The Jacksonville Jaguars went into halftime with a 10-5 lead and apparently thought that was good enough to beat the Caroline Panthers. Obviously it wasn't, since the Jaguars lost 16-10 by trying to sit on a 5 point lead. The team allowed rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert to pass the football just 5 times in second half, most of those screen passes. The coaching staff apparently thought the Jaguars defense could hold the Panthers from scoring another 5 points, but eventually the defense broke down.
Gabbert looked like a rookie, flashing some good throws and making some poor ones as well as fumbling at least four snaps. He was intercepted before the half deep down the field, but also had some nice completions called back because of penalties and victimized by some drops by Jason Hill and Mike Thomas.The Jaguars defense had a fantastic day, holding Cam Newton to just 158 passing yards and 1 touchdown. Newton didn't throw an interceptions, but he was close to having about five passes picked off. The Jaguars defense also shut down the Panthers rushing attack for the most of the game. Despite playing well, the lack of a real legit pass rusher on the Jaguars defense showed up big time, as most of the time Newton had all day long to throw.
As far who to blame for the Jaguars loss, it's 100% totally on Jack Del Rio. The Jaguars offensive game plan was something out of 1953. You're not going to win many games in the modern NFL throwing the ball just 21 times, especially when you only attempt about 7 passes in the second half of the game. This team entering games with both of it's hands tied behind it's back and the only constant in all of this since 2003 is Jack Del Rio. He's gone through offensive coordinator and offensive coordinator, but the inept offensive game plan always winds up the same.
Why am I not blaming Dirk Koetter? Well, the Jaguars have had the same offensive game plan since 2003. How many offensive coordinators are going to fall on Del Rio's sword.
As I said in week one, when the Jaguars darn near let the Tennessee Titans get in range to attempt a game winning field goal, if you play games that close to the vest you're going to lose more than you'll win. When you keep games that close, you're going to put yourself in unnecessary difficult situations. Because the Jaguars lack a killer instinct and were content to rest on their laurels, they gave the Panthers ample time get back into the game and take the lead. Then, because they team played so conservative the entire second half, they forced their rookie quarterback into a situation where he had to throw the football and the opposing team's defense knew they had to throw it.
It's not a recipe for success, and until the Jaguars develop some semblance of a modern offensive game plan, they're not going to win many games.
What's the point in drafting a quarterback in the Top 10 if you're just going to groom them to be a game manager?