By Matthew Pagels | firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been a long, dreadful season for the winless Jacksonville Jaguras, and unlike the event that occurred in Sunday’s game, this spelling wasn’t an accident.
During a field goal celebration with 10 seconds remaining in the first half, a pack of eight handpicked Jaguars fans took the field bearing flags representing its “home” team. The problem was the letters weren’t in order, incorrectly spelling out the word J-A-G-U-R-A-S.
This incident perfectly summarizes the kind of season the Jags are having: a failure.
Jacksonville has lost all eight of their games by a double-digit margin, falling victim to their latest opponent, the San Francisco 49ers. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for 164 yards and one touchdown, and ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns, leading the 49ers to a 42-10 victory at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
“(They) jumped up 7-0, 14-0, and really we got in the locker room at halftime and looked at some adjustments and what we could do,” said Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley during the post-game press conference. “For whatever reason, we did not play things correctly, and we need to find out why.”
The last time the team secured a victory dates all the way back to week 15 of the 2012 season, where they defeated the Tennessee Titans 24-19. So what has happened?
Look for the name “Jacksonville Jaguars” under team statistics. Once you have scrolled far down each page, you will come to learn that they rank towards the bottom half of the league in nearly EVERY category.
According to nfl.com, they are the 32nd ranked offense in the league, averaging a league-low 10.8 points per game this season (86 total points through eight games). In comparison, it is five points fewer than what the Detroit Lions did in 2008, eventually leading them to a record of 0-16 for the first time in NFL history. Three-time pro-bowler Maurice Jones-Drew has yet to record his first 100-yard rushing game, as they rank second to last in total rushing yards (66.4). They also rank dead last in yards per game (YPG) with 286.5. To add insult to injury, Chad Henne (26.5 QBR) and Blaine Gabbert (1.8 QBR) have combined for four touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
“There’s definitely some plays out there that we needed to make, whether it’s dropped passes or making a better throw,” quarterback Chad Henne said, following Sunday’s loss to the 49ers.
It’s hard to get anywhere when the offense can’t move the ball downfield. The Jaguars officially rank in the bottom three, with the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings, in time of possession (27.11). Its first four possessions against the 49ers ended with punts (18 plays for a total of 56 yards), three of which resulted in consecutive three-and-outs. Jacksonville’s first points came toward the end of the second quarter, when Josh Scobee connected on 38-yard field goal with 10 seconds left before the half.
“We have to sustain drives and not shoot ourselves in the foot,” said Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III.
On a positives note, the Jaguars ended its streak of going 13 consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown, as Henne tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Mike Brown late in the third quarter, making it 28-10.
“We’ve faced good offenses, but that’s no excuse,” Bradley said. “We need to revaluate things and see where we are.”
He’s right. We’re at the midpoint way during the season, but there seems to be no signs of progression. The passing game is inconsistent. The running game is depleted. The effort is lacking. Those are just a few of many statements that float above the lowly Jaguars. Bradley, who has been known for being a defensive-minded coach, might not have the right pedigree to turn them around.
Featured Photo by Matt Dunham, Associated Press