As the Jacksonville Jaguars get ready to head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers for Week 5 of the NFL season, we can now look back at the conclusion of the first quarter of 2017. I think if you told most people that after four games, the Jaguars would be a sitting at 2-2 they would take it sight unseen.
Having watching the games however, I think 2-2 is probably a disappointment. The team has had two blow out wins and two maddeningly frustrating losses, both of which could have been wins.
How has this team been on all sides of the ball as well as coaching?
The offense has been about what was expected headed into the season. The team wants to run the football and limit what Blake Bortles has to do. We’ve seen both the top end and the bottom of what that can bring on the Jaguars offense. The run game has been disappointing, but there’s not much they can do facing eight man fronts virtually all the time. The passing game has been all over the place, though mostly an anchor weighing the team down.
Even with giving up a ton of rushing yards against the New York Jets, I still think the Jaguars defense overall has been excellent, and a big reason the team has any wins. Against Houston, the defense just smothered the Texans. Against Baltimore, the offense got into a good rhythm after a quick start, but the defense is what pinned their neck against the wall. Hell, against the Jets the defense, for all intents and purposes, scored as much as the offense. The issues with the Jaguars run defense are correctable issues, and it’s not even missed arm tackles or anything like that.
The Jaguars special teams, in my opinion, have kind of just been there... I guess? The real glaring thing has been Jason Myers missing some kicks, but otherwise it’s kind of a non-factor and that’s a significant improvement from where it was previously.
I think the Jaguars coaches have probably done about the best they can do with what they have. I think poor quarterback play probably weighs down this grade, but really what can you do when your quarterback can anchor your team down, no matter the game plan? There are some personnel type and rotational questions we can ask, but the coaching staff right now feels a bit “net neutral”, whereas Gus Bradley seemed to be a clear “net negative” coach.