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5 observations from Jaguars 27-3 loss to the Steelers

What can we take away from the Jaguars’ ninth loss in a row?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cleveland Browns

The Jacksonville Jaguars took home yet another loss on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, falling to 1-9 on the year, and netting Jaguars owner Shad Khan his 100th loss of the season ... more on that later.

There were very few positives to glean from the team’s loss on Sunday, it was perhaps its worse loss of the year, never seemingly in the game following the first quarter of action.

With that, let’s check out five observations from the Jaguars’ 27-3 loss against the Steelers:

1. Shad Khan breaks the big 1-0-0

With Sunday’s loss against the Steelers, Jaguars owner Shahid Khan has now lost 100 games since being confirmed and approved as the team’s official owner in 2012. Including the playoffs, Khan’s official record is 41-100. The Jaguars have posted just one winning season during his tenure, 2017, in which the team went to the AFC Championship game.

Only former Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse reached 100 losses faster in NFL history (140 games).

Over the years, the Jaguars have had just two head coaches, Gus Bradley and Doug Marrone, one general manager, Dave Caldwell, and ousted an Executive Vice President of Football Operations in Tom Coughlin. While there have been coaching changes throughout the years, specifically at the coordinator levels, much of the football operations side of things has remained the same.

With a 1-9 record, Khan and the Jaguars are just one loss away from earning double-digit losses in seven of the eight seasons Khan has overseen.

2. Jake Luton was drafted in the sixth round for a reason, Minshew should be safe

For the second-straight week, the Jaguars rookie quarterback, Luton, has looked like a rookie drafted in the sixth round playing in his first few starts without a legitimate offseason. He’s not looked good, and the Jaguars have faltered as a result.

On Sunday, Luton would throw four interceptions, completing just 16 out of 37 of his passes for 151 yards. The four interceptions were earned, too, Luton sailed several passes over receivers heads, while being equally inaccurate at other times.

“Yeah, it’s been a long time,” Luton said in postgame when asked the last time he’s thrown four interceptions in a game. According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, the last time Luton threw four interceptions in a game came on Sept. 10, 2016 in a 34-29 victory over Mt. San Antonio while playing for Ventura College.

Typically starting at quarterback, Gardner Minshew II has been injured over the past few weeks with a right thumb injury. There were questions during and after the game whether the Jaguars should have pulled Luton for backup Mike Glennon.

At one point, he had completed just four of his passes out of his last 19, dating back to last week’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

“I kind of went back and forth a little bit and in truth, just thinking to myself, ‘Do we keep him in there? You talk about getting him experience. Is that going to give him experience? Is that good enough for where we are?,’ Marrone questioned when asked whether or not he considered pulling the young signal caller.

Coming into the game, Minshew was listed as questionable and is expected to throw more this week, potentially becoming available. As of right now, however, Marrone didn’t want to lean in one direction or the other if Luton would start in next week’s contest against the Cleveland Browns.

“I think during the week we’ll evaluate it. I don’t think I’ll have an answer on Monday, when I get asked the question. But I think as the week goes, we’ll take a look and see what we can do, what’s the best thing for our team.”

3. James Robinson continues to be the team’s best offensive weapon

If there has been one bright spot on this season for the Jaguars it has been the emergence of undrafted rookie running back James Robinson. Robinson entered the offseason as the team’s fourth running back on the depth chart and quickly rose to first after injuries and the release of Leonard Fournette.

The decision to go with Robinson, even if it was forced to an extent, was the best decision the team has made in 2020. Robinson has been everything and more as a weapon on offense, and has become just the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to go undrafted and accumulate 1,000 or more yards in his rookie season.

Thus far this season, Robinson has carried the football 172 times for 762 yards (4.4 yards-per-carry) and five rushing touchdowns. He’s caught the football 31 times for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

After the game, Marrone mentioned how much Robinson means to the team, that he’s been consistent and, although there were some runs that didn’t go anywhere, there not much more than can ask from him, getting the most out of his opportunities.

“He’s a bright spot, obviously, and he does well.” Marrone said in postgame. “I just feel bad that we can’t get a lead and get him more carries. I think his production would be even higher. But like you said, we’ve just got to keep it, keep people off [the field]. And at times, just continue to do a good job on him. I mean, he’s obviously a good football player for us.”

4. Injuries piling up, secondary beaten and battered

The Jaguars did not get out of Sunday’s matchup unscathed. Rookie safety Daniel Thomas, who went down midway through the contest with an arm injury, is expected to go on the team’s reserve/injured list. Thomas was a key contributor to the team’s defense, tallying his first career interception in the end zone near the end of the first half.

Thomas wasn’t the only Jaguars player in its secondary to get hurt, however. Both cornerback Chris Claybrooks (groin) and nickel cornerback DJ Hayden (knee) went down due to injury. Hayden did not return to the contest.

The Jaguars lost two other players, left guard Andrew Norwell (arm) and Josh Allen (knee). Neither would return.

According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Norwell is expected to miss this week’s contest against the Cleveland Browns and is considered “week-to-week,” Rapoport also reports that Allen’s knee injury is not “believed” to be serious based on the initial diagnosis. That would certainly be good news for his future prospects.

5. Change could be coming, but who knows when

It has almost been accepted as truth at this point that following the season the Jaguars will clean house. Considering the losing the team has done over the last three seasons, it would make sense.

But Khan has yet to make any indications publicly of the matter, and Marrone stated following the game he has not been told yes or no whether or not he would remain as the team’s head coach through the end of the year.

“Just how we’re going to approach our opponent,” Marrone said of his conversations weekly with the team’s owner. “You know, kind of game plan. That’s it.”

While the gameplan may be one of the most pressing concerns on a week-by-week basis, the elephant in the room can’t be any larger at this point in the season. Now on a nine-game losing streak, there are few positives to scratch out of the season heading into the final six games of the year.

While there is still talk of “if”, perhaps there shouldn’t be.