The Jacksonville Jaguars have now lost four games in a row. While they still have a chance to qualify for the playoffs, they'll be quickly knocked out if their performance in the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is an indication. John Breech of CBS Sports, for one, came out impressed and held no punches when talking about the Jags' humiliating Week 16 loss.
Breech graded all performances in Week 16 and gave the Jags an F, noting that there was nothing to salvage in what was a "disaster from start to finish."
"Although Trevor Lawrence was able to play, he didn't do much. The Jags QB threw two interceptions during a first half where Jacksonville couldn't do anything right on offense. The Jags turned the ball over four times with the Bucs scoring 21 points off those turnovers and that was the main difference in this game. From missed field goals to failed fourth downs, the mistakes just kept on piling up in this blowout. "
Breech goes on to say that everyone deserves to shoulder the blame, and he's right. The offense only managed to reach the end zone when the game was out of reach. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley's statline of six receptions for 90 yards with two touchdowns looks much better than it truly was. As Breech noted, Lawrence was responsible for three turnovers, giving him five the past two games.
The defense wasn't much better, missing a season-high 15 tackles. They cannot even say injuries played a role, with cornerback Tyson Campbell and Andre Cisco suiting up for the game. Outside linebacker Josh Allen had five total pressures but he didn't have any big plays, which is not what you expect from one of the "top edge rushers in the league."
Special teams also played a role in the loss. While it was windy, you can't keep putting your hands on fire for kicker Brandon McManus, who missed his third attempt in two weeks. Sure, Travon Walker had his seventh sack of the season, and undrafted free agent Elijah Cooks flashed early in the game before the coaching staff decided not to target him anymore. Other than that, there weren't many positives to bring up.
The Jaguars are failing to take advantage of every break they get
The Jags could've gotten a one-game lead in the AFC South. Before they faced the Bucs, both the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans lost. That should've incentivized them to show up at Raymond James Stadium and come out on top. Instead, they were exposed.
This is no longer the team that could compete for a playoff BYE. The fact that they got off to a good start this season, but they're now playing like they're the 2021 incarnation of the team, one that had no talent on either side of the ball, is concerning. Leaving aside that Jacksonville has a few roster holes — interior offensive line, defensive front, the pass rush — there's no way to justify how bad they've looked since they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13.
It all starts at the top, and whatever head coach Doug Pederson is doing, it simply is not working. The Jaguars seem content to lose, and not do anything about it. As Pederson noted after the loss to the Buccaneers, they need to have pride to be fed up with losing. But it appears as if their losing skid isn't currently bothering them. That said, the coaching staff also deserves flak. They're not pushing the right buttons nor are putting their players in a position to succeed.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have two weeks to gain control of the season. If they don't, which seems to be a realistic possibility they should then consider making wholesome changes to both the roster and the coaching staff next year.