Frustrations boil over as Jaguars lose third straight game

Houston’s Whitney Mercilus recovers a fumble from quarterback Blake Bortles. Photo: James Crichlow/Jacksonville Business Journal. See the whole gallery here:

By Dustin Fletcher |

Texans ground game effective; Jaguars non-existent

In week seven, the Jaguars were extremely effective in limiting pass yards, but unfortunately traded that for allowing rushing yards. Texans running back Lamar Miller had huge holes to run into all day, and constantly made players at the second level miss tackles. He continued to keep the chains moving and keep the offense on schedule, so the defense could not get off the field. The team, however, suffered by playing on a short field again like they did against the Chiefs earlier this season. Crucial turnovers and an anemic Jags offense created this issue. Miller rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries for a fantastic mark of 4.5 yards. Additionally, quarterback Deshaun Watson rushed for 13 yards and Alfred Blue for 28 yards. On the flip side, The Jaguars rushed for 70 yards on 22 carries. That comes out to a grand total of… 3.18 yards per carry. Compare that to Miller’s numbers and it is easy to see why the Texans dominated this game.

Jags keep Watson quiet; Bortles pulled in third quarter due to costly turnovers

In week seven, a big storyline was the matchup between Jalen Ramsey and All-Pro receiver Deandre Hopkins. Barring two plays – the 10 yard touchdown and a one handed circus grab – the matchup was mostly Ramsey. Three catches for 50 yards doesn’t seem great, but when that receiver is an All-Pro, it looks a whole lot better. On Sunday, the Jaguars simplified the defense quite a bit and played more man coverage, which let their cover corners do their playmaking. It did hurt though when Justin Patmon, the starting nickel corner left the game with what was suspected to be a concussion, but ended up being a neck strain.  Deshaun Watson mainly completed his passes to Will Fuller V who had six catches for 68 yards.

Fuller was shadowed by AJ Bouye, who kept things in front of him since Fuller is an extremely speedy receiver who can make huge plays in the blink of an eye. Other than that, the Texans only had three completions and 139 yards total on the day. One would think this was enough to win the game for the defense of Jacksonville, however what the stats do not show was the starting field position all game. Bortles fumbled on the third play of the game and then again early in the second half. The Texans scored off of each turnover, the first being a field goal and the second being a costly touchdown, all but ending the game. Bortles threw 12 times for 61 yards. Five yards per attempt. When looking at Cody Kessler’s numbers, he threw 21 for 30 for 152 yards. While he had a lot of completions, he still averaged 5 yards per attempt, exactly what the Texans wanted. Small dump offs to kill the clock off before handing the ball to Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue. This was a sad performance from the league’s lowest scoring offense, something this team should not be.

Frustrations boil over in locker room confrontation

After the game, Jacksonville had a heated confrontation between Yannick Ngakoue and Bortles in which Ngakoue had to be restrained by Calais Campbell. This is to be expected as the defense has done their jobs limiting scoring and the offense has not held up to even extend drives and stay on the field. While Leonard Fournette will be back in two weeks, this will be no quick fix without a competent quarterback who can protect the ball.

Prediction: Jags 17- Texans 10

Boy was I wrong again. Bortles did not deliver, and 10 points were off of turnovers. Without those, in open play, the defense only allowed 10 points. A competent offense would have cruised to a victory in this one.

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