The Jacksonville Jaguars entered Week 14 looking to bounce back from a loss on Monday Night Football. There were reasons to believe they would pull it off even though they were missing several key players.
For one, Trevor Lawrence was suiting up just six days after spraining his ankle. Also, the offensive line had done a much better job of blocking up front the past two weeks. Last but not least, the passing game was clicking. Thus, it wasn't farfetched to think the Jags could upset the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately, they came short, and that was mostly because of missed opportunities.
Offsides, pass protection issues, and drops hindered the offense, while the defense couldn't stop Joe "Montana" Flacco. While Jacksonville woke up in the fourth quarter, it was too late, and their comeback attempt fell short, so which players had a role in the loss? Here are five, along with three that shined.
5 Jaguars players who faltered vs. the Browns in Week 14
5. Montaric Brown
Sophomore cornerback Montaric Brown had filled in for Tyson Campbell while he was dealing with a hamstring injury. Campbell missed Week 14, this time with a quad injury, and Brown stepped in his place.
The former Arkansas Razorback had previously fared well, making a few plays and missing others along the way, but he had overall done a solid job. That wasn't the case against Cleveland.
Brown, a seventh-round selection by the Jags in last year's draft, played 70 defensive snaps and gave up nine passes on 11 targets (81.8 percent completion rate) for 88 yards. But that wasn't his worst offense. The second-year cornerback missed four tackles or 36.8 percent of his attempts. Basically, he missed one of every three tackles he tried to make.
This was an all-around bad performance from Brown, who might not get his number called again if he struggles the next time he's given a chance.
4. Zay Jones
Zay Jones had a career season in 2022 but he's been somewhat overwhelming this season. While his presence draws coverage away from Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley, his numbers don't particularly pop off the stat sheet. Granted, a knee injury kept him out of six games this season but he hasn't had a huge performance in the ones he's been in, tallying 23 receptions for 219 yards with two touchdowns.
In Week 14, Jones caught a measly five receptions on 14 targets for 29 yards. It's true that Lawrence overthrew him a few times, but he also had a drop early in the game that could've moved the chains and potentially gotten the Jaguars into the red zone but couldn't reel it in. Former Jaguars tight end Clay Harbor said it best, Jones had to make that play.