By Dustin Fletcher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Defense falls apart in strange first half
A microcosm of the Jaguars season can be seen in one statistic: Eric Ebron has three receptions – great defense has limited him to three receptions. But the downside of this statistic? Ebron has three touchdowns. The defense in the first half by Jacksonville was nothing short of abysmal. The Jaguars gave up 29 points in two quarters and missed countless assignments, with three of them going for Eric Ebron touchdowns. The fourth touchdown was also on a missed coverage by a linebacker with Colts tight end Mo-Alie Cox catching the touchdown. The common denominator of all of these touchdowns are botched coverages by linebackers. This Jaguars defense is sorely missing the leadership of retired linebacker Paul Posluszny right about now. To be fair to this unit, they rallied in the second half and gave up no points and made few mistakes. It certainly was a tale of two halves for this team, and the first half cost the Jaguars a desperately needed win. I give the defense a grade of D for this game.
Not enough from the offense to win in Indianapolis
The return of Leonard Fournette sparked this offense as he had 29 touches with 24 carries and 5 receptions. The carries went for 53 yards, which was an awful 2.2 yards per carry, but his five receptions for 56 yards gave him a total of 109 all purpose yards, which is fantastic. Blake Bortles yet again did not turn the ball over and did what was asked of him; dump off screen passes and let the receivers and blockers do the work. This obviously excludes the huge touchdown to Donte Moncrief, but he kept the ball and without the defensive meltdown, this was a win.
T.J. Yeldon continued his stellar play in the receiving game nearly matching Fournette’s total in the air attack with five receptions for 51 yards. Outside of his 80 yard catch, Moncrief did not play well with two catches for 18 yards. James O’ Shaughnessy caught five of his six targets for 46 yards in an efficient day’s work. The run game wasn’t very effective, however, it did allow things to open up in the flats in the receiving game and allow Bortles to play low-risk football, which is hard to mess up. The offense was driving late in the game down 29-26 until a fumble by Rashad Greene Sr. I give the offense a B+ for this game.
Josh Lambo finally misses
And at long last, Josh Lambo missed a field goal. It was from 52 yards. In addition to this, he also had an extra point blocked. The streak is over. Time to mourn, Jaguars fans.
Prediction: Jaguars 24 – Colts 20
I was completely backwards on my prediction. However I did predict the offensive play calling and ability to score well, but no one foresaw the defensive collapse in the first half to give up 29 points. This was a backbreaker for Jacksonville, and the playoffs may now be out of reach.