The Jaguars entered today’s contest against the Denver Broncos with almost no expectations. Following an incredibly disappointing Week 1 outing against the Houston Texans, many assumed Jacksonville would struggle for a second week in a row.
The Jaguars would fall to the Broncos 23-13 in a game that never quite looked close.
Prior to the contest, the Jaguars announced its inactive players, including three rookies, defensive end/outside linebacker Jordan Smith, defensive tackle Jay Tufele and left tackle Walker Little. Both Little and Tufele were healthy scratches for the Jaguars today.
While cornerback Tre Herndon did practice on a limited basis this week, he is still a week away from becoming active after suffering an MCL sprain during training camp.
For Jacksonville, finding some room for its young quarterback in Trevor Lawrence was incredibly important. While the rookie did have a so-so performance in Week 1, including over 300 yards and three touchdown tosses, the team needed to get Lawrence in some favorable positions as the game continued.
It appeared as though the team did just that to start the game, with Lawrence and the Jacksonville offense completing an 11-play, 83-yard drive to start the game, ending with a passing touchdown from Lawrence to veteran receiver Marvin Jones, a 25-yard strike.
What happened following the impressive opening drive was exactly the opposite of the good performance the team put on the field to begin the game, though. Through the next two quarters, Lawrence would complete just six out of 20 of his passes for 28 yards and an interception.
The Jaguars simply couldn’t get in a rhythm, something that plagued the team just last week.
Defensively, the Jaguars would perform about the same through three quarters, though had a more successful outing than the offense for much of the contest. The team would force three punts through three quarters for the Denver offense,
The Broncos, under the leadership of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, executed plenty of efficient drives on the day, however.
Through three quarters, Bridgewater had completed 23 out of 30 of his passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns. The team added two field goals as well, extending its lead to 20-7 to end the third quarter.
Through 3 quarters: Comparison of stats between the two teams. Broncos only converting 1-7 third downs, but have 7 more first downs than Jacksonville, and 164 more net yards.— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) September 19, 2021
Jacksonville has thrown for just 95 yards. Just not an efficient day at all for J... pic.twitter.com/u76WlkuWPD
The fourth quarter would be much like the previous two for Jacksonville, at least offensively. Unable to get anything going, the Broncos had plenty of time to take it slow, eating plenty of the clock during one of its final drives of the game.
Denver’s final field goal of the contest would come from 40 yards out after the Broncos drove the football 73 yards on nine plays. The team would take 5:43 of the game clock, making it even tougher for the Jaguars to mount a comeback.
The play of the day for the Jaguars would come shortly following that Denver possession, however, as free agent-signee, Jamal Agnew would take the ensuing kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, his longest return of the season.
It would be the first time that Jacksonville had returned a kickoff for a touchdown since 2016 when former Jacksonville receiver Marqise Lee did it.
Jacksonville would trail 23-13 with 5:26 remaining in the contest.
Needing to only kill the clock, the Broncos would take the football and do just that, finishing the game out with a few knees to end the game.
The Jaguars will fall to 0-2 on the season, with the Arizona Cardinals coming to Jacksonville next week.