The Jacksonville Jaguars have now dropped three games in a row. Their latest loss came against the Baltimore Ravens under the lights of Sunday Night Football. Although there were a handful of encouraging individual performances on defense, the offense struggled to get anything going. The Jags' poor performance in primetime was reflected in the spot they got in most NFL Power Rankings.
Eric Edholm of NFL Media placed them at No. 10, pointing out that they had a chance to score 13 points before halftime but instead came out emptyhanded. Edholm goes on to praise Trevor Lawrence's toughness but argues that he's "looked dicey," making regrettable errors against the Ravens such as fumbling in the red zone.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports also gave the Jaguars the 10th spot in his ranking, noting that their season has gone sideways and they could even miss the playoffs altogether.
The Bleacher Report staff placed the Jags at No. 10 as well, echoing Prisco's sentiment about running the risk of not qualifying for the postseason.
"A few weeks ago, the Jaguars were an 8-3 team competing for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. Now, after getting pasted by the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, the Jags' lead in the AFC South is gone. Jacksonville has gone from vying for home-field advantage to potentially missing the postseason altogether."
The B/R staff isn't wrong. The Jaguars had a chance to secure the No. 1 place in the AFC by beating the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14. However, they couldn't seize the opportunity and have instead slid ever since, losing three in a row and showing cracks on both sides of the ball along the way.
The Jaguars defense did show competency at times against the Ravens but they also gave up a handful of big plays. That said, Mike Caldwell's group played much better than they did in losses to the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. Specifically, safety Rayshawn Jenkins showed out, registering a sack and an interception. Outside linebacker Josh Allen, for his part, posted a win rate of 40.9 percent and registered eight total pressures.
Sophomore Travon Walker also did a good job of bringing the heat and sealing the edge, tallying six total pressures and a sack. On the other hand, the offense and kicker Brandon McManus, who went 2-of-2 on field goal attempts, left much to be desired.
The Jaguars had success running the ball in the first half, with Travis Etienne averaging over five yards per carry at one point. However, the coaching staff made the puzzling decision of abandoning the run after halftime. Besides a 65-yard strike to Jamal Agnew, Jacksonville couldn't reach the end zone, with Trevor Lawrence making several questionable decisions throughout the game.
Time is running out for the Jacksonville Jaguars to turn things around in 2023
The Jaguars still hold tiebreakers over the Texans and Indianapolis, but whereas they've struggled to find consistency on both sides of the ball, their defensive foes are getting hot at the right time. Now, Jacksonville has a bit of time to salvage their season but they'll need to cut down on self-inflicted wounds and find a way to adjust to injuries, something they've failed to do in recent games.
The defense did a much better job of wrapping up tackles in the Ravens game but it was an issue in the losses to the Bengals and Cleveland. On offense, offside penalties, drops, miscommunication, and badly placed passes have prevented Jacksonville from putting points on the scoreboard, while injuries haven't helped matters.
The offense is missing Christian Kirk and Walker Little — he played through a hamstring injury — didn't seem to be 100 percent on Sunday Night. The defense was without safety Andre Cisco and cornerback Tyson Campbell, two key cogs in the secondary. Then again, good teams find ways to overcome injuries. Based on the results, the Jaguars aren't one, and unless they turn things around, they'll end up falling behind the Colts and Houston in the division.
It's sink or swim time in Jacksonville, and it's up to the Jaguars to show they do deserve to earn a spot in the postseason.