It started as another lethargic effort by the Jaguars offense. A quick three and out after a nice stop by the defense turned into points for the Raiders, a FG by Sebastian Janikowski and a 3-0 Oakland lead. While Blake Bortles was off the mark throwing the football, he did run effectively on the next drive getting the Jaguars into the red zone. But a throw to Marqis Lee was into triple coverage and short, intercepted by Oakland to stop the drive.
If Bortles is in a slump, perhaps it’s a year late from being a “sophomore.” But you hope that’s just what it is. He’s pressing, over thinking, making bad decisions and worse throws. Perhaps he’ll snap out of it and get back on track but as of now, he’s not only not getting it done, he’s hurting his team’s chances with his indecision and inaccurate throws. After Oakland took a 6-0 lead, Bortles had a couple of chances but couldn’t find the open receiver or just flat missed him. He was 3-11 to open the game for 38 yards through the air early but was effective running it out of the backfield either scrambling by design and the Jaguars trailed 6-3.
Last week against the Bears the Jaguars defense came to life in the second half, holding Chicago to zero third down conversions and stuffing the run. Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio decided to test that, running right at the Jaguars front seven and it was successful. The Raiders held the ball for seven minutes in the second quarter, pounding the interior of the line and scored a TD to make it 13-3.
A big run by Chris Ivory padded the Jaguars rushing stats and a good run after catch by Marqis Lee moved the ball inside the red zone around the two-minute warning. That’s where the offense bogged down, Bortles looking like he’s deciding where to throw it before the snap. A field goal made it 13-6.
“Freebies” is how Head Coach Gus Bradley describes plays the Jaguars have given to their opponent and against the Raiders they had their share. The Bortles interception, a fumbled punt by Rashad Greene and a long scramble pass to inside the five with under two minutes left in the half were just that kind of plays the Jaguars can’t afford to give up. Michael Crabtree worked Prince Amukamara over in the first half, catching a TD pass on a simple in route at the goal line to give the Raiders a 20-6 lead. Not many teams have the talent to give the opposition “freebies” and still win. The Jaguars certainly don’t have any sort of margin for error in that category and were down 20-6 at the half.
Opening the second half the Jaguars started to look like they had life on offense. Bortles had three nice completions but the drive stalled and they settled for a FG to make it 20-9. The next few series were a combination of penalties and field position, the Jaguars spending most of their time under their own goal post. Eventually the Raiders kicked another FG to make it 23-9.
That’s when things started to melt down for the Jaguars. Malik Jackson was called for a pretty bogus roughing the passer penalty and in his protest was assessed two unsportsmanlike penalties and kicked out of the game. The 30-yard gain gave the Raiders another FG and they converted to make it 26-9.
Giving the Jaguars a chance to chew some clock and pad their stats, the Raiders seemed pretty content to do both with a 17-point lead. Bortles threw a TD pass to Julius Thomas to make it 26-16 and the defense, despite missing Jalen Ramsey (ejection) Malik Jackson (ejection), Roy Miller (Achilles) and Sen’Derrick Marks (foot) did their job. They stopped the Raiders and forced a punt on 4th and 20 with just under 4 minutes to play. But after bobbling the snap, Oakland punter Marquette King ran around the right side for a 1st down. Derek Carr and company took advantage of the break and scored to seal the game at 33-16.
It’s an embarrassing loss for the Jaguars on the scoreboard and for their reputation. They lost their composure as the game wore on, suffering ejections and mental meltdowns. Not sure if it’s good or not that they play again on Thursday but just about everybody, especially the fans, should hope to forget about this one quickly.