Ouch. When your own team website comes out with a recap that starts “for three quarters on Sunday the Jaguars looked like the Jaguars,” that tells you expectations are low.
Instead, the site should’ve been in defense of Jacksonville’s defensive effort, and ballyhooed the Jags stunning come from behind fourth quarter victory.
“It was a good team victory,” said Blake Bortles.
No, it wasn’t. It was a defensive victory. Gus Bradley’s defense saved the day to compensate for the lack of offense and 2 turnovers. Chicago could’ve made it a blowout, but the Jaguars stood their ground to force three Connor Barth field goals all shorter than 37 yards.
“I think the big stat was (Chicago) one for four in the red zone,” said Bradley. “For them to come away with just field goals gave us a chance to get back in the game.”
It didn’t matter that Bears’ quarterback Brian Hoyer passed for over 300 yards. What did matter was Jacksonville was able to withstand Chicago dominating the time of possession (Chicago: 35:47 to Jacksonville: 24:13).
What needs to improve for Jaguars:
Their third down conversions have been horrendous this season. The Jaguars rank dead last in the NFL when the down marker reads 3. Bortles and company have converted just 27% (17 of 63), the next worse percentage is Philadelphia with a rookie quarterback and not nearly the wide receiver weapons Jacksonville possesses.
Running the football
You have to appreciate Bradley’s honesty when asked about the poor rushing attack.
“I can’t argue about the run game, it’s not coming along,” said Bradley. “It all comes back to execution and technique but there isn’t just not a certain speed or urgency in our play.”
After 5 games the Jaguars are second to last in the league in rushing yards (355 yards). Only Minnesota is worst, and only by two yards. Chris Ivory carried the rock 11 times in Chicago, leading the way with a mere 32 yards. It’s hard to set up the passing game when you can’t run the football.
“Something is holding us back playing as aggressively as we need to in the run game,” said Bradley. “I think that’s where our attention now is, how do we get this fixed.”
Switching to a no huddle offensive attack in second half proved to be a smart move.
“Sometimes a unit needs to be stimulated,” said Bradley.
Coming off back to back three and outs, Bortles and the offense kept the Bears on their heels by running the hurry up. In three of those final 4 drives, the Jags put points on the board.
Sure the witch to the no huddle was dictated by the fact that Jacksonville trailed by 13 heading in to the final frame of the game. But if this is how offensive coordinator Greg Olsen’s offense is finding success, it would be worth re-visiting from the on set against the Raiders this Sunday.
Where Have you Benn:
Kudos to wide receiver Arrelious Benn for scoring what would be the game winning touchdown on Sunday. Here is a guy who hasn’t been able to stay healthy for years. That 51-yard trip to the end zone is the first time he’s scored a touchdown since President Barak Obama’s first term.
He’s always been a speedster chopped down by nagging knee and leg injuries, but Sunday he gave Jags fans a taste of what Tampa Bay fans were promised when Benn was drafted in the second round in 2010.
Report- Jaguars to hire former Giants coach McAdoo as QB coach
The Jaguars are trying to fix things offensively and especially, at the quarterback position. And, to that end, they have apparently settled on another hire, involving another former NFL head coach to lead their QB room.
ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan reported Tuesday night the Jacksonville is hiring former New York Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, to be their quarterback coach:
Ben McAdoo is being hired as the Jaguars quarterbacks coach, per source. The former Giants coach is back in after two years out of the NFL. McAdoo has worked well with Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning in his previous stints.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) February 12, 2020
McAdoo had been under consideration by head coach, Doug Marrone, for the offensive coordinator vacancy that occurred when the team dismissed John DeFilippo after just one season.
Eventually, Marrone decided upon another former NFC East coach, Jay Gruden, from the Redskins, as the offensive coordinator hire. Gruden, the younger brother of Jon Gruden, is known as an innovator in the passing game.
However, the Jags, including GM Dave Caldwell, were obviously impressed with Macado’s previous work with the Giants and Eli Manning. McAdoo began as an offensive coordinator in New York in 2014 – 15. He was then given the head coaching job, basically at the uriging of the two-time Super Bowl champion QB Manning to take over in 2016.
The Giants finished 11 – 5 McAdoo’s first year as the head coach and made the playoffs. However, the relationship with Eli Manning quickly soured and the team fell apart going 2 – 10 in its first 12 games with McAdoo actually benching Manning late in the 2017 season. McAdoo was fired the week after that benching and has been out of the NFL the last two seasons.
McAdoo will replace QB coach Scott Milanovich, who took over as head coach of the CFL Edmonton Eskimos for later this summer.
The Jaguars still have to resolve their quarterback situation, as they have high price free agent signing Nick Foles, who did not perform well in his first season in Jacksonville. And then, they have fan favorite rookie 6th round pick Gardner Minshew, who did play well at times in relief of the injured Foles and when Marrone benched Foles for the final four games of the year.
Jaguars president Lamping continued to defend two London games
With a fan base that is unsure whether or not Jaguars owner Shad Khan really wants to move half his team’s schedule, if not the team entirely to London, team president Mark Lamping took to the national radio airwaves Thursday morning trying to defend this week’s announcement that they will be playing a second home game in the U.K. this fall.
Lamping was a guest on “Sirius XM NFL Radio” morning show with co-host Bob Papa and Charlie Weis and tried to make clear that playing a second home game in London starting this year, is in the best interest of keeping pro football in North Florida:
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 6, 2020
Lamping told the hosts that Khan is “taking all the actions he believes are necessary to ensure the future of the NFL in Northeast Florida,” during the conversation. He went on to discuss Khan’s commitment to land development around TIAA Bank Field and how playing this second home game in London will be able to help with revenue.
Still, it’s totally understandable that Jaguars fans who hear those comments and say, “your words are empty and your actions of moving a second game to London’s Wembley Stadium mean everything.”
And, they would not be wrong to say or think that.
A franchise wanting to stay committed and strong in the market/region where they are, isn’t looking to take 1/4 of the regular season home schedule and play games five time zones away.
The point Lamping was trying to make is the same that Khan did earlier in the week: that the Jaguars make easily $500,00 and maybe north of $1 million more money by selling their home games to the NFL to put on abroad vs. playing in a half empty stadium in Jacksonville,.
The real bottom line with respect to attendance/revenue is: the Jaguars have only had one winning season in eight years under Khan’s ownership. In fact, they’ve lost at least 10 games (including the last two years) in those 7 other seasons, and the losing has caused fan apathy, which therefore results in a lack of revenue.
And, most Jaguar fans were unhappy, or just met with that apathy, Khan’s decision last December to not go ahead and wipe the slate clean from coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell, who were part of those last two years. This especially, after firing VP of football,, Tom Coughlin, late in the 2019 season.
The belief from many fans, who post online or call Jacksonville sports radio, etc., is that there’s going to be more of the same of losing in 2020. And then, the owner threatening to move more games every year to London, while still being based in Jacksonville.
For now, the NFL is willing to allow Khan to play more games in the U.K., while being based in Jacksonville.
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