The Jacksonville Jaguars suffered a disappointing 34-31 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. However, more important than the loss, is the injuries to wide receiver Christian Kirk and quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The Jags would surely like to move on from the loss as soon as possible and focus on their bout against the Cleveland Browns. That said, there were a few bright spots. Here's a statistical look at some of those them, along with a few things that didn't go the way they probably hoped.
Key Stats from the Jaguars loss to the Bengals
The Jaguars did lead the turnover margin thanks to a wild Josh Allen interception and a fourth-down stop on the Bengals' first drive.
However, the Jaguars trailed in the sack margin and the penalty margin. Allen recorded the two sacks for the Jaguars while Lawrence was sacked two times, including the play that forced him out for the rest of the game.
Untimely penalties hurt the Jaguars and none more than Anton Harrison’s holding penalty that would have resulted in a First-and-goal situation in overtime had it not been called. As has seemingly been the case recently, there were multiple poor officiating decisions against both teams.
Amid a chest injury, Travis Etienne once again saw a lower rush share and snap share this week. The Jaguars also avoided running behind the tackles on both sides. Instead, the Jaguars used a high rate of end-arounds and pitches to try to stretch the field in the run game.
Despite Christian Kirk’s injury, the Jaguars’ wide receivers were heavily targeted, with Parker Washington stepping up in Kirk’s absence. The Jaguars once again forced the ball down the field, with Trevor Lawrence averaging over twelve air yards per attempt before his injury.
Offensive Trends to key an eye on
The Jaguars had a productive passing attack for the third straight game. This includes three deep plays to wide receiver Calvin Ridley that were either dropped or negated due to a penalty.
However, the running game continues to struggle. Remarkably, it seems more difficult for the Jaguars to convert on third-and-short than third-and-long with a QB sneak being the only reliable way to convert on short yardage.
Defensive Stats from the Jaguars loss on Monday Night Football
This has been one of the poorest defensive games by the Jaguars, regardless of the opponent personnel. They once again allowed over five yards per Carry and Josh Allen, despite a career game, noted the poor tackling as a major contributor.
The Jaguars allowed the Bengals to convert on 57 percent of their third downs, a statistical category they have excelled at in the past. Even excluding the long Ja’Marr Chase touchdown, the Jaguars defense struggled.
The Josh Allen interception helped the Jaguars start with a favorable field position in the game, while the Bengals started drives inside their own 25-yard line on average.
Overall, this game was disappointing for multiple reasons. The Jaguars were hosting their first Monday Night Football game since 2011 against a backup quarterback with a chance to move into the 1 seed of the AFC. Instead, they lost and suffered key injuries along the way.
However, the Jaguars are still 8-4, atop the AFC South, and got positive news on the Trevor Lawrence injury. If Lawrence can avoid an extended stint on the sideline, the Jaguars are still primed to win this division and host a playoff game.