That letter to the Titans was a fun piece, and I loved all of your responses. You too Titans fans. You too.
With so many weeks removed, I come before you with nothing to say, though I will try to find something worthy of your time. It has come to my attention that talking through one’s problems helps with resolution.
What I tried to do after that Titans loss was to offer some comic relief to the catastrophe. The loss seemed bad at the time, and it felt right to write a fun, cathartic piece that would seed us for the next time we faced them.
In hindsight the loss was much worse. It was a disclosure that we had hit the ceiling in the win over the Patriots so hard that the bounce back down to earth was going to be fast.
When Ryan Day tweeted about the irony of not making the Super Bowl because the ball was taken out of Blake’s hands, he did more than just offer a humorous observation. He expressed a sentiment of many who wanted to move on from Blake. That lot were ready to believe, and we (like myself) who refused to give up on the BOAT were happy the family was united.
Pun intended, that ship has sailed. There is nothing more to say about this debate, and future attempts to find that silver lining will, and must, fall on deaf ears. As much as I like Blake the person, I cannot trust Blake the player.
In spite of who is starting in London, a part of the fan base now looks to Cody Kessler as the best option to...salvage the season? The argument that “he has a quick release” is presented as an upgrade to the position. Leading the Jaguars to their only score in last week’s loss to the Texans was said to motivate and inspire not only the team but also the fan base.
I get it. When things are bad you either look for hope or you give into sorrow, and grief abounds. No longer can we speak of the Jaguars in the same sentence as Super Bowl. It is week 8 and the talk of what quarterback should they draft is taking hold. On top of that, the “Blake Hate” speech from opposing players has returned courtesy of Malcolm Jacobs.
Kessler salvaging the season...I have nothing to say.
I actually do have something to say about Kessler. His quick release is something to fawn over, and he did do much to inspire, but why is his work rate, down 20-0 late in the third quarter, not considered junk time stats? Does “junk time” specifically reference the fourth quarter, or must the team be down by more than three scores?
If you have an answer I’d love to develop a frame for judging “junk time”.
The touchdown was sandwiched between two punts, an interception, and a loss on downs. Cody’s lack of mobility limited his options, and he sailed a number of throws. As to the interception, that was probably a mixture of leading Yeldon too much, along with Yeldon simply being exhausted from the workload.
While that drive did not end in success, it was still about Kessler leading the team on a drive to make it a one score game. The defense had made the stops and the offense had taken advantange of their opportunity. At that point I was fully committed to the belief tha Cody was leading us to victory.
But would we have afforded Blake similar latitude? Of course not, but that is an apples to oranges comparison. Blake is a five year starter while Kessler is coming off the bench. The simple truth is that Blake has the body of work for which to be critical, whereas Kessler is the other option. Had he led the team to victory the conversation would be much different.
The performance of the defense has been a hot topic, and the opinions have varied regarding whether they are doing enough to win games. While the data shows they are still a top defense, and the failure of the offense to put points on the board is not helping, there are discipline concerns that highlight a striking need.
After the Cowboys game, Mike Renner at PFF tweeted some videos of showing how the Jaguars front four, and linebackers, are failing to maintain gap assignment. This clip shows Marcell Dareus moving inside with the block as the guard pulls to expose a huge hole in the line. Myles Jack, unfortunately, also flow and the Ezekiel Elliot gets a easy score.
Jaguars front-7 is so undisciplined in their run fits. Been that way since start of last year pic.twitter.com/41ZYO5bw89— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) October 17, 2018
Renner further argues that while the Jaguars are a talent rich defense, they lack the awareness to execute assignments when facing play action within a zone coverage. Where the Jaguars are only allowing 4.83 YPA in man coverage against play-action, that figure jumps to 8.39 YPA while in zone.
It is hard to win games when the offense is only putting up 6 and 7 points, but this does offer insight into what defensive players may be talking about when they say the defense has problems to solve.
You in the mood for some depressing stats?
- The Jaguars have only three runs of 20+ yards. Blake has two of them.
- T.J. Yeldon leads the team in receiving touchdowns with four.
- Jaguars receivers have lost four fumbles, while opponents have lost none.
- Some mock drafts have the Jaguars taking Missouri QB Drew Lock. One person wrote that Lock looks like a pro but has problems with his reads. Ugh. Another has us going with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Can someone please make the argument these two are worth first round grades?
I need to focus on something happy.
Why I like Twitter. Halloween has just been upgraded. Parenting has just been upgraded.
Back to the sad news.
A. J. Bouye didn’t make the trip to London as he is nursing a calf injury. Bouye was injured during practice on Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday. Adding to the defensive back woes will be the absences of Tyler Patmon, with a neck injury sustained last week against the Texans, and D. J. Hayden due to the lingering toe injury. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco reports that the Jaguars will field three rookie cornerbacks in Tre Herndon, Quentin Meeks, and Dee Delaney.
While the Eagles may be hurting for a playmaker on offense, you have to believe Carson Wentz is excited about elevating the play of those around him.
Blake Bortles, with one, has as many tackles as Quentin Meeks, and more than Dee Delaney.
Would it make you feel better if I told you how the Jaguars performed in London over the last three seasons?
- In 2015 the Jaguars stopped a four game losing streak by beating the Buffalo Bills 34-31.
- In 2016 the Jaguars stopped a three game losing streak by beating the Indianapolis Colts 30-27.
- In 2017 the Jaguars rebounded from a 37-16 loss to the Titans by defeating the Baltimore Ravens 44-7.
And can we just talk about the London game and not what happened for the duration of these seasons? Can we just take this one game at a time?
Just keep hoping folks. It is all we have.
Maybe Donte Moncrief has a Marcedes Lewis type game this weekend. Maybe Wentz is shut down by a defense that is allowing opposing offenses only 59.6 percent of total yardage through the air, which is first in the league. Maybe the injuries to the Eagles running backs will further impact their 28th rated YPG average of 82.3.
Maybe benching Blake turns on that switch again.