They were a playoff team last year. There was so much hope that the Jaguars had “turned the corner,” to become a good, if not great team with a core of young stars, for future years.
However, they are no where close to being great, or now, even good, in 2018.
And, in a 6-0 victory Sunday at TIAA Bank Field against the Colts, it was all apparent, again.
Despite having fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and benching QB Blake Bortles last week, the Jags offense was still a mess most of Sunday. New offensive coordinator Scott Milanovich and backup QB Cody Kessler couldn’t get anything going on a Sunday, where Jacksonville’s defense did a great job of shutting down QB Andrew Luck and the Colts.
You want some numbers that back it up?
While Kessler completed 18-24 passes, it was for only for 150 yards. He was also sacked three times. The Jags had a paltry 11 first downs and punted, fumbled or knelt on the ball in four of five possessions in the first half. Then, they punted, again, on four more of the five more possessions in the second half.
The other two possessions were the only points of the day on two Josh Lambo field goals.
The running backs carried the ball 21 times for just 52 yards on the afternoon.
A miserable day offensively for sure.
The one thing that the Jaguars could count on in 2017 was their outstanding defense, and at least the 2018 team Sunday resembled what we saw last year.
Just like the Jacksonville offense was struggling, the Colts and Luck could get nothing going against the Jags and were eventually shut out. Luck finshed 33-52 for 248 yards, but was hit and harassed frequently into making shorter throws. The Jaguars sacked him three times and picked him off, once.
And when it mattered the most, on the Colts final two possessions, Jacksonville sacked Luck on fourth down with just over 2:30 remaining. And then, leading by just six, slowed Indy enough on their final drive that they ran out of time on Luck’s final completion at the Jaguars 29 yard line to end the game.
CBS TV cameras caught Jaguars VP of football Tom Coughlin in a suite on slow motion replay, jumping in the air with arms up screaming after that final play “Game Over” and “We Win,” as if something truly remarkable had happened Sunday.
Only, it wasn’t really remarkable.
It was a hard to watch 6-0 victory that snapped a seven game losing streak.
No, with the OC fired, the starting QB benched and future in doubt, the Jags just simply weren’t as bad as the Colts in winning for the fourth time this year.
They can take consolation in that on Monday in North Florida.
But, not much else.
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