Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 Week 4 Report

By Liam Wirsansky on October 6, 2020

Finishing the first quarter of the season 1-3 with another poor outing on Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been a mixed bag and hard to pin down. This is the second week the team has lost to one with a worse record and the third in which the defense has made the opposing quarterback look unstoppable. This Time it was rookie first overall draft pick QB Joe Burrow, who led his offense to 505 yards gained. Add in all of the injuries on defense and inconsistent play on both sides of the ball and the Jaguar’s performance left fans asking more questions rather than leaving them with answers and confident in the team’s ability to consistently win moving forward.

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Defense Faces a Mountain of Injuries With No Depth 

The Jaguars lack of depth on the defensive ball proved to be too much on Sunday, with the biggest being the losses of CBs CJ Henderson and DJ Hayden in the backfield. Bengals RB Joe Mixon took advantage of backup rookie CB Chris Claybrooks multiple times, and gashed the defense for 151 yards on the ground and another 30 through the air, becoming the third Bengals RB in history to score 2 rushing TDs, a receiving TD, and 100+ rushing yards. QB Joe Burrow also looked the part of a superstar against the depleted Jaguars defense, throwing for 300 yards a TD and an INT. The loss of Myles Jack to an ankle injury also hurt, especially after securing an incredible interception in the endzone late in the first half. Whil DE Josh Allen was able to collect a sack, the defense again failed to create much of any pressure, giving Burrow an ample amount of time to read through his progressions and connect on some difficult and long throws. The where the defense is played throughout the year is quite a cause for concern and will leave the office vulnerable no matter how well they are playing. The lack of depth falls on the front office and management of GM Dave Caldwell who traded away several talented veteran players for draft picks next offseason.

Offense Flashes Potential, But Still Leave a Lot to Wonder

The trend of early drive interceptions continued for the Jaguars offense on Sunday, as turnovers committed have been essential in the result of the games. The Jaguars offense has to know that the poor play on defense leaves them no room for error. While the team was able to bounce back from the early interception, as well as a missed field goal by the newly signed K Aldrick Rosas, the Jaguars failed to capitalize on several opportunities that could have extended their 13-10 halftime lead. Undrafted rookie RB James Robinson looked incredible again, and his consistent success should warrant even more touches going forward, finishing the day with 100+ all purpose yards for the fourth straight game. At times QB Gardner Minshew looked the part of a star quarterback in this league, and at other times appeared to be overmatched and unable to find an open receiver. Despite his 2 TDs and 351 yards in the air, it was not Minshew’s best game. The Jaguars offense must look to build a foundation of consistency and look to limit their mental errors. Sacks and flags have plagued the offense at inopportune times, and the Jaguars must aim to build a lead early if they expect to compensate for the defense’s ineffective play.

Poor Coaching Decisions Prove Costly

Play calling on the defensive side of the ball has been abysmal all season and the offense has looked out of rhythm the last two weeks, but concerns should be levied towards HC Doug Marrone, as he is responsible for maintaining a consistent performance out of his each part of the team on a weekly basis. It has been obvious since last season that DC Todd Was is unable to game plan and mold the defensive scheme around his players and instead forces them to adapt to the famous Seattle cover 2 scheme that even they have moved away from because they no longer have the player personnel to execute it. Marrone has had multiple opportunities to change whose in charge of the defense and has failed to pull the plug. Marrone should also take responsibility for some of his questionable decisions that may have cost his team the game on Sunday. Somehow the Jaguars drove the ball all the way down the field with no time outs to end the second half and on a 4th down play with six seconds left elected to kick a field goal to take the 3 point lead, rather than taking the chance to lead by a full TD going into halftime. With the way the Jaguars defense has played, every point scored counts, and while a failed attempt certainly would not have helped those circumstances, it also would not have hurt them that much more, with the defense fully imploding in the second half. Marrone also elected to attempt a 2 point conversion late in the game after the Jaguars cut the lead to 8 points. Conversely, this felt like an unnecessary risk that would have made the game much easier to tie had the Jaguars been able to recover possession and score once again. While Marrone defended his decision following the game, the aggressive approach failed to gain any momentum for the team and left many others scratching their heads, especially after the poor time management at the end of the game. Along with the level of play, The coaches on all sides of the ball must step up and call more consistent games, starting with the Head Coach.

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The Jaguars are  already listed as 6.5 point underdogs to the winless AFC South bottom dwellers in the Houston Texans. Potential has been flashed by various parts of the team at some points during the season, and it is simply must be a matter of stringing it all together for a more consistent performance if the team wants a victory this Sunday. With another loss, The team will have a very difficult time finding their way back into the playoff conversation, however a win would immediately put them back into contention. Only time will tell if the team can overcome the piling injuries on both sides of the ball, but expect the Jaguars to improve upon their play with an angry sense of pride going against another AFC South foe.

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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