As the final seconds ticked off Sunday afternoon, the Jaguars stared at the scoreboard that read Buffalo 24, Jacksonville 21, for a seventh consecutive loss.
And it’s not just who they lost to (the lowly Bills) but how they once again faltered and self-inflicted that has to be the most maddening of all for Jaguars fans.
2017 was a season where Jacksonville played sound and, most of the time, clean football.
Excellent defense. Good running game. Didn’t beat themselves.
And, they won 10 regular season games, the AFC South and two playoff games doing it.
The 2018 version is anything but that, and it was back on display in Western New York Sunday.
There were costly interceptions, again. Like Blake Bortles throwing a killer one inside his own 5-yard line in the final six minutes, as they were trying to come back. The Bills Stephen Hauschka kicked a short field goal a couple of minutes later and all put put the game away.
Earlier, there were repeated blunders on defense including giving up a 75 yard td pass from rookie Josh Allen (above) to Robert Foster. A QB that has been less than stellar while healthy, looked great at times Sunday.
Then, there were more outward signs of frustration and selfishness.
Like Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey who had an interception taken away near the end of the first half from his own penalty for illegal contact. He still stood near the Bills bench screaming audibly “you still trash. you still trash,” at them.
This, of course, came on the heels of Ramsey having insulted almost every quarterback in the league in a GQ.com August article. That list included the Allen, who he called “trash” in the article, but obviously, the rookie got the last laugh in scoring the decisive 14 yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter of the win.
Almost poetic justice for Allen and the Bills.
And, then there’s Jags star running back Leonard Fournette, who once again ran hard in his third straight game back from the injured hamstring and had 95 rushing yards with two first-half touchdowns.
However, in a moment of selfishness, Fournette lost his composure and ended up fighting Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson over near the stands beside the Buffalo bench late in the third quarter. Fournette got himself ejected, along with Lawson.
Leonard Fournette n Shaq Lawson EJECTED 😱 after Jaguars n Bills teams get into a FIGHT 😵 pic.twitter.com/aIpV4bLnuZ
— VERSACEBOYENT (@VersaceBoyEnt2) November 25, 2018
And without question, while it was not intentional on their part, the Bills and any other NFL team would absolutely take that trade of their guy getting kicked out along with Fournette, as he is Jacksonville’s top weapon.
The bottom line is Fournette took himself out of a game that Jacksonville could have won, because he let frustration and emotion get the better of him.
Apology from #Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette RT @_fournette: Just want to apologize to the fans and kids out there was totally out of character was in the heat of the moment in a important game, emotions got the best of me apologize again to you all….
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) November 25, 2018
Unfortunately for the 2018 version of the Jaguars, it’s all too little too late. This season has spiraled downward and has almost collided with the ground after two months of bad football and losing.
And, Jacksonville needs only to look in the mirror for the biggest reasons why.
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