If you look at the play sheet from an NFL game, you can pretty easily pick out where the game changes. Usually somewhere in the first half there’s a missed opportunity and somewhere in the second half one team makes a critical play to either stop a drive or keep one going. For the Jaguars you have to go back to their first possession on offense against Washington to see where things changed, immediately. On 2nd and 10 from their own 24, Chad Henne pumped, rolled to his right and saw Alan Hurns running down the sideline, right past the man who was covering him. Hurns was 5 yards in the clear when Henne hit him in stride for a sure 76-yard TD and a 7-0 lead on the road.
Except Hurns dropped the ball.
That lead to a sack, a punt, a momentum shift and zero yards gained in the first quarter. With nothing going on for the offense, the defense was worn out quickly and it was 21-0 Washington before you knew it.
And this was without Robert Griffin III who left in the first quarter with an ankle injury and DeSean Jackson who also left with a shoulder problem.
I didn’t think these kinds of games were still in the Jaguars repertoire. Historically bad, double-digit losses were supposed to be a thing of the past.
A nice throw and catch and a run down the sideline put the Jaguars on the scoreboard 21-7. It was the longest gain of Lewis’ career. But with only 5 first downs through nearly three full quarters, something was amiss on offense. The offensive line was overwhelmed in nearly every situation. No holes open for the run game, and when Henne went to pass, he was under pressure and swamped consistently. Add in a couple of Mike Brown drops and the lack of production isn’t surprising. To succeed, everything has to be “precise” according to Gus Bradley. Without that kind of precision up front on the offensive line, everybody else has to be perfect. And they’re not.
In the 4th quarter we saw Luke Bowanko at center and Sam Young at right tackle. Perhaps that’s the combination the Jaguars need now to have five guys who can just grow together.
“Disappointed rather than embarrassed,” Gus Bradley said after the game. ”
“Disappointed because I know we can make those plays. We just didn’t,” Chad Henne said in his post-game press conference.
Without a running game, Henne was sacked repeatedly.
“You start to know you don’t have much time so we tried to go to the short game and they had that covered. We wanted to throw the ball downfield but didn’t have time for that,” he added.
They didn’t have the kind of improvement you would like to see from week one to week two. “We talk about getting better, we didn’t do that this week,” Bradley explained. “We’ll have to. It’s a race we’re in a race to maturity and we’ve got to get going.”
Marcedes Lewis has a high ankle sprain and was wearing a boot on his left foot as he left the stadium. The Jaguars said Alan Hurns was being “evaluated” after he suffered an injury to his left leg on the second to the last play of the game. His didn’t look good and if Hurns is injured, an already depleted wide receiver corps will need help.
Next week is the first home game of the year for the Jaguars. Indianapolis is the opponent at 1 o’clock.