The self-inflicted injuries seemingly will not stop.
It was by all means a winnable game, and was until the very bitter end. But one too many errors from the team cost them their second straight contest.
The season is not over. The Jags still hold a sizable lead in the division. However, as games like this stack and injuries mount, it becomes ever more worrisome.
Here are your winners and losers from another disappointing loss.
During a day when the offense struggled as a whole, Evan Engram did as much as he could to help out.
Engram finished his game with a team-high 11 catches for 95 yards and a pair of scores. It was not particularly flashy, but he was about the one bright spot on the offense for the entire day. He also continues to redefine the tight end position for the franchise in terms of records.
With Christian Kirk out, and Zay Jones and Calvin Ridley struggling, Engram’s numbers went up. That trend might very well continue if this offense continues to piddle around.
HUGE day for Evan Engram. The #Jaguars TE hauled in 11 balls for 95 yards and two touchdowns.— Daniel Griffis (@DanDGriffis) December 10, 2023
He also broke the franchise’s single-season receptions record (73 Recs) for a TE that he set last season.
Another guy who stepped up a big way in the place of injured players was rookie Antonio Johnson.
Johnson, playing for Tre Herndon, made the absolute most of his minutes recording his first career strip sack, which the Jags then turned into a touchdown on offense.
The rookie later broke up a pass on third down close to the end zone to put the offense back on the field.
For a guy who has not played a ton this year due to injuries, he looked quite good. The defense overall did not.
Parker Washington, mostly
Outside of a fumble, Parker Washington had another huge game.
Also a rookie, Washington caught his second career touchdown in as many games. He finished the day with two catches for 27 yards and that score.
He even drew a DPI at the end of the game that helped the offense score its final touchdown of the afternoon.
His value on special teams should not go unnoticed as well, recording five punt returns for 63 total yards. His 12.6 yards per return are practically a free first down.
His fumble did lead to a Browns’ touchdown, but he certainly was not the only player on either side with turnover issues.
Much like Johnson, it is promising to see rookies step up after recording limited snaps previously.
If only the Jags were playing the Los Angeles Chargers.
Trevor Lawrence had a bad day, throwing three picks and having two or three more dropped by the defense. In the playoffs, Lawrence was able to work his way out of early turnovers, but found no such luck on Sunday.
Overall, it was one of those days where it seemed like the receivers and quarterback were never fully on the same page.
To his credit, Lawrence absolutely slugged it out on a bad ankle. His toughness is unquestioned. He was even sacked four times, and once on a two-point try, but always bounced back up and continued to play.
His final passing yards number, 28-50 for 257 and three touchdowns was pretty decent if you don’t count the picks. His final touchdown drive was actually quite solid and helped a ton by finding Travis Etienne and Engram. But you have to take the good with the bad, and there was a solid bit of bad.
In back-to-back weeks, the Jaguars have made career backup Jake Browning and former free agent Joe Flacco look like top-tier NFL starters.
In the past two games, Browning and Flacco combined for 665 yards, four touchdowns and 65 points.
The Jaguars have not had an exceptional pass defense all year, but since the bye week, this team has been miserable in stopping teams from throwing on them.
Injuries to Tyson Campbell, Foley Fatukasi and Andre Cisco certainly do not help, but it is a team sport. The team has to step up. It won’t be easier next week against Lamar Jackson sadly.
This year, the Jags have allowed seven 300-yard passers which is the most in the NFL. Three of those games have come in consecutive weeks.
The Jaguars have allowed seven 300-yard passing games this season, most in the NFL— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) December 10, 2023
Week 2: Pat Mahomes (305)
Week 5: Josh Allen (359)
Week 6: Gardner Minshew (329)
Week 7: Derek Carr (301)
Week 12: C.J. Stroud (304)
Week 13: Jake Browning (354)
Week 14: Joe Flacco (311)
The rest of the AFC South
This one could actually be a winner to be honest.
The Ravens are starting to run away with the division, but by no means are the Jags out of the picture. As of the end of the Browns’ game, the Jags are still fourth overall in the AFC playoff race.
Next week, on Sunday night at home, the Jags are going to need to step up in the biggest way possible. It is time to rest up and get ready for Jackson, who is coming off a 386-total-yard performance and a win over the Los Angeles Rams.