Another game in the 2018 season, another inexplicable no-show for a majority of the game by one side of the Jacksonville Jaguars team, as the Jags dropped their fifth-consecutive game of the season, this time to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, 29-26.
While the offense still looked anemic many times, despite the much anticipated return of running back Leonard Fournette, for the most part they were able to do just enough to move the ball and score points which in many previous games would’ve been enough to secure a win. Blake Bortles was mostly efficient as he was noticeably relegated back to a role of a “game manager”, as the game plan relied more on screens and high percentage short passes and not the 45+ attempts we had seen in prior weeks. Ironically the best play of the game for the offense was Bortles’ one real attempt at stretching the field vertically, as he connected with Donte Moncrief for an 82 yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Despite the hit or miss play, the Jaguars had a chance to drive and tie the game and appeared on their way towards doing at least that, as the offense got into the Colts territory until Rashad Greene Sr was allowed on the field in a receiving capacity for some reason, and fumbled the ball away to the Colts at the Indianapolis 30 to seal the game.
The problem early on for the Jaguars, was the complete absence of what was statistically the number one ranked passing defense in the league. For much of the first half, a series of mental mistakes and the look of a completely clueless and poorly coached defense marred the Jaguars, allowing for Andrew Luck to completely shred the once feared unit and giving the Colts a 29-16 lead at the half.
Though the defense did a better job in the second half, the performance as a whole, particularly coming off a bye week is more than concerning as it marks a trend of broken plays and inexcusable decision making that has taken over what was the strength of this team not long ago. The defensive line did next to nothing in pressuring Luck, and the back end has become a sieve with the linebackers and safeties looking lost and slow. At this point, the scheme and coaching of this team has to be called into question, as it seems the rest of the NFL has figured out Todd Wash and where the deficiencies are in personnel on this team.
With the loss, the Jaguars fall to 3-6 on the season and are now alone in last place in the AFC South as well as 0-3 in the division, and all but assured to miss the playoffs given the landscape of the rest of the AFC. It’s time to start looking towards the decisions that need to be made for 2019.