Head coach Doug Pederson says crown noise might've affected communication on defense but there are other reasons the Jacksonville Jaguars couldn't stop the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. They couldn't tackle, they lost the battle at the line of scrimmage, and last but not least, they simply weren't physical enough. Outside linebacker Josh Allen recognizes all these were issues in the 34-31 loss.
Allen acknowledged in a recent exchange with the local media that the defense didn't play to their standard, highlighting the lack of execution in key areas.
"We speak over here every time we win. We did our keys, we stopped the run, pressure the quarterback, created takeaways," Allen said via 1010 XL. "Did we stop the run? No. Were we physical enough up front and that dictates how we stop the run? Were we in our gaps? No, not enough to be able to dominate the game, so you scratch that out."
"If you can turn around and hand the ball off and average this amount of yards, why stop doing that? Why stay in the pocket and drop back, pass when we can get four to five yards, get the ball on second-and-short, third-and-short, convert that, and keep doing the same thing? We have to take pride in that, on stopping the run," Allen said.
Allen continued, "We are a stop-the-run team, and we have to earn the right to rush the passer. First thing first, we have to take care of it, this is a team we're about to play that's predicated on running the ball. We've got to get our minds right, it's going to be a tough game, cold game, potentially rainy, tough environment but it's a match we're ready to respond to."
Cincinnati entered the game with the 32nd-ranked rushing offense. Yet, they were able to moving the ball at ease, totaling eight rushing first downs and averaging five yards per carry. One reason for their success on the ground was that the Jaguars missed 13 tackles. However you look at it, that's not acceptable.
The Jaguars defense will next need to stop the Browns rushing attack
If there's a player who should get a pass in the Jaguars' latest loss, it's Josh Allen. On a day in which the defense struggled to contain the Bengals, the former Kentucky Wildcat had five total pressures, 1.5 sacks, and one interception. He was the lone bright spot in a unit that had no answer for a Cincinnati team that racked up 156 rushing yards.
But as Allen noted, there's nothing the Jags can do but see what went wrong, bury the tape, and focus on preparing for next week. Coincidentally, the Cleveland Browns will be a good test for Jacksonville. With Joe Flacco slated to start at quarterback, sophomore running back Jerome Simpson could get a heavy workload.
Simpson, a fifth-round selection in last year's draft, stepped into a bigger role when All-Pro Nick Chubb suffered a torn MCL that cut his season short. So far, Simpson has toted the rock 154 for 647 yards with three touchdowns. Along with Kareem Hunt, he gives Cleveland a dynamic backfield tandem that could give the Jags fits if they play like they did against the Bengals last week.
At 8-4, the Jaguars must bounce back against the Browns. A win will ensure they'll be able to fend off the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts in the race for the AFC South title.