3 major issues that could hold the Jacksonville Jaguars back the rest of the season

• The Jaguars have lots of strengths, but also a few weaknesses

• Here are 3 that could potentially hold the Jags back

Jacksonville Jaguars fans, from left, Griffin Lasch, Garrett Roberson, and Gabriel Mont react to
Jacksonville Jaguars fans, from left, Griffin Lasch, Garrett Roberson, and Gabriel Mont react to / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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2. Not being able to overcome Christian Kirk's absence

Christian Kirk became the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver last year, hauling in 84 receptions for 1,108 yards with eight touchdowns. Despite the arrival of Calvin Ridley via trade, Kirk was poised to once again lead the team in receiving yards in 2023. Unfortunately, he suffered a core injury on the first play of the Jaguars' first possession in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and is expected to miss considerable time after undergoing core surgery.

While rookie Parker Washington has stepped in Kirk's place, the offense severely missed the veteran wideout in the loss to the Cleveland Browns. Tight end Evan Engram picked up the slack, hauling in 12 receptions for 91 yards with two touchdowns but Trevor Lawrence was 5-of-14 for 39 yards with two interceptions when targeting Zay Jones and Calvin Ridley.

That's not acceptable. Both Jones and Ridley are too talented to produce such an underwhelming statline. Granted, Lawrence overthrew them a handful of times but they also had drops, not to mention the communications issues that led to one of the three picks of the day.

Some of the less-than-stellar production falls on individual effort, but the coaching staff must also adjust to Kirk's absence, something they failed to do in Week 14.

Something similar happened when Jones missed games with a knee injury earlier this year. Without him, the offensive game plan seemed unimaginative and rarely took shots downfield despite the fact that they had Ridley, and Kirk in the fold.

The passing game got back on track when Jones returned but his absence revealed that the coaching staff wasn't able to adjust to the personnel they had. Maybe they could've used more two tight end sets, or given the rookies — Parker, and Elijah Cooks — more playing time. There's no guarantee it would've worked but they should not be afraid of mixing things up. They have no choice with Kirk expected to miss four to six weeks.