The Jacksonville Jaguars lost 44-33 to the San Francisco 49ers in an odd game. I say odd, because a lot of things went sideways for the Jaguars that many didn’t expect. It was a game where the Jaguars defense got humbled and picked apart, and a game where Blake Bortles turned into a pumpkin. This was all on the heels of the Jaguars locking in their first ever AFC South championship because the Tennessee Titans lost to the Los Angeles Rams at home.
It seemed as if anything that could go wrong for the Jaguars, on both sides of the ball, did. The 49ers marched right down the field with Jimmy Garoppolo, who looks like the real deal, and scored on their first drive. The Jaguars quickly went three-and-out and the 49ers marched right down again and went up 10-0. The defense looked totally lost at times and it appeared the 49ers knew exactly how to scheme up huge mismatches with Kyle Juszczyk and Paul Posluszny.
Then Bortles had a pass bounce off the chest of one of the 49ers safeties and you just knew it was going to be one of those days. Bortles ended up throwing three interceptions on the day, though I will say the pick six wasn’t totally his fault. It wasn’t a great throw, but rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole stopped on the route because he knew the defender was waiting to blow him up, then instinctively stuck out his hand to make the catch and tipped it right to another defender. The other two interceptions by Bortles were just a bad read and a poor throw. He mixed in some really nice throws as well, including coming back to tie the game 16-16 at halftime, but it just wasn’t the Jaguars day.
The defense were pushing and yelling at each other on the sidelines. Defenders got called for a bunch of just dumb penalties. The refs made an awful call on a fumble, which was a huge swing in the game. Keenan McCardell gave Keelan Cole an earful. Cam Robinson got hurt. Leonard Fournette was ineffective. Bortles was all over the place. The defense looked totally lost.
So it happened. We can move on. In the grand scheme, losing this game didn’t matter because the Pittsburgh Steelers were always going to beat the Houston Texans and anything higher than a No. 3 seed was always a pipe dream.
In a sense it’s good that the Jaguars got a humbling this week, rather than heading right into the playoffs. Now they’ll feel like they’ll have something to prove, because they got embarrassed on the day they won the division, and no one wants to win like that. The team can now go knock out the Titans from the playoffs, potentially, and take momentum back headed into their first playoff game since 1999.
The good news is, every team the Jaguars have played after a loss this season they’ve absolutely destroyed.