The Jacksonville Jaguars entered Week 10 looking to solidify their spot as a playoff contender. However, they fell short of their objective, losing in an embarrassing fashion to a San Francisco 49ers team that was coming off a three-game skid. Analysts around the league took notice of the Jags' subpar performance at home and dropped them several spots in NFL power rankings.
After several weeks in the top 5, Jacksonville has fallen a handful of spots in power rankings, and rightfully so. You won't keep a high spot, let alone move up after mustering a measly 221 yards of offense and giving up 34 points. To make matters worse, the Jaguars were riding a five-game winning streak ahead of the game.
The silver lining is that most writers aren't ready to write Jacksonville off, keeping them in the top 10 as a gesture of goodwill based on what they've accomplished this season. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports was probably the harshest, putting the Jags at No. 10 one week after giving them the No. 3 spot.
Prisco points out that their offense isn't playing up to the potential and needs more from Trevor Lawrence, who's played well for the most part this season but had a poor outing in Week 10, "Trevor Lawrence hasn't been the same guy. Can he snap out of it?"
Mike Florio of NBC Sports, for his part, put them at No. 7, believing that they'll either buckle down or fall apart after the loss, there's no in-between. Eric Edholm of NFL Media dropped them to No. 8, pointing out that Jacksonville was truly clocked in Week 10.
However, Edholm notes that other clubs have rebounded in previous years from similar losses and suggests the Jags could pull off the same feat this season.
"Home losses this big prompt us to question everything about a contender's credentials. That said, recent playoff teams have been on this side of the fence: Minnesota was stomped at home by Dallas last year, yet hosted a playoff game, and the 2020 Bucs were smashed at home by the Saints, but that season ended fairly well for them. So there's encouraging historical precedent. "
At 6-3, the Jaguars still hold the No. 3 playoff seed in the AFC and remain at the top of the division. However, the Houston Texans could become the AFC South leaders if Jacksonville loses to the Tennessee Titans in Week 11, so they have no margin for error.
The Jacksonville Jaguars must play with a sense of urgency moving forward
Head coach Doug Pederson told the media he thought the team was ready for the 49ers but it was clearly not the case. He later conceded that the Jacksonville Jaguars weren't playing with a sense of urgency. That must change in what's left of the season. The good news is that they showed last year they're capable of finishing strong.
After going 2-6, everyone was ready to stick a fork on the Jaguars (guilty as charged). However, they put it all together and went on to win seven of their last nine games to qualify for the postseason and win the division title. Working in Jacksonville's favor is that they're not in that deep of a hole this season. On the other hand, they're a better team talent-wise on paper, so it's puzzling that they would lose so badly to a playoff team like the Jaguars.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have enough time to course-correct everything that has gone wrong this season. Their division matchup against the 3-6 Tennessee Titans will give them an opportunity to get back on track.