The Jacksonville Jaguars suffered a second consecutive frustrating defeat to an AFC North team with a backup quarterback, losing to the Cleveland Browns 27-31.
However, the Jags still maintain sole possession of the lead in the AFC South and remain one game back from the Dolphins for the second seed in the AFC.
Key Stats from the loss to the Browns
Turnovers were a major killer for the Jaguars, with three interceptions from Trevor Lawrence, a fumble from Parker Washington, and a late failed fourth-down conversion.
The Jaguars remained disciplined in the penalty category. However, the late encroachment penalty by defensive end Adam Gotsis allowed the Browns to extend their fourth-quarter drive, taking an extra minute off the clock.
Jaguars Offensive Breakdown in Week 14
Travis Etienne returned to the heavy rushing usage that he saw for most of the season. However, the Jaguars only ran the ball 20 times, their third-lowest mark of the season.
While the wide receivers still saw a significant target share, Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones, and Parker Washington combined for 11 catches on 30 targets while Evan Engram caught 11 passes on 12 targets.
The Jaguars also rushed the ball behind the guards at a significantly higher rate (53 percent) this week, likely due to the injuries suffered on the left side of the line.
Offensive Trends To Keep An Eye On
The Jaguars passed at a season-high 74.3 percent rate, with Lawrence having his second-worst game in terms of adjusted net yards per pass Attempt (2.91).
Meanwhile, the rushing game continued to be ineffective (2.9 yards per carry). The Jaguars have struggled all season on rushing on third-and-short.
Defensively, the Jaguars played well in general. However, three key broken plays led to Joe Flacco’s three touchdown passes.
The silver lining is that the Jaguars looked capable of stopping the run for the first time in four weeks. This will be particularly important in the upcoming clash against the Baltimore Ravens.
Both the Jaguars and Browns were slightly above league average in terms of starting field position. While Parker Washington has held his own in punt coverage, D’Ernest Johnson has struggled on kick returns.