The Jacksonville Jaguars played for four quarters for the first time all season. They were better overall than they were against the Cleveland Browns, their one blowout win on the season. The Jaguars ended up losing 20-12, but they held the lead for a while and were right in the game until the very end.
They just couldn't close it out however, but for me that was fine. This was a game the Jaguars were supposed to get their doors blown off and they gave the Ravens all they could handle, right to the point of having the home crowd boo them multiple times.
"There's gonna be talk about how 'Hey Jacksonville played extremely hard, very physical, came into our house and did some really good things, special teams wise two phases did really good' but I told them we're not into moral victories," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said on Sunday after the game. "We're into victories. We're into victories. That's what we're after."
Gus Bradley isn't into moral victories and he shouldn't be, but I am. I'll take them.
There were a lot of positive signs in Sunday's game, there were also a lot of signs that this team still has a lot of growing up to do. I thought Blake Bortles had arguably his best game as a pro. He threw the ball really well, took care of the ball and took shots down the field. He made some "big boy" throws when they needed them and had some critical drops, but he also made some bad decisions holding the football and getting himself sacked.
Speaking of sacks, it's going to be another week where everyone crushes the offensive line but again I don't think they were really all that bad. Sure, there were eight sacks on the day, but at least two to three of those were because of what Bortles did and at least one other was a coverage sack (as they showed on the replay).
It's a young offensive line starting their third right tackle of the season. Someone's going to mess up on a given play. Sure, Joeckel had some rough plays again, but he also had some nice ones. Sam Young is what he is and he had a rough day. I thought the interior line overall played well, even the often wrongly criticized Zane Beadles.
The only thing I was really upset about yesterday was that the Jaguars still can't get past the force field that encompasses the endzone.
It makes no sense. I have no answer for it. Is it Jedd Fisch? Sure. Is it lack of execution? Sure. I'm sure it's a bit of everything.
But anyways, I'm into moral victories and I felt good about yesterday's loss. There was progress there. There were signs of what you hope to see going forward.
Now they just need to be consistent.
Sorry for sunshine pumping but, I was frustrated with yesterday's game mostly because they could have won.
I much more enjoy that frustration than the being down 21-0 at halftime kind.