This wasn’t a team that had the look of a defeated season, tanking or anything of the sort. While the Jacksonville Jaguars lost today by a score of 24-20 to the Green Bay Packers, the effort was clear and the fight was evident.
Still, the Jaguars fall to 1-8 and have now lost eight games in a row, a damning losing streak, and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone isn’t taking today as a sort of moral victory typically cast upon a team by onlookers, the only result that matters, ultimately, is in the win/loss column.
“I want to make sure I answer this the right way. Every time you play and lose, for me, I’m not going to talk about anybody else, it’s something that’s in my soul that just gets (expletive) ripped out,” Marrone said when asked how much this loss hurts.
“So, that’s how I feel. So, it doesn’t matter whether it’s this game or the other seven before … and it’s something that you can’t replace. At least that’s how I feel.”
The game wasn’t without its highlights, either. In the second quarter, Jaguars receiver Keelan Cole took a Packers punt 90 yards to the end zone for the longest punt-return touchdown in team history, the return would give the team a 10-7 lead.
On the day, Cole also became the only player in team history to score a punt return touchdown and a receiving touchdown in a single game. His 91-yard return was also the longest in the NFL since Dwayne Harris in Week 16 of the 2018 season, taking a 99-yard return to the house.
“Honestly, I was worried about the wind and catching the ball more than anything. Luckily, the punter was outkicking the coverage, so it was less stress on catching it and getting hit and stuff like that,” Cole said when asked about his punt return shortly following the game.
“After that, it was really just executing what coach [Special Teams Coordinator Coach Joe DeCamillis] calls. He comes up with the schemes and we just run it. Honestly when it comes to punt returns and stuff like that, you just have to get the best opportunity and hope that the punter does exactly what he did and gives you space to run in. After that, it’s really just running.”
The Jaguars defense also came to play today, too with two forced turnovers, along with holding the Packers offense to just 5 for 13 (38%) on third downs, one of the best performances of the season for the Jacksonville defense.
The two turnovers forced by Jacksonville today were by way of a CJ Henderson forced fumble and a Sidney Jones interception. Both plays led to scores by the Jacksonville offense, ultimately scoring 10 points off of turnovers.
The Jaguars were able to hold the Packers offense to just 80 yards on the ground, forcing five punts on the day, however the team allowed far too many explosive plays in key situations, including in both the first half of the game, while also allowing a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
“We just came to play today, [had] a lot of energy,” Wilson said shortly following the game on Sunday. “Like you just said, [we had] a lot of effort and guys just came out there ready to roll. We didn’t want the weather to kind of be an excuse for us, so you know we were just jacked up, pumped. [It] was my first time at Lambeau Field so definitely we were just ready to roll, trying to get a win.”
The Jaguars offense was more hit or miss than its defense was on Sunday, and that showed in how ineffective the team was on third downs. On the day, the Jaguars converted just five of its 13 third downs, punting the football six times.
While the Jaguars had success running the football with rookie tailback James Robinson (109 rushing yards on 23 carries), its passing game led by rookie quarterback Jake Luton left much to be desired. Luton would complete just 18 of his 35 passing attempts for 169 yards, one touchdown and one interception on the day.
The Jaguars as a whole netted just 260 yards with the Packers totaling 395 net yards on the day.
Now, the Jaguars will head back home to face off against the 9-0 Pittsburgh Steelers, a game the team will, at this point, simply be playing for pride.
“Alot of times people are going to go ahead and, the game’s over and life moves on. Well, it doesn’t move on for, for us, you know. It sits there. It’s … you know, it is what it is.”
- With 6:27 remaining in the game, Marrone would challenge a tipped pass/pass interference on the Packers. Marrone was successful on his challenge, allowing a pivotal pass interference to be called on the Packers defense. Marrone is now 19/29 (65.5%) on challenges in his career.
- Robinson now has 917 yards from scrimmage which is the most by an undrafted rookie through the first 10 weeks of a season in NFL history.
- Through eight career games, Henderson has now made 36 tackles, one INT and one forced fumble. He’s the fourth Jaguars player since 2000 with at least one forced fumble and one INT in his first eight career games, joining S Reggie Nelson (2007), LB Telvin Smith Sr. (2014) and DE Yannick Ngakoue (2016)
- Henderson finished with three tackles and one forced fumble, marking the first forced fumble of his career. Linebacker Myles Jack recovered the fumble and returned it 16 yards, which led to a 12-yard TD by Cole.