What happened to the Jaguars defense vs. the Lions?
Early in the 2022 season and following wins in consecutive weeks, there was chatter about the Jaguars having a defense as good as the one they had in 2017, when they came one bad call away from going to Super Bowl 52.
After Jacksonville’s dominant win over the Los Angeles Chargers, it was common to see fans trying to come up with nicknames for the defense, and rightfully so. They were creating turnovers at a high rate and they were amongst the best clubs in the league when it came to stopping opposing offenses from scoring. But looking back, they peaked too soon.
Sure, the Jags’ defense has had a few good outings since then. The one against the Houston Texans in Week 5 comes to mind but they have also had several bad performances over the last two months and the one against the Lions is probably the worst of the bunch.
The front seven couldn’t consistently get after Jared Goff and the secondary had no answers for Amon-Ra St. Brown and former Jaguar DJ Chark Jr. It’s fair to say that it isn’t just one thing behind the Jaguars’ defensive woes. Coaching has certainly played a role but players aren’t executing and aren’t free of blame either.
Simply, the Jags’ defense doesn’t have enough playmakers. Not having safety Andre Cisco, who’s dealing with a shoulder injury, in Week 13 hurt but blaming the loss on one player would be irrational. The team’s brass will need to add talent next offseason. But for the time being, defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and his unit will need to go back to the classroom and work on those mistakes that defined the loss to the Lions.