Fans in Jacksonville have become too familiar and almost numb to what they saw, yet again, Sunday at Everbank Field in a 37-16 whipping by AFC South Rival Tennessee.
And in re-watching the tape of the game, everything that went right, if not perfect, in the opening win at Houston, went wrong against the Titans.
Whether it was the inability to get Leonard Fournette established, costly Blake Bortles interceptions, or a defense that could not harass Marcus Mariota and force turnovers, the Jags looked like the porous Jags of the last few years, again.
Let’s start with Fournette.
After his good opening game against the Texans, where he had 100 yards and was a force inside, he seldom had an effective carry in this one. The official stat line was 14 carries 40 yards, a 2.9 yard average (not good), and a TD that came midway in the third quarter down already big at 30-3.
Some credit has to go to Tennessee’s defense, as they swarmed Fournette and tackled well, but clearly, the inability to establish the run consistently has been a problem for Jacksonville for years, and it re-appeared Sunday.
Next Bortles, who as we wrote Monday, has been revealed to be battling a wrist injury, was the same shaky QB we’ve seen over, and over again.
Yes, his stat line ended up being decent at 20-34 for 223 yards with a late garbage time TD to Allen Hurns. But, when you watch the tape, he was largely ineffective while the game was still in doubt through three quarters.
Time and again, he either threw poorly (including two interceptions) or was content to throw an easy dump off or check down pass to receivers well short of the first down. Some of this was the absence of top target Allen Robinson, who’s now out for the year with a torn ACL. However, he looked the same easily rattled Bortles to us.
Finally, the defense, which crushed the Texans with a record 10 sacks plus four turnovers, did little against the Titans.
While Titans QB Marcus Mariota didn’t have a spectacular day at 15-27 for 215 yards with one TD and one INT, the Titans did repeatedly run the ball down the Jags throat. They finished with 179 yards on a team total 36 carries.
The sledge hammer was second year back Derrick Henry who replaced DeMarco Murray when his hamstring tightened in the first half. Henry, finished with 92 yards averaging a gaudy 6.6 yards per carry and his 17 yard TD run plowing through two Jaguars at the goal line was highlight worthy.
At the end of the day the Jaguars defense, which was on the field a bunch in the first three quarters, surrendered nearly 400 yards of offense, while having just one sack and one turnover.
Not close to good enough.
Now, you can argue that it’s just one game, but the same argument can be made about the Houston game last week, where everything clicked at once.
The Jaguars are headed to London this week to play the Ravens, and Jaguar fans hope last Sunday isn’t an indication that there going to see more of the same, even on another continent, from their team.