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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars and Blake Bortles overwhelmed in Kansas City

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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It was a battle of the top defense in the NFL, the Jaguars, against the top offense in the NFL, the Chiefs and it was really no contest on a rainy day in Kansas City.

The Chiefs had five sacks, an equal five takeaways and  quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 313 yards as they built a 23 – 0 lead. Then, K.C. cruised to an easy 30 – 14 win to improve to 5 – 0 on the season.

And, don’t let the final stats fool you as they sometimes can. Despite QB Blake Bortles throwing for 430 yards and leading a couple of late scores, he was not very good for a lot of this game.

Now you have to take into account, that he is continuing to play without running back Leonard Fournette, who is their best offensive weapon. Fournette has now been limited by a hamstring injury and been inactive for three of their first five games.

But still, too many times on Sunday Bortles passes were errant and he was ineffective at moving the team down the field, while they had a chance to get back in the game.

And, he also once again showed that he has lapses in “pocket awareness.” This included this poorly thrown interception that was returned by defensive lineman Chris Jones 20 yd for a touchdown to make the game 20 – 0 just before half-time:

 

Yes, the Jaguars got in the endzone twice in the second half, but yes, over 200 of Bortles passing yards came after they were trailing 30 -7 late in the third.

So while on paper it looks like a good offensive day for the fifth year quarterback, in reality it was another game where Bortles’ critics will say he can’t lead you to the big wins, when it’s all on his shoulders.

Kansas City was clearly better in all phases on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Jags are clearly still a really good defensive team.

However, on a Sunday where they needed Bortles and the offense to keep up, they could not. And now, the Jaguars have lost two of their last three games while looking poor on offense.

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Zach Lauer
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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars acquired RB Carlos Hyde from Browns Friday

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Desperate to kick-start their offense, the Jaguars continue to overhaul their banged-up backfield. On Friday, Jacksonville acquired running back Carlos Hyde from the Cleveland Browns.

Hyde, a former second-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, had signed with the Browns in March on a three year $15.2 million deal. And, he had modest success in Cleveland’s first six games, with his best game coming in week 3 against the Jets where he ran for 98 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns.

The Jaguars are parting with a fifth round draft pick in return for the former Ohio State Buckeyes star to give them a “shot in the arm” offensively.

We have well-documented that the Jaguars run game is undermanned and underwhelming. With Leonard Fournette still battling an injured hamstring and already ruled out for Sunday- meaning he will miss his fifth game in the last six, Coach Doug Marrone and staff are looking for answers on the ground.

A week ago in Dallas T.J. Yeldon had 8 carries for 41 yards and newly-acquired Jamaal Charles carried five times for just 5 yards. Yeldon has been limited in practice with a nagging ankle injury, and Charles is approaching 32 years of age and there is still concerned about how much he has left to offer.

With Hyde being acquired on Friday afternoon, he will be first be able to be active and able to help next week, when the Jaguars head to London to play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hyde is slated to make $5.5 million dollars on this year’s cap, including the prorated 3.5 million signing bonus in the deal he did with Cleveland. The Jaguars are now going to be responsible for a little more than half of that money with 10 games to go in the regular season.

As for their offense, it has registered just 21 points in the last two games- both blowout losses to the Chiefs and the Cowboys. And, off of three losses in four games, if the Jaguars don’t get something going quickly, it may not matter which running back is in the backfield for the stretch run.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars coach Marrone offered little Thursday about possible turnaround

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s definitely “circle the wagons” time for the Jaguars after they’ve lost two straight and three of their last four games. The Jags are at home Sunday with division rival Houston and will try to put 60 minutes of football together to get back to their winning ways.

However, if you were looking Thursday for any insight, much less encouraging words, about possible improvement starting Sunday from head coach Doug Marrone, keep looking.

As is customary on Thursdays, Marrone was not made available to the media for a press conference, because  he talks extensively on his radio show that is simulcast on the Jags website.

But, not much was learned about improving the struggles during the 15 minutes or so of conversation with the internet hosts J.P. Shadrick and former Jags defensive star/analyst Jeff Lageman.

For example, Marrone was never asked about quarterback Blake Bortles, much less his recent struggles, and most importantly, what’s being done by offensive coordinator to Nate Hackett and quarterback coach Scott Milanovich to try to get the passing game back on track?

Likewise, Marrone was never asked about the Jaguars running game, with the problems that it has had with Leonard Fournette out of the lineup with his bad hamstring.

As we continue to monitor, Fournette did not practice at all again on Thursday and it appears the Jags are going to rest him for an extended period of time. This is out of concern to not re-injure the hamstring, like he did three weekends ago trying to play after two weeks of rest on the injured hammy against the Jets.

Still, you would have liked to of heard what have heard what Marrone thought of RB Jamaal Charles’ limited time and performance last week, how he’s looked in his second full week of practice and what the prospects are of him being able to help the Jaguars win this game with Houston?

Alas, there was nothing Thursday night.

The media will get one final opportunity in advance of the Texans game to talk to Marrone on Friday and see what the updates are on any of those subjects above?

In the meantime, we realize that most Jags fans are only concerned with whether the Jaguars are going to turn it around, get a victory and still maintain at least a tie for the lead in the division.

But the ones that were looking for reassurance from the head coach that it is going to turn around starting Sunday and how?

Well, they, like us, are still waiting.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

VIDEO- Jaguars trying to snap out of it leads our weekend preview

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Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

College football is cranking up with two state teams undefeated still, and all three state NFL teams will host games this Sunday, too. Is Florida State over that collapse two weeks ago against Miami? Will the Jaguars rebound after two bad performances in K.C. and Dallas?

It won’t be easy as Jacksonville welcomes AFC South rival Houston, who has won three straight games themselves. Meanwhile, “Brock-tober” continues at QB in Miami and will the Buccaneers get well with the Browns coming to town?

Here are hosts, T.J. Rives and Todd Grasley to preview all of the in state action, college and NFL, on the latest edition of the F.F.I. preview:

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