The Jacksonville Jaguars got hosed today by the San Diego Chargers. There were a lot of things that stood out, but here's what stood out the most.
1. Getting absolutely smacked at this point is unacceptable
Remember when the silver lining to last year was "Well, they had competitive losses and they stayed in games"? Well, today it was worse than any moral victory. The Jaguars got punched in the face, got up, got punched in the face again, then fell down to the ground the rest of the game.
The Jaguars are too damn talented to be getting blown out like this. Even the best teams in the league shouldn't do this to them, let alone San Diego, who practically has their backups in offensive weapons out there. There is no way this should happen. Simply no way. There are no excuses, and this falls on the coaching staff and the players, but more so the coaching staff. This was a flat out embarrassment, and took away any of the excitement after week one.
This is without question the worst loss of the Gus Bradley era, and the seat is starting to heat up for him.
2. Gus Bradley is a net negative, not a net positive.
Gus Bradley is not a good coach, period. The Jaguars have not had the most talented teams over the last few years, but we have no evidence that Bradley does anything positive for this team. The amount of games where the team comes out flat, and looks completely unprepared is way too many. The lack of adjustments, the questionable play calling, the awful time management, all coaching issues.
This team has talent, I believe that. I don't believe they are super bowlcontenders, but they sure aren't blown out by the Chargers bad. The Chargers at best are an average team, and the Jags looked completely put matched by them, and completely out coached. They have faced Phillip Rivers 3 times now as a coaching staff, and I don't think they have learned a single thing or made single adjustment from it. The Jags could win the next two games, and get back to 2-2 and maybe we won't all be so mad.
However, I will never believe Gus Bradley is a good head coach. I look at head coaches like quarterbacks, if you don't have one you think you could win a Super Bowl with, you better start looking for another soon. Gus Bradley is a nice guy, and he may have been a good coach for a rebuild. He is not a winning coach. He is not the coach the Jaguars are going to take the next step with.
3. Paul Posluszny is bad
This isn't really news to many readers here, but Poz is just simply not good. He is awful in pass coverage, and in run defense, his supposed strength, he misses holes all the time. He gets credit for "putting the defense is the right coverage, and getting everyone set up" yet the Jags always seem to be out of place on defense. He has been a liability on this defense for a couple of seasons now, and this game only further proved why sitting Myles Jack behind him is absurd.
4. Bortles played maybe his worst game
Blake Bortles was awful today, no other way to put it. He forced throws all day, and I couldn't count a single impressive throw until the second half. I still think Bortles is good, but he will have to avoid games like this if he wants to continue to establish himself as one of the better quarterbacks in the league. An interesting note for Bortles; he has thrown only three first quarter touchdowns in his career. Bortles has to get off to better starts if this team wants to get any better. Bortles ended the game with 329 yards and two touchdowns, but that fails to describe how bad he was when the game was actually in hand.
5. Hopefully Kelvin Beachum is okay
Kelvin Beachum was carted off in the end of the third quarter with what appeared to be a head injury. Beachum would be a huge loss for the Jags, who already have line issues, and would force Luke Joeckel into playing left tackle, where he hasn't had any live reps yet at in weeks. Hopefully Beachum is okay, and this injury doesn't linger throughout the season.
6. Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue combined for three sacks
The pass rush for the most part still struggled, but it was nice to see the two rookies record their first sacks. The Jags are stuck with these two as their best edge options the rest of the season, and while they may have a lot of growing pains, the talent is clearly there. Hopefully they can repeat this performance a couple of more times this season, especially in games that actually matter after halftime.
7. It took 20 minutes into the game for Allen Robinson to get a target
I understand teams will scheme against Allen Robinson. I also understand Jason Verrett is one of the better cornerbacks in the league. However, Allen Robinson not having any targets 20 minutes into the game is unacceptable. They should feature Robinson as much as possible, and give him deep tries regularly to keep the defense honest. This kind of got lost in the shuffle of the disastrous game, but it definitely irked me.
8. Why were starters, especially Bortles, in the game in meaningless snaps?
After the Jags went down 38-7, there was no reason to run anyone important out there. Could you imagine if Bortles or Allen Robinson got hurt in garbage time? At that point, but Chad Henne in, and remove anyone who may have an impact on wins and losses later in the season.