For the 12th time this season (I am not including the Browns game), the Jacksonville Jaguars mustered up enough ability to play just a half of good football.
Against the Houston Texans this past Sunday, The promise of a new day began with a first half of hope. The Jaguars jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass to WR Allen Hurns after Blake Bortles had to do a little scrambling around.
At the time, I thought CB Aaron Colvin may have made the play of the game. On the ensuing drive, the Texans started at their own 20-yard line. The first play of the drive saw RB Arian Foster run up the middle and then break to the right sideline for 51-yards. Foster stiff-armed S Josh Evans and then after S Jonathan Cyprien played a poor angle, Foster was off to the races. Luckily, Colvin did not quit on the play. He took a great angle and ran the aging Foster down. Three plays later, Houston settled for a field goal.
I thought, at the time, it was a huge deal.
The rest of the half finished in the favor of the Jaguars with them heading into the locker room at half-time with a 13-10 lead.
Well, the rest of the game did not go as well. I think I will pull what the Jaguars do, and not discuss this half so much. Texans won and they won big — 27-13.
What happened to 60 minutes?
I do not know what it is. This is the same result it seems every game. They play poor one half and, almost, great the other half. Take the last two games in comparison:
Against the Giants, the Jags put themselves into a deep hole going into the half down 21-3. Bortles and the offense looked lost at times.
The defense comes out in the 2nd half and just dominates everything, including the scoreboard. The D recovered three fumbles and scored two touchdowns. That momentum carried over to the offense with Bortles throwing for a touchdown and then leading the team down the field to allow Josh Scobee to kick the game winning field goal. Crowd goes wild, we get our 2nd win of the season and the team looked like the team everyone expected….for a half.
During the Texans game, that momentum seemingly carried over as the Jaguars played a good first half and led going into half-time. I wish Coach Gus Bradley could have given that same speech he did last week. Whatever the excuse, Jacksonville came out flat and unimpressive. They allowed the Texans to score 17 unanswered points for the 14-point win.
Here is a look at some other examples:
- Week 1 @ Eagles — 17-0 half-time, dominating defense 34-17 Loss
- Week 7 vs. Browns — 7-6 lead at half-time 24-6 Win
- Week 12 @ Colts — 6-3 deficit at halftime, a dominating Defensive performance 23-3
It is three games in a row (all after the bye) that the Jaguars cannot put a full 60 minutes of football together. It is something that has to be resolved and hopefully it starts this season.
Where do the Jags go from here?
Technically, they go to Baltimore and face the 8-5 Ravens that are in the middle of the playoff race.
With the 3 games left in the season, you look for more growth. As fans, we want to see no quit and dedicated play. I want to see Blake Bortles scrambling for 30-yards at the end of a game whether we are up or down. I want to see more big catches from Hurns and WR Marqise Lee. I want these young kids to get their reps and experience.
Most of all, I want to see wins. Who is to say we can’t still win a couple of games? Just keep giving the effort.
A look into next season
Here are 4 topics to be ready for as soon as the clock strikes 0:00 at the end of the season:
- Offensive Line help will be a focus — The line has been an issue all season and this will be addressed in Free Agency & the draft
- Justin Blackmon watch — I am looking forward to this topic being resolved and it gets resolved this offseason
- Linebacker will be addressed — specifically Poz who is owed 9.5 million next year….not happening
- Cecil Shorts watch — Bortles and the veteran have not been on the same page all year and the frustration can be seen; don’t see him here next year
STAT OF THE WEEK
Josh Scobee became the first player in Jaguars history to reach 1,000 points for his career.