The Jacksonville Jaguars are heading into the second half of their season and we’re grading both sides of the football for the second quarter of the season.
This was a stretch of four games that for the most part was good enough to win two (maybe three) out of four games if not for disappointing showings by the offense. They slowed down the Kansas City Chiefs, got blown out by the Dallas Cowboys, and then put together performances against the Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles that
could should have been wins.
We already graded the offense, now let’s grade the defense!
Alfie Crow (@AlfieBCC)
Even with all the offensive struggles, the Jaguars defensively have only allowed a team to score touchdowns in the first quarter twice all season, against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys. They’ve allowed a combined six points in the first quarter in the last two games, both of which the Jaguars lost. They’ve allowed a total of two touchdowns and five field goals on the season in the first quarter through eight games, so the notion that they offense is put in a hole as well doesn’t really hold up outside of two games.
Ryan Day (@ryaneatscake)
Let’s look at the four games on face value — the defense has played certainly well enough to win two of them, questionably well enough to win another, and was God awful in the last. I’ll call that an above average showing overall and enough to scrape by with a grade above a “C”.
Jon Kirland (@BCBCouch)
The good news is they’ve gotten back to turnovers and sacks vs. Philly, and the trade of Fowler was great value. The bad news is Barry Church is done, Jalen Ramsey is playing corner by himself because of injuries, and they traded one disappointing first-round Gator defensive end to end up getting more reps for another disasterous first-round Gator defensive end. The secondary is depleted and the line cant get pressure on 3rd downs like they did in ‘17, not a good combo.
Ryan O’Bleness (@ryanobleness)
The defense is in a weird spot for me, where the unit has been solid in terms of yardage and points allowed (No. 1 pass defense, No. 2 total defense and No. 10 scoring defense), yet has somehow not come close to meeting expectations.
But let’s face it, expectations for the defense weren’t really fair. The team just hasn’t made the necessary plays with turnovers and sacks that I was expecting.
The Jaguars rank 24th in the league with just four interceptions, and also rank toward the bottom of the league in both fumbles forced and fumbles recovered. The seven total takeaways is tied with several other teams for 21st in the league. The Jags have also only recorded 19 sacks so far this season, which is tied for 18th in the league. Also, the rushing defense ranks toward the bottom of the NFL as well. The inept offense has put the defense in bad situations at times this year, but Jacksonville has had more challenges on defense than it should have this season. The unit may rank highly in certain categories, but hasn’t always passed the eye test. There have been struggles in zone defense and maintaining gap integrity, especially.
Brian Fullford (@iambwf)
While it is true the offense has done nothing to help the defense, to speak of the Jaguars defense now is to say they are “playing good enough to win”. That’s unfortunate. The failure to be elite is not a problem tied to the offense. One of their problems is getting off the field on third down. While forcing teams into 110 third down conversions (tied for fourth-best), they are yielding a first down 38.2 percent of the time. They are near the bottom of the league with seven takeaways. Yet they are only allowing 21.3 points per game. There are reasons to be concerned about the linebacker play, especially on passing downs, but it’s hard to tell whether this is a product of talent or coaching. I think it’s the latter, and that is why the grade is trending to a “C”.
While we can get upset when the defense gives up a late second quarter touchdown to the Eagles, must they be perfect at all times?
Filip Prus (@JaxonFil)
The defense is not playing at the legendary level that they had the potential to be at prior to the season, but they are also not being put in positions to play fast and haven’t had the advantage of playing with a lead in the second quarter of the season. The cornerbacks have just now gone back to playing more press coverage, but the breakdowns in communication in zone coverage is unacceptable for a veteran unit that has all played together. The linebackers haven’t done a good job of filling gaps in run defense, and it looks like the entire unit is pressing to create turnovers to stay alive in games and therefore trying to do other players’ jobs. With that said, they still lead the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (190.0) and second in total yards per game (313.2). Sacks and turnovers come when the other team starts trailing and are in obvious passing situations, and that hasn’t happened thanks to the inefficacy of the offense.
What grade would you give the defense in the second quarter (Week 5-8) this year?
This poll is closed