I was unable to watch the game. Being among the millions of holiday travelers on Sunday, I could only listen by way of the Houston Texans Radio Network through the NFL Mobile App.
What I heard was just about the same as any other game this year……the Defense kept them in the game but the offense could not win.
Now, there is no such thing in moral victories in the NFL but it was rather exciting knowing that QB Blake Bortles did drive the Jaguars down to the 4-yard line and had the opportunity to take the lead with just over a minute left. The issue is, even after a 34-yard rush by Bortles, the momentum could’t be carried 100% with the Jags and they fell short with WR Cecil Shorts III catching, quite possibly, his last pass in a Jaguars uniform just out of bounds.
Jaguars fall to the Houston Texans 23-17 to finish the 2014 campaign at 3-13 and securing the 3rd overall pick in the draft.
Player of the game
For the second week in a row, LB Telvin Smith lit up the stat sheet finishing with 16 tackles (11 Solo) on the day. Again, it seems as though Smith is around the ball on every defensive play. He is really looking quite a player and your hope is he can get better (and maybe a little bigger) in the off-season.
As a matter of fact, he is nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week again so go vote for him.
Defense looks pretty good
I am not going to sit here and say giving up 21 points to a team led by Case Keenum is great. This is more of a statement of the year from where they began.
In the game against the Texans, the defense finished with 3 sacks (45 sacks on the year for the team ranked t-6th), and two turnovers (fumble & interception) with the interception by CB Dwayne Gratz being returned 55-yards for the touchdown.
When you score on defense, you should be in position to win the game. No matter what. The Jaguars were but could not capitalize at the end of the game.
The big blow to the defense was DT Sen’Derrick Marks going down in the game with what has been determined as a torn ACL. They will take a look at the whole knee this week and look for the surgery to completed ASAP. If he rehabs the same way he plays, we should be ready to see him right at the beginning of next season but obviously no reason to rush back.
Offense is not there
Again, the offense failed to score enough points to win the game. They scored 10 points against the Texans and that does not do it. Plenty of blame can be given to each piece of the offense and your hope is they get some work in during the offense to be more cohesive.
Bortles finished 14-for-33, throwing for 117-yards. Those numbers cannot get it done in the NFL but he had no turnovers which has been a recurring theme the last couple of weeks. He did finish as the Jags leading rusher (not usually a good thing) having rushed three times for 61-yards with the key play being a 34-yard rush to get the team down to the 10-yard line with under two minutes left.
The O-line allowed 5 sacks (not all on them), 3 of which were credited to some guy named Watt.
Drops still an issue for the young receiving corps and this is only solved with practice. WR Marqise Lee alone had 4 drops and ended the game with only 2 receptions. Not the best way to end your rookie campaign but you expect him to want to not have that taste in his mouth ever again.
The only bright spot, which also turns into my sleeper of the game is, is RB Jordan Todman. Todman has made some plays in the last couple of weeks. His only opportunity on kick-off return this weekend rested in a 33-yard return. On offense, he finished the game with 52-yards on 7 carries (7.4 ypc). He also had 5 receptions for 46-yards and the only offensive touchdown, a pass from Shorts on what is being seen as OC Jedd Fisch’s favorite play.
2014 is complete
3-13 is not the record most people were expecting. I picked us to go 4-12 this year so I am not as surprised at the record as some.
What you see with this team is that this 3 win team has much better talent than last years 4 win team. It is young talent and the “ceiling is high” on a lot of these players and I cannot wait for what the future holds.
What I do want you to look at is this years draft class. The future of this teams is going to ride on how these players develop. Every single one of them have experience and you could say that, by the end of the season, of the 9 draft picks 7 of them were starters. This draft could be one of two things:
- This could be one of the greatest drafts in team history and show that the front office is absolutely amazing, or
- Can be a reflection of the talent, or lack there of, and this team will not be a factor for another 3-4 years
Voting for #1….just saying.