The Jacksonville Jaguars imposed their will on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in London, battering them for four quarters. The Ravens offense was completely suffocated and it allowed the Jaguars offense to open up and take shots, moving the ball down the field with relative ease and putting points on the board. It was similar to the Jaguars we saw blitz the Houston Texans in Week 1, but it was better.
The Jaguars ran a fake punt when they were winning the game 37-0, which seemed to make a lot of people upset. Personally, I laughed. When is the last time the Jacksonville Jaguars could be accused of running up the score? 1999 against the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs?
One thing that was apparent in Sunday’s game was that the Jaguars did not take their foot off the gas until Baltimore relented. The team smelled blood in the water, and attacked. They kept attacking until the Ravens gave up. Once the Ravens gave up and pulled Joe Flacco, the Jaguars peeled off, as they should.
They’re gaining a killer instinct and it’s something they’ve missed for a decade.
After the Week 1 win against the Texans, I wrote the Jaguars should be competing for the AFC South crown. Many probably think that thought changed when the team laid an egg against the Tennessee Titans changed minds on that, but it didn’t. The AFC South is a mess and the Jaguars are a team built to take care of “messes”.
The team still has an albatross in quarterback Blake Bortles, who played excellent on Sunday against the Ravens, because of his inconsistency. He’s a peaks and valleys player with no plateau, at least so far through his entire career. I’m not sure if he will change to be more consistent at this point in his career, but as long as he’s not turning the football over it doesn’t matter. The keys to their wins have been winning the turnover battle while suffocating the other team’s offense.
In both games, the team kept attacking. They didn’t back off on defense until the other team waived the white flag and benched starters. Under head coach Doug Marrone, unlike with former head coach Gus Bradley, the team seems to value winning above anything else and by any means necessary.
Do you think this team is 2-1 with Bradley as the head coach? I certainly don’t.
Even if the team ultimately falls on their face and winds up 6-10, it’s pretty clear that Marrone is helping this team taking a massive step in the right direction by developing a killer instinct. If the Jaguars get a big lead now, I no longer feel like they’re going to back off and give it up.
Sure, it’s only been two games where they’ve done this, but it’s little things the team has done that may seem minor that really show you how much a difference coaching can make.