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5 takeaways Falcons vs. Jaguars

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five quick observations from the Jaguars 23-17 loss to the Falcons:

Third downs:

In order to win in the NFL you have to win on third down. Offensively the Jaguars were 0-8 on third downs and defensively they allowed the Falcons to go 7-14. That stat was the difference in this game.  

Slow starts:

Slow starts have become a trend for the Jaguars. During their last four games they’ve fallen behind 14-3, 13-3, 21-12, and 21-6. They’ve now gone 1-3 during that stretch. The offense especially has had trouble finding any type of rhythm at the beginning of games. Blake Bortles has played very well in the two minute offense, so perhaps the Jaguars should look at mixing that in earlier in the game.

Taking care of the football:

Coming into Sunday Bortles hadn’t thrown an interception in two straight games (his longest streak of the season). Ball security is something that has been stressed ad nauseam. With a chance to enter half-time with some momentum, Bortles threw an interception at the Falcons one-yard line. The pass was intended for Marcedes Lewis but was forced and Bortles should’ve thrown the ball away. That’s a situation where at worst the Jaguars should walk away with three points. The difference between winning and losing usually comes down to two or three plays. This was a huge one for the Jaguars.

One hand is better than two:

Ok…not really but Paul Posluszny seemed to have no problems essentially playing with one hand against the Falcons. Still just a couple weeks removed from surgery, the Jaguars middle linebacker played with a club on his broken right hand. Not only did Posluszny lead the team with 10 tackles, he also came up with a game changing interception during the third quarter.

High target Julio:

Falcons WR Julio Jones entered Sunday leading the NFL in targets (169), receptions (109), and yards (1,426). Jones was targeted a game high 13 times and finished with nine catches for 118 yards a touchdown.