The 2014 season is over for the Jacksonville Jaguars and it fittingly ended with a loss. The 3-13 year for the Jaguars is the second-worst in franchise history after the Houston Texans dealt the team its 13th loss of the season by a 21-17 score on Sunday.
It shouldn't have been as close as it was, but the Jaguars defense did a very good job to slow the Case Keenum-led offense that was further hamstrung by an injury suffered by running back Arian Foster. Despite dominating the time of possession, the Texans kept the Jaguars in the game by throwing an interception that was returned by Dwayne Gratz for a touchdown and fumbling a ball deep in Jaguars territory that was recovered by Ryan Davis.
But the Jaguars, with the exception only of Jordan Todman, were unable to find any offensive rhythm and only managed to score a touchdown with a trick play that resulted in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cecil Shorts III to Todman.
Three things we learned
1. Jordan Todman provides options: The Jaguars have to feel pretty comfortable with Denard Robinson being a featured part of the team's offense in 2015, and Todman certainly made a case to be around next year as well. That could be bad news for Toby Gerhart, who was supposed to have increased carries on Sunday, but instead was injured early. Two more years remain on Gerhart's contract, but the Jaguars might believe that with Robinson and Todman, they're comfortable enough at the position to move on after just one season.
2. Cecil Shorts made a case: Shorts has been the punching bag of sorts for Jaguars fans, and that's certainly been justifiable by the amount of drops the pending free agent racked up. He looked much more sure-handed on Sunday though, in what may have been his last game with the team. Bortles looked to Shorts more than any other receiver and much of that had to do with the fact that he's just open more than any other receiver on the team. If Justin Blackmon returns or Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee or Allen Hurns take a big step forward next year that could change, but for now Shorts has an argument to keep being that safety valve for Bortles in 2015 and beyond.
3. The Jaguars will pick third: For the second-straight year the Jaguars will be owners of the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft and a top three pick for a third-straight year, setting Dave Caldwell up well to continue his rebuild of the Jaguars. Ahead of the Jaguars will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans, selecting in that order. No need for any rush to begin the draft speculation because there will be plenty of time for that before draft day.