Heading out to London, the Jacksonville Jaguars were in a bad place. However, their fortunes are looking much better having gone 2-0 in their trip. There is no rest for the weary, though, as the Jags now face an important divisional test from a Colts team that is on the upswing.
Bills fans are salty the Jaguars won in Week 5
Jaguars fans are quite familiar with the concept of jetlag as it relates to traveling to London to play football games. If they're being honest with themselves, they know some sort of advantage was likely gleaned by having their clocks already adjusted to London time when the Buffalo Bills got on their plane to head over.
That being said, the Bills fans were over the top in their grousing this week after watching their team get handled by the Jaguars.
Hm. One wonders if giving up a home game EVERY SEASON FOR TEN YEARS would be a disadvantage. Quit your bellyaching, Bills Mafia. If you're lucky, you may get a rematch with the Jags this year in the playoffs — in the Eastern time zone. Though, thanks to last Sunday, it could very well be in Duval.
Reshuffled Jaguars Offensive Line shows improvement before injury
There was a lot of conjecture about what the Jaguars would do upon Cam Robinson's return from suspension. But, with an offensive line that has struggled all season, all concerned parties shared the hope that whatever the team decided to do would result in overall improved blocking.
And for two drives, they got their wish. With Walker Little sliding inside to guard making way for Cam Robinson to return at left tackle, the Jaguars' offensive line suddenly seemed to click. Although their initial possession stalled at their own 40-yard line, the offense looked much crisper and more closely resembled what fans had expected to see at the beginning of the season.
On their second possession, the Jags marched straight down the field for a touchdown. Suddenly, the dreams of becoming an elite offense held by so many since the end of last season began to come into focus as a reality. Alas, Walker Little went down with a knee injury near the end of their first touchdown drive, continuing the up-and-down story that is the Jaguars' 2023 offensive line.
With Trevor Lawrence's ability to make supersonic decisions, the offense was able to cover up for its lack of pass-blocking ability for the rest of the day. But, ultimately, for the Jaguars to be who they want to be, they will have to block much better. Robinson's return and Little's move seemed to facilitate that, briefly.
Little received an MRI earlier this week, and it appears the injury is not catastrophic. Pederson has said his status is day-to-day, which once again raises hopes that improved offensive line play is imminent. As a knowledgable and reputable source not at all close to the team put it, "It's pretty telling on Walker Little that he's the best left tackle, best left guard, and best right tackle they have."
"It's pretty telling on Walker Little that he's the best Left Tackle, best Left Guard and best Right Tackle they have."- Anonymous Jaguar Fan
About that supersonic decision making from Trevor Lawrence
During the game, broadcaster Kurt Warner observed that, in his opinion, Lawrence was sometimes racing through his reads too quickly, often moving on from a receiver who would come open a moment later.
The idea of Lawrence playing too fast has since been echoed by many, including here from The QB School at about the 15-minute mark:
While this criticism of Lawrence is true, t's important to note that Lawrence is likely forced into that style of play by poor pass blocking. If Little can get healthy and Robinson can return to form, look for Lawrence to become even more effective as the season wears on.
The Colts are eager for a rematch with the Jaguars in Week 6
With the Jaguars injury situation starting to become clear, they can turn their attention toward their next opponent. The Colts lost a tough one to the Jaguars on opening day, and are champing at the bit for a rematch. Luckily for them, their starting quarterback was injured last week, making way for Gardner Minshew, who is currently a better quarterback than Anthony Richardson.
The Colts have the same record as the Jaguars, with impressive wins on their resume. A win versus the Jaguars would put them in sole possession of first place in the AFC South. This is a huge game.
And to make matters worse for Jacksonville, the Jaguars have to deal with their own round of jetlag this week, having spent the last ten days in London. As any Bills fan will tell you, this is an almost insurmountable problem. The Jaguars will have to be on their A-game this week to reassert themselves as the class of the AFC South.