A silver lining in the 34-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers is that the Jacksonville Jaguars are still in first play in the AFC South heading into Week 11. However, their lead has shrunk considerably in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans are trending up and have become a legitimate threat to overtake the division.
The Jags entered Week 10 riding a five-game winning streak while the Niners had lost three in a row. Add the fact that they were playing at EverBank Stadium, and it felt like they would dominate. Instead, they were brought back down to earth. They were outplayed and outcoached on both offense and defense, while San Francisco played like the team that reached the NFC Championship last year and might've made the Super Bowl if they had had a healthy quarterback at the time.
The good news is that Jacksonville remains at the top of the division and holds the No. 3 playoff seed with the Baltimore Ravens losing to the Cleveland Browns in Week 10. That said, the Jags must look behind their shoulders, as Houston is within striking distance.
After a 1-2 start, the Texans have won four of their last six games. Led by rookie sensation C.J. Stroud, they're just one game behind the Jaguars in the divison race. Moreover, they already beat Jacksonville earlier this season and own the tiebreaker. A loss in Week 11 and a Houston would put the Jags in second place in the division.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must put it all together after the loss to the 49ers
While it isn't the time yet to press the panic button, the Jaguars must start playing with a sense of urgency. Based on the outcome in Week 11, they weren't prepared for the 49ers. But as Trevor Lawrence said, they can't dwell in the past. They must look back at everything that went wrong against the San Francisco 49ers, whether it was the playcalling or execution, and fix it.
Head coach Doug Pederson, for his part, needs to set the tone and let the team know that losing in such an embarrassing manner is never acceptable. The players, on the other hand, must play execute.
Lawrence told the media after the loss that he's still the same player he was five weeks ago, and he's right. The Jaguars are still the same team that was projected to win 11 games in the offseason and were 5-0 before the BYE. They just didn't deliver against the 49ers. That has to change moving forward.
Heading into Week 11, the Jaguars still have enough talent on both sides of the ball to turn things around. However, they can't keep playing like they did against the Niners. Otherwise, they won't be able to shrug off the pretender label. Beating the Tennessee Titans would be a good start, it would also ensure they hold the No. 1 spot in the division for at least one more week.