the game and for a moment, it seemed as if they were going to pull it off, as the offense was able to march down 70 yards on a 10-play drive. Alas, they ultimately came up one yard short.
For the fourth straight week, Jacksonville dropped a game they had a realistic shot at winning and John Breech of CBS Sports gave them a C+ for their effort. He cites mistakes as the main reason for the grade.
"This was a game for the taking in Jacksonville, but miscues ultimately doomed Jacksonville from beating a fundamentally sound Giants team. Doug Pederson refusing to challenge a third-and-1 on a direct snap led to a failed fourth-and-1 conversion that a field goal would have put Jacksonville up seven in the fourth quarter.The Jaguars also had a Travis Etienne fumble in the red zone in the first half that led to three points for the Giants and failed to extend a four-point lead. A missed extra point also extends the miscues for the Jaguars in a winnable game."
Breech goes on to say that Jacksonville is a good team but needs to find ways to win games and he’s right. But not everything was doom and gloom against Big Blue. Although Trevor Lawrence completed just 51.16 percent of his pass attempts, he registered 310 yards and averaged 7.1 yards per throw. He’s also cut down on the mistakes and didn’t throw an interception for the second straight week. Similarly, Travis Etienne rushed for 114 yards and his first NFL touchdown on 14 carries. Sure, his fumble might hover around him but his playmaking skills are undeniable.
The Jaguars shouldn’t get good grades until they win games
This Jaguars team had plenty of upside entering the 2022 season but there’s a point at which you can no longer keep talking about potential and must deliver results. That’s the situation Jacksonville finds themselves in after seven weeks of football.
The pieces are there to compete. Sure, the roster isn’t perfect but they’ve already shown what they’re capable of doing when they beat the Indianapolis Colts and the Los Angeles Chargers in consecutive weeks.
Trevor Lawrence is making strides in Year 2, Travis Etienne is making the most of his carries and the defense has displayed the ability to rack up takeaways. However, penalties, turnovers, and their struggles to stop opposing teams from moving the ball at ease have cost them many close games this season.
The Jaguars still have time to turn the corner this season but they must figure out why they can’t win close games, something they haven’t been able to do in each of the last four weeks. While they have taken steps in the right direction, they’ve still got a long way to go before they’re once again discussed as a team in ascension. For the time being, they must prepare for yet another winnable game, this time, against the Denver Broncos.