1. The corner isn’t quite turned at quarterback. There was much excitement last week over
2. Gabbert needs to throw downfield. It’s hard to know why it didn’t happen, but after throwing downfield relatively consistently the last two weeks, it didn’t happen in the first half. Part of it was the interior rush of the Lions. Some of it may have been Gabbert not seeing plays downfield. Whatever, the offense didn’t open up until the second half and by then, it was too late.
3. All is not lost at quarterback, either. This has been a pretty bleak start to “What We Learned.” There will be bleakness to come, too. It’s hard to avoid that at 1-7, but Gabbert did play better in the last quarter and a half. That’s not enough, but last year bad starts usually meant bad finishes for Gabbert. That wasn’t the case Sunday.
5. The corner isn’t turned as a team. Just as there was excitement over Gabbert last week, there was energy and hope last week after two improved performances. But the NFL is about winning, and although there have been competitive moments and some near-miss losses, the Jaguars are 1-7. And at 1-7, it’s hard to say there’s not a lot missing.
6. Plays still aren’t getting made. It’s been a theme all season, and a source of frustration. But good teams make plays at critical times. The Jaguars too often this season let makeable plays become incomplete passes and mistakes. They’re not a talented enough team to overcome that.
7. Something’s wrong at home. What is it? No one seems to know, but the Jaguars have been competitive on the road, losing twice in overtime, winning once and playing Green Bay close deep into the fourth quarter. That, in fact, is about the sort of team many expected the Jaguars to be – competitive against much of the league and needing to play really well to play with the best teams. At home it has been markedly different, markedly worse. It’s frustrating. It’s baffling. And it’s why they’re 1-7.
10. The running game is struggling. This was an area of strength for years. This season, it has become an area of concern. The Jaguars haven’t rushed for more than 70 yards in any of the last five games – since their lone victory of the season, at Indianapolis in Week 3. Teams are forcing the Jaguars to beat them with the pass, and while the passing has improved in spots, it’s not consistent enough to force teams to change their defense.
11. The interior run defense is too inconsistent. The run defense played better the last two weeks than at the beginning of the season, but on the goal line Sunday, the Lions scored too often and too easily. The Lions didn’t dominate the game running, but they were effective enough when it mattered.