If you watched the Jacksonville Jaguars lose yesterday to the Houston Texans, you were treated to quite the treat — Gardner Minshew throwing nearly 50 times, two missed field goals, and a very curious play call on fourth down.
Let’s look at the highlight. (I’m using the word highlight very liberally here.)
“Jacksonville, do you believe in miracles?!?!” pic.twitter.com/12PjGYSin4— Big Sad Country (@BigCatCountry) October 11, 2020
Something to keep in mind when watching the above clip — newly signed kicker Stephen Hauschka had missed two field goals at this point and it seemed to break offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s brain. After that, Gruden was calling four pass plays to every run play despite the fact this was a one score game until late into the fourth quarter.
“I mean, we worked on that play a bunch,” head coach Doug Marrone said after the game. “You work on things in certain situations and I think that we felt very comfortable with it. I don’t think we did a good job executing it. I don’t think we sold it well enough because the corner was able to get off on it. So you work on something during the week. You feel comfortable about it, you know when you’re going to call it in that situation, and we just didn’t execute it. So to answer your question, if I had to go back and knowing it wasn’t going to work, would I rather run something else? Obviously I would. But that’s what we worked on and that’s what we were preparing for.”
In short — we screwed up, we got too cute, and we paid the price.
Marrone is very much an old school coach, so it’s curious that he’d be fine with installing a gadget play on a much needed fourth down where you only needed a yard. But that’s what happens when your kicker has an all-time bad game and you’re hanging on down by just six points in the second half.