The Jacksonville Jaguars had the chance to make ground in the AFC South with a win against the Detroit Lions in Week 13. But they couldn’t seize the opportunity and instead showed they still have a long way to go before they turned the corner in a disappointing 40-14 loss.
The Jaguars were a one-point underdog ahead of the game and seemed to have had a favorable matchup with the Lions but their offense struggled to keep up with Detroit and their defense couldn’t stop Jared Goff from moving the ball at ease.
Tyson Campbell is an up-and-coming cornerback but he couldn’t cover Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who finished the game with 11 catches for 114 yards with two touchdowns. Former Jaguar DJ Chark Jr. also had a productive outing, hauling in five receptions for 98 yards.
To his credit, Campbell wasn’t the only Jaguars that struggled in coverage. Third-year cornerback Tevaughn Campbell was on the wrong end of Chark’s 41-yard reception in the first half and Darious Williams wasn’t much better when covering St. Brown.
The Lions kept the Jaguars offense in check in Week 13
Of course, football is a team sport and the Jaguars lost as a team. Not only did the defense fail to do their job but the offense struggled to move the ball, let alone score. Even when you don’t take into account Etienne’s early fumble, the offense had one of their worst performance of the season. Does it sound like hyperbole? Maybe, but they totaled just 266 yards on offense and a measly 14 downs.
Trevor Lawrence didn’t play nearly as well as he did against Baltimore in Week 12 but he wasn’t the reason the Jaguars lose either. He could’ve put a little more touch in a few passes but drops from wide receiver Zay Jones and tight end Evan Engram didn’t help one bit.
At one point, the broadcast joked that it took Jones six targets to catch his first pass of the game. Engram scored Jacksonville’s only touchdown of the game but it was too little and too late when he did. Lawrence went 17-of-31 for 179 yards with one touchdown and was able to come back to the field after suffering a lower-leg injury in the last play of the first half. Meanwhile, running back Travis Etienne had 13 carries with 54 yards and might have gotten a few more if the game hadn’t gotten out of hand.
In the end, the Jaguars lost to the better football team. Simply, Jacksonville played uninspired football against the Lions and that cost them the game. With six games left in the season, they might not have much to play for. Nevertheless, they must fix those mistakes they had against the Lions and bounce back next week. Regardless of how many games they win, they can’t afford to throw in the towel.