While the offense found some rhythm at times, the team settled for five field goal attempts and couldn't score touchdowns. Josh Scobee made four of those five attempts, but a pair of touchdowns by the Ravens, including a blocked punt returned for a touchdown early in the game, eclipsed the offensive production of the Jaguars.
It wasn't a horrible game for Blake Bortles, but the rookie quarterback was sacked eight times and finished with an interception, although it was a desperation heave at the end of the game. He finished the day 21-of-37 with 210 yards passing.
Three things we learned
1. YOLO-ball suits the Jaguars well: With a loss on Sunday, the Jaguars dropped to 2-12 and remain very much in the running for the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The team really has nothing to lose at this point and, finally, the playcalling reflected that. The Jaguars successfully pulled off a surprise onside kick in the first half and managed to convert on a fake punt in the third quarter. There's no reason for the Jaguars not to call YOLO-ball playcalls like that, and they worked in the team's favor on Sunday. Maybe the Jaguars won't need gadget-type plays to defeat the Tennessee Titans on Thursday, but the aggressiveness is something that Gus Bradley should've started a while ago and should continue in the last two games of 2014.
2. Aaron Colvin looks like the real deal: There are two types of teams that can afford to take a talented player that suffered a significant injury late in their collegiate career: A) A team that has tremendous depth and can afford to wait or B) A team that doesn't have much talent and is realistic in its expectations of not competing for a postseason spot right away. Dave Caldwell recognized that the Jaguars were the latter and was patient enough with the rebuild to take Colvin and wait for the cornerback to be ready. That appears to have paid off.
Colvin didn't post any ridiculous stats or record a touchdown like he did at the end of November, but he had yet another very strong game and continues to play like a rookie cornerback that you'd expect to cost a first-round pick to add. Through his first three starts, Pro Football Focus rated Colvin as the team's best cornerback and I wouldn't expect that to change after his showing against the Ravens.
3. The offense needs more time to gel: Even with Allen Robinson and Denard Robinson out for the season, the Jaguars offense is full of young players that might be a little too young right now. When Blake Bortles makes a play for his receivers, they don't always reciprocate and vice versa. Obviously that's a formula that is frustrating for Jaguars fans to watch in 2014 as the mistake-riddled offense again struggled to score enough to win, but there's reason to be optimistic about the future, especially considering the improved play of Bortles in December.
Bortles was far from perfect on Sunday, although it was another good showing late in the year. One thing he definitely needs to improve though, is his tendency to hold the ball for too long. He was sacked eight times, and while the protection was far from good, he could avoid some of those sacks if he speeds up his internal clock. That's a problem that should get better with experience.