And just like that, it's over for the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Houston Texans will go to the playoffs, the Jags will be watching home after losing 28-20 to the Tennessee Titans in Week 18. Although they played well enough to win at times, they ultimately fell short.
Entering the fourth quarter, Jacksonville still had a chance to tie the game and potentially win. They even got off to a good start, with Trevor Lawrence connecting with Evan Engram for a 14-yard touchdown pass. With Engram's score, they cut down Tennesese's lead to 28-20. However, they weren't able to seize on the opportunity and they failed to score on their next two drives.
What's frustrating is that the defense, even though they struggled through most of the game, gave the Jags the ball back twice. First, safety Andre Cisco picked off quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and later the defense forced a punt. Both times, the offense came empty-handed.
Following Cisco's interception, the Jaguars got to the Titans' red zone and were within scoring distance. First, Trevor Lawrence threw an incompletion and later tried a quarterback sneak. Neither play was good and both looked questionable at the time. Why not hand it to either Travis Etienne or rookie Tank Bigsby Even more simple, why not kick the field goal? Either way, Jacksonville was trailing by eight points.
But if they wanted to go for the touchdown, why not punch it into the end zone with either Etienene or Bigsby? Both did fine throughout the game, tallying a combined 72 yards on 19 carries between the two. You could even make the case that they should've gotten more chances.
Following the Titans' punt, the Jaguars were in need to score eight points to tie the game. They were under a lot of pressure and they cracked. All things considered, the loss exemplified how things went in the regular season. Lots of flashes marred by self-inflicted wounds, whether it was dropped, missed tackles, or questionable playcalling. Head coach Doug Pederson acknowledged as much when he met with sideline reporter Bucky Brooks after the game
The loss will overshadow some of the positive things the Jaguars did vs. the Titans
Despite some individual efforts, the Jaguars couldn't beat a bad Tennessee Titans team, and the players who showed up should most definitely be pissed. Andre Cisco's interception was clutch. It gave the offense a legitimate chance to score, and they put it to waste. Travon Walker registered his 10th sack of the season and forced Tennessee to punt. However, the defense as a whole failed tackles.
Things weren't much better on offense, tight end Evan Engram, Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones made plays but also had drops. On a game in which the was no margin for error, they couldn't come through. The same is true for Trevor Lawrence, who pushed to play through a shoulder injury.
Lawrence was effective early in the game, and his first pick wasn't his fault. The second on the other hand, was off target. He finished the bout with a 67 completion rate for 280 yards with two touchdowns, and two interceptions. That statline wouldn't look out of touch in any of the Jaguars' other losses of the season.
Now, the Jaguars will have lots of time to reflect upon a wasted season. And if they don't know where to begin, the loss to the Titans would be a good start.