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Jaguars vs. Buccaneers: 10 observations from an embarrassing game

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars lost in convincing fashion to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night. It was a 12-8 finish with a box score that was more akin to baseball rather than football.

What stood out to us from the game? What stood out to you? Here are my 10 observations.

1. Blake Bortles' time as the quarterback needs to be over. Period.

It is time, folks. After three seasons, and a horrific training camp and preseason, Bortles time as the starter needs to be done. This is something that had been brewing since last years disappointing campaign, and has only escalated in the last few weeks. Bortles performance tonight confirms what a lot of people already thought about him. He is no longer the answer at quarterback. Bortles night was highlighted in a bad way by two awful throws to Allen Robinson. One on a deep fade route that Robinson had to come back to make a play for. The other, a post in which Bortles threw it 5 yards in front of Robinsons feet.

Bortles throwing motion is still an issue. While he has shortened it a little bit, it still feels like the ball takes forever to get out of his hands. His footwork is awful, and he seems to have no confidence in himself at this point. Let me remind you this. Chad Henne is not a good quarterback. However, his brief time in the game showed he can actually run the offense with some capability. The fact that Bortles made Henne look good is a sign in itself.

Bortles is done. Maybe it started off as few bad games last year. Or a few bad practices this training camp. Now it has all piled up to this. This will be the point that we look to as the end of Bortles run with the Jaguars.

If anything, Doug Marrone needs to start Chad Henne or Brandon Allen the next preseason game, just so the players have any respect for the coaches ability to evaluate players, and give guys a fair shot. I'd be shocked if guys in the locker room weren't down on Bortles, why wouldn't they be?

I believed in Bortles at one point. I truly did. However, that point has become too much of a thing of the past, and the Jaguars would not be honest with themselves if they didn't end the Bortles era right now.

2. The offensive line looks the exact same as last year.

And why shouldn't it? Besides swapping Kelvin Beachum with Cam Robinson, the Jaguars are trotting out basically the same group as last season. Leonard Fournette was drafted to help fix the run game, but even he will have major issues with it as long as the line continues to showcase itself like this. Patrick Omameh got absolutely whipped by Gerald McCoy during the game. And while most would expect McCoy to have the advantage over many offensive lineman, he made Omameh look especially out of place.

Linder had a difficult night, but i'm not too worried about him in general. Parnell and Cann both seemed to struggle, and it may be an impossible task yet again for the Jaguars to run to the right side.

The Jaguars decision to not upgrade their offensive line in free agency, or the draft may become the second biggest downfall of this team besides quarterback play.

3. The defense did not have a good showing tonight.

if there is anything Jaguars fans thought they could bank on this season, it was going to be the defense showing up week in, and week out. Yes, the Jaguars are missing their top three corners right now. However, the way the front 7 played while the starters were in was concerning. The middle of the field was not covered well in pass situations. The pass rush for the most part was inconsistent. To top it off, the Buccaneers offensive line, which Is suppose to be a weakness of theirs, punished the Jaguars on many plays.

At the end of the day, I don't have much worry guys like Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Yannick Ngakoue, and Telvin Smith will show up when the season starts. However , it was not a good display for the front seven tonight.

4. Keelan Cole keeps finding ways to make this team.

At this point, i'd be shocked if Cole doesn't end up making the 53 man roster. Cole once again flashed, as he returned a punt for 31 yards, showing off his versatility. The more versatile of a player one can be, the harder it becomes to get rid of that guy. Rashad Greene's shot to keep his job relied heavily upon his ability to return punts. If Cole proves he can do that, it may be the nail in the coffin for Greene.

I thought Cole had a good night on the receiving end as well. His touchdown drop will be what is most noticeable, and he needs to catch that ball. However, Cole is a guy who seems to go to Always Open University, as Cole has a knack at creating separation from defender. You can't come away more impressed from an undrafted rookie than what Cole has given the team.

Also, I find it interesting Cole got the starting nod, and is ahead of the depth chart above Dede Westbrook. Which leads me to......

5. Dede Westbrook has earned a shot with the starters.

You ever watch high school film of the one dude on the high school football team, who is flat out better than everyone else, and everyone knows it? It is not that extreme, but Westbrook put on a bit of a clinic against the Bucs third stringers. Westbrook has speed to get down field, and also the lateral quickness to make guys miss in the open field. He also has the ability to create separation like Cole, and i'd be interested to see what he could do against tougher competition.

Westbrook had 5 catches over 20 yards tonight. If he can provide that type of explosiveness in the Jaguars offense, it would be a much needed boost in an otherwise lethargic offense.

6. Screw it, give Brandon Allen a shot.

I'll give credit where credit is due. Our own Zach Goodall has been on the Brandon Allen bandwagon since last preseason, and he might have been on to something this whole time. Now, Allen could possibly still not be that good, so I am not saying he is the next Tom Brady. However, Allen just has that quarterback vibe to him when he drops back and throws. The most impressive play of the night from him for me was when the Buccaneers blitzed 6 players, and a guy came right up the B gap with a straight path toward Allen. Allen then was able to spin out of the pocket, and gain yardage out of the play. It feels like Bortles or Henne would have just ducked and taken the hit there, so I like Allen's presence, and athleticism to escape and make something out of nothing.

I think Allen should take reps with the starters next week, along with Henne. In fact, if they went into the season with Allen as the starter, I don't think it would be a crazy decision at all. We know what Henne is at this point, why not find out what Allen has got? If he isn't that good, you move on. However, a 16 game sample size would be nice for a guy like Allen, who in other circumstances probably doesn't get a shot.

7. Doug Marrone holding guys accountable after the game was refreshing.

I have a theory in life, that people shouldn't get a lot of credit for things they are expected to do in their job. However, it was refreshing to hear Coach Marrone hold his guys accountable after an embarrassing showcase on national TV. Many coaches would have said something like "Oh, we will evaluate the quarterback position, and the film, and we will get back to it later in the week". Marrone's statement about making the quarterback position an open battle right after the game tells me two things. 1. He has seen this brewing from afar for a while. 2. This game was probably the last straw for Bortles in his eyes.

I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. However, it is nice to know that guys on both sides, offense and defense, are at least publically being held accountable.

8. Anyone else notice Allen Hurns was active, but did not play at all?

I have no idea what this actually means, and Hurns could have tweaked something right before the start of the game. However, I saw a lot of talk that Hurns might be on the trade block, and that is why he sat. Hurns is coming off a year where he struggled a little bit, and dealt with injuries. Yet, everyone seems to be fine with anointing Marqise Lee as the clear number 2, when he has not even had a season as good as Hurns first two campaigns. With Lee's injury history, and Hurns ability to produce, I don't see a reason why trading him, unless for great value would make sense. There is nothing wrong with having three good receivers, especially during the grind of a full NFL season. I think people have forgotten how good Hurns can be, and I find that sad.

9. There needs to be competition brought in for Jason Myers.

I personally think Myers reputation has always been worse than his actual ability, since his time in Jacksonville began. He replaced a fan favorite in Josh Scobee, and despite to what people thought, it was the right decision. Myers struggles in practice, and now in games must force the Jaguars to bring in someone to challenge him. If the Jaguars are going to be a low scoring, defensive first team, they will be in a lot of low scoring battles. Each kick will be even more important, and it is vital they have someone who can get the job done. Myers has not been good enough to guarantee him the job heading into the year.

10. Sheldon Day and Dante Fowler had good performances.

Once again, Sheldon Day was a guy who kept popping off the screen. Day has a great first step, and in his second year is showing that he is deserving of some pass rushing attempts during the season. Some were worried it would hard to replace fan favorite Sen'Derrick Marks, but Day looks like he will do just fine in that role as the back up three technique.

And hey! I thought Dante Fowler played pretty well. Fowler had a few pressures, and even forced a fumble. Consistency will be the key for Fowler, as he has struggled with that through his tenure as a Jaguar. Oh, and not pulling peoples facemask (It wasn't called on the Winston near interception play), would be really nice as well. It is crazy how he is almost like a magnet for making a dumb decision every game. But hey, lets not harp on him too much, He played a nice game.