JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...
Austin from Atlanta:
I’m torn. I believe the defense played rather well for a large chunk of the game, but when you look at Carson Palmer's stats you cannot be happy. Oh – and that O-line has seen better days.
John: Palmer did have big numbers, but you’re right that the defense did play well for an extended period. How is that possible? Well, the Jaguars struggled to get a pass rush early, and there was a drive or two later when Palmer hit some big plays. He also had a 91-yard pass, which inflates the statistics significantly. The Jaguars know they need to improve the pass rush in the offseason, but overall, this is a defense that is playing the run and covering better than it did early in the season. Oh, and the O-line? Yeah, it’s a struggle right now. No argument.
Realist Rick from Who Cares:
I am sick of Gus Bradley. His enthusiasm and positivity makes me want to vomit. This team is so highly penalized it is laughable. You know why Del Rio kept his job for so long? He didn't tolerate stupid mistakes. He threw chairs in the locker room. These are grown men who make lots of money to do a job. I understand that our talent level is terrible but false starts can easily be eliminated through coaching.
John: One awesome thing about writing this column every day is the opportunity to learn so much on such a regular basis. For instance, now I know throwing chairs is the answer. Very cool.
Chris from Palatka, FL:
Well, thanks for the respite last week Jags. Guess it's back to reality this week. Geeeez!
John: Well, it is back to reality in a sense. The Jaguars lost to a team Sunday that’s probably better than they are right now. This team is in building mode. There are spots where the Jaguars are not nearly as good as they will be in two years, or even next year. There are young players who are making mistakes they won’t make in two years or next year. As strange as it may sound, I thought Sunday’s game showed progress in a lot of areas. No, the Jaguars didn’t follow last week’s victory with another victory, but that was a Cardinals team Sunday that’s still in the playoff chase. That means they’re still focused and playing well. The Jaguars played them toe-to-toe for a half and with a break or two – breaks they perhaps should have gotten – they’re within a score in the fourth quarter. The offense is struggling and that may be the case much of the rest of the season, but the defense has gotten back to playing with a lot of heart and a lot of guts. Was it a victory? No. But it was a much better game than the Jaguars played most of the first half of the season, and that shows progress since September.
Cole from Jacksonville:
Our offense is inept. No quarterback, no offensive line, one receiver, and MoJo can no longer hit the corner and go. Did I miss anything? In two years we will have at least nine new starters lining up on offense.
John: There will be a lot of new players on offense for the Jaguars during the time period you cite.
Chris from Palatka, FL:
Please tell Gus to put Blaine Gabbert
back in. I'm so tired of watching Henne's hurry-up offense, which looks more like he's saying "hurry up and get me off this field.” He does not seem to understand the quarterback must make plays on third down instead of letting the defender grab you instead of stepping up in the pocket, or throwing a three-yard pass at the tight end’s feet when you need 10 yards. His third-down apathy is disgusting to watch.
I think I get what you mean by apathy, but I assure you Henne isn’t apathetic. I can’t say Henne or Gabbert has played at a high level this season, but I will say with a running game that averaged 2.0 yards a carry and with a receiving corps that was without Justin Blackmon
, Mike Brown
, Stephen Burton
and Stephen Williams
. . . well, let’s just say Henne was in a tough spot Sunday.
Brian from Atlanta, GA:
It seems at least every other week there is a call that goes against the Jags (muffed punt recovery and then the timeout, or how about how much Floyd pushed off on his cut on his 91-yard touchdown?) I don't want to suggest the Jags would have a winning record or anything, but wow, it just seems to keep happening. At the worst times possible. To the point where I want to come up with conspiracy theories.
John: The Jaguars do seem to have had an inordinate number of calls go against them this season. Having controversial calls in scrums happens from time to time, and when something happens at the bottom of a pile, there’s really no way to review. And as Mike from Jagsonville’s upcoming email suggests, the play wasn’t reviewable by NFL rule, anyway. I didn’t look for a pushoff on the Floyd play, but if it’s borderline, it usually doesn’t get called.
Mike from Jagsonville:
If the fumble recovery play was non-reviewable, what were the officials reviewing?
John: Good question.