CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 20: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is tackled by defenders Usama Young #28 and Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
And the frustrating game of a frustrating year award goes to...
At 3-6 a loss to the Browns 14-10 isn't something I would've thought could have been as frustrating as it was. Perhaps if the Jaguars offense hadn't missed on so many opportunities to put points on the board, I wouldn't be so frustrated right now.
At the end of the first half the Jaguars spoiled a drive into Browns territory and resigned themselves to a Nick Harris punt from the 40 yard line of Cleveland with 15 seconds remaining in the half. A potential game tying drive came to an end with a 42 yard Josh Scobee field goal following a backwards pass out of bounds that backed the Jaguars way up. That was following a missed pass out of the back of the end zone by Blaine Gabbert intended for a wide open Jason Hill.
But the ultimate frustration came on the final drive of the game.With 2:49 to go in the game, Gabbert had the tough task of driving the Jaguars offense 71 yards down the field to score a game-winning touchdown. With completed passes to Mike Thomas, Marcedes Lewis, Jarett Dillard and Chastin West as well as a key pass interference call to continue the drive, the Jaguars found themselves on the five yard line with 41 seconds to go.
A three yard run by Maurice Jones-Drew got the Jaguars to the two yard line, but rather than elect to take a timeout the Jaguars ran the clock all the way to 13 seconds before running again up the middle. Jones-Drew only got one of the two yards necessary and the Jaguars came up short. It was with eight seconds remaining that the Jaguars finally decided to use their final timeout.
That took the option to run away from them as a pass was the only way they could get two attempts at the endzone. With the first, Gabbert threw a perfect the ball that hit Jason Hill directly in the chest, but was dropped. With three seconds to go in the game, the Jaguars elected to go away from the best player on their team by not running or by throwing to him. Instead Gabbert threw an incomplete pass behind Mike Thomas in the back of the endzone.
There will be plenty of blame to go around, but the brunt of the blame does not rest on the shoulders of Gabbert in my eyes. The rookie had his best game of the season and had his pass to Hill been caught, would have been the hero of the week. Instead, the Jaguars receivers disappoint yet again.
However, had the Jaguars called timeout after the first Jones-Drew run, they would've had over 30 seconds to run four plays from two yards out. Much different and much easier than eight seconds to go one yard.