In a game in which the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) desperately needed a victory, the team simply couldn’t get out of their own way through mental mistakes and simple execution errors throughout its 34-16 loss against the Detroit Lions (2-3).
It is the second-straight blowout loss the Jaguars have had, and the fifth week in a row in which they’ve allowed 30 or more points.
Head coach Doug Marrone said the loss didn’t build on his frustration, but simply his disappointment in himself.
“I want to make sure I’m clear on this. It’s the biggest disappointment I have in myself; is a better way to say it,” Marrone said after the game on Sunday. “In other words, I don’t want to make it like, ‘Oh I’m just frustrated, I’m throwing [stuff] and I’m pulling out my hair.’ I’m just so disappointed. That feeling, whatever it is in your gut that people have, there’s a hole there for me”.
After a lackluster performance against the Houston Texans last week in the team’s 30-14 loss, the Jaguars’ offense continued its poor showing with just three points in the first half, including 108 net yards (21 rushing, 87 passing). The Jaguars failed to make the plays needed in the redzone during the first half, too, going 0-2, and coming away with a single field goal.
Down 17-3, the Jaguars found out quickly how unreliable their kicking situation still is as new kicker Jon Brown missed a 32-yard field goal that would have cut the Lions’ lead to just six in the second quarter with the Jaguars down 14-3.
Brown would make a 31-yard field goal and an extra point on the day, however, he did not attempt another one throughout the remainder of the game with Jacksonville down by so many points.
On the day, Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II struggled mightily, missing on multiple open receivers while completing just 25 out of 44 of passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The team failed to make the plays necessary in the red zone, too, converting a pitiful 2 for 5 in the red zone, while gaining just 4.5 yards-per-play on the day. Entering the week, the Jaguars and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden stressed the need for the team to give the ball to James Robinson more, however, his success was incredibly limited against the Lions on Sunday.
On the day, Robinson carried the football just 12 times for 29 yards, while catching four passes for 24 yards, including a late 14-yard touchdown reception that came with the team already down 34-10 with just 5:18 remaining in the game, no hope of attempting a late comeback.
Much of the team’s struggles on offense can be attributed to not only the team’s quarterback In Minshew, but also due to the team’s offensive line, that allowed four quarterback hits and a sack to the Lions collectively, while only gaining 44 yards as a rushing unit on the ground today.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone gave credit to the Lions offensive line that was playing a “BEAR” front (a front that typically includes an eight-man box), forcing the Jaguars to pass the football rather than give them open lanes in the run game.
“I mean, they’ve got some big guys up front, played a bunch of guys in the box, they were playing a bunch of bear [defense] — which we knew, going in, that they had the ability to do. And we weren’t able to break them. And I think you saw on the other side, they were able to break a couple of those runs and at the end of the day, we just didn’t win enough, collectively,” Marrone said when asked about the offensive line.”
“And that’s the one group that you have to win collectively on, we had just, maybe a couple, but obviously not even close to enough of what we needed to establish the run.”
The Jaguars’ struggles on defense continued this week, too. As the team’s offense wasn’t able to convert red zone opportunities for touchdowns — going 2-for-5 by the end of the game.
Although the game book would suggest otherwise, Jacksonville’s defense struggled to keep Detroit off the field or in scoring situations.
With three third-down conversions out of 12 on the day, the Lions still converted two via penalty in addition to the three standard conversions, two for field goals, went for it on fourth down two times (one for a touchdown), while punting the football just two times on the day, and turning the ball over once via a linebacker Joe Schobert interception.
After the game, Schobert mentioned the team’s struggles in preventing conversions into points or extended drives, whether via penalty or otherwise.
“There’s a lot of things out there, especially game like today where you left things on the field for our defense on third downs, like I said before, limiting big, explosive plays; we were in position and if we could have executed just a little bit better, we would have been off the field that much quicker, giving the ball back to our offense in an advantageous situation,” Schobert said following the game.
“I think the vibe, while disappointed, I think the group is still together and everybody’s working towards the same goal. Everybody understands the message and we’ll be right back to work on Tuesday.”
The Jaguars surrendered 403 yards today, including 180 yards rushing on the day. Over half - 255 of 403 - of the Lions’ yards on the day came via explosive plays, according to JaguarReport, including a couple of deep passes to receiver Kenny Golladay who finished the day with four receptions for 105 yards. Lions rookie running back D’Andre Swift rushed 14 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Coming into the game, Swift had rushed the football 12 times for 42 yards and one touchdown through four games.
The Jaguars will take on the Los Angeles Chargers next week in their week seven matchup at home. The game that was slated to be a bye week for the Jaguars will now turn into a must-win game at home.