Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 Week 3 Report

By Liam Wirsansky on October 4, 2020

Coming off of a strong offensive performance, the Jacksonville Jaguars failed to cover the spread, as they got thrashed by the winless Miami Dolphins late last Thursday night. In what could be their only primetime gamefish the season, the Jaguars laid a massive egg on both sides of the ball, exemplifying a more accurate depiction of where the team actually stands. While most of the night was filled with errors, miscommunications, and costly mistakes, there were still a few reasons to have hope for the season and the team’s overall future at the very least.

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James Robinson Steals the Show

The James Robinson era has officially begun in Jacksonville, and it has been a thrilling start to his career. Coming off of his week 2 nomination for the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week, Robinson proved again this week that he is a wrecking ball in the backfield, amassing 2 rushing TDS and over 120+ all purpose yards, leading the team in both rushing and receiving. To put it shortly, Robinson was all over the field Thursday night, and could not be stopped. Look for the Jaguars to utilize his speed on the ground earlier to set up the play action passing game, as well as to put the offense in more manageable third down situations. His performance on Thursday along with his record setting career debut through three games garnered the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month Award for September. Robinson’s 339 yards from scrimmage are the most by an undrafted player through three games, as he became the first rookie to post at least 300 scrimmage yards and multiple touchdowns through three career games in NFL history. The Jaguars offense must be able to balance their offensive attack and lean on Robinson, especially during games that QB Gardner Minshew, or the rest of the offense are not performing to standard.

The Rest of the Offense has a Day to Forget

Speaking of poor performances, the rest of the Jaguars offense had a miserable outing. Whether it was crucial drops by receivers, sacks and turnovers committed by QB Gardner Minshew, or even the ejection of starting LT Cam Robinson (albeit a controversial call), the Jaguars offense looked out of sync trying to catch up to the Dolphins the entire game. While playing from behind is never easy, it has become a common theme for the Jaguars this season no matter how well the offense is playing, and has even forced HC Doug Marrone to reconsider his coin toss strategies for deferring possession to the second half. Still, it falls on the offense to dig themselves out of any holes, especially when they are created out of turnovers. OC Jay Gruden and the rest of the offense knows that they cannot win games consistently when they turn the ball over, so look for a more balanced game plan with more caution and poise from Gardner Minshew and his receiving corps. With the hopeful return of WR DJ Chark this upcoming weekend, as well as Minshew’s history for bounce back games, the offense should more closely resemble the version we saw weeks 1-2.

The Defense Was a Hot Mess

Say what you want about several of the controversial flags that the Jaguars defense received this past Thursday night, and you are certainly right in supposing that any number of those could have changed the landscape and trajectory’s of the game. Yet it is still the defense’s responsibility to overcome those obstacles and remain resilient in order to keep the offense in the game. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, there has been little that they have been able to stop the first three weeks of the season, especially through the air, as Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is the latest player the Jaguars has made look like a star. On the day Fitzpatrick only had two incompletions and threw for just as many TDs. While the rushing defense looked somewhat stout against the Titans in Week 2, The Dolphins carved out over 130 rushing yards and failed to create any consistent pressure in the backfield. while Josh Allen got his first sack of the year, it is only the second total for the Jaguars on the year and the second game in a row the defense has failed to produce a turnover. The defense has been absolutely abysmal the season, and if The level of play continues expect DC Todd Wash to be fired sooner rather than later.

Kicking Concerns and New Returns

The Jaguars kicking woes continued this week, with newly signed rookie K Brandon Wright from Georgia State University missing an extra point late in the game before going down with a hip injury that got him designated to IR. With Josh Lambo still on IR for the next two weeks at least, the team signed veteran K Stephen Hauschka to replace Wright and are hoping he adds some consistency to their special teams scoring this week. With the Bengals defense depleted this weekend, the Jaguars will be trying to take advantage and get on the scoreboard in any way possible, so look for Hauschka to make an impact. Returning to the scene this past weekend was WR Dede Westbrook, Who had been listed as inactive for the first two games of the season. Adding a spark and some sure hands catching punts, Dede had some nice returns that gained positive yards. Westbrook presents a major upgrade over CB Chris Claybrooks, who nearly fumbled a punt in week 2 off a muff. As Westbrook gets more comfortable and used to the speed of the game again, look for a large impact from him in the return game, especially after being phased out of the receiving rotation.

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Only one game out from second place in the AFC South and from being at .500, the Jaguars have a much needed victory in sights for Sunday, Hoping that they can rattle rookie QB and 1st overall pick Joe Burrow from continuing his building success through three games. The jaguars will have to have a bounce back game on every side of the ball if they expect to exceed expectations of being an underdog to the winless Cincinnati Bengals team. Expect another high scoring affair, with both defenses facing injuries and both teams feeling the pressure to turn their seasons around.

Liam Wirsansky is a Senior at Florida State University, pursuing a double major in Theatre and Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT). He serves as the President and Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions at FSU and is also the playwright of the plays, Moonchildren and Finding a New Year.

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