Brunell: Jags loss 'big step backward'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – What happened in San Diego Sunday was disappointing and even more surprising. After going toe-to-toe with the Packers last week, I expected to see something different. I'm sure you did, too.
Actually, we DID see something different. We saw a team perform very similarly to the Jaguars of recent years. We saw a team that, in my opinion, took a big step backward.
It's OK to lose early. I'm not upset that we lost our second game of the season. There is still a lot of football left. I'm upset in HOW we lost. It wasn't even close.
Yeah, I know we had to travel 3,000 miles, and I know we faced one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but this should have been competitive. This should have been a good football game.
So, what went wrong? This game is about taking care of the football. Games are won and lost based on which team does and does not turn the ball over. We were careless with the football.
In the first half, Blake had two interceptions and a lost fumble. If that was the only stat that I saw in this game, I could have told you the outcome. If you do not take care of the ball, you lose. Going forward, we simply need to be more efficient in turnover differential.
We also can't forget who the QB is for San Diego. I have long considered Philip Rivers to be one of the best in the game. He hasn't won a Super Bowl but always plays at a high level. He is tough, competitive and, most importantly, brilliant when it comes to attacking defenses.
He was at his best again Sunday. It's hard to win a game when the other team's QB throws for over 300 yards and four TDs. Not to mention, Melvin Gordon rushed for over 100 yards. Good balance. Very efficient.
So, what now? Time to panic? Not even close. We're only two games in. This game will sting for a couple of days for the players, but the attention will soon turn to the Ravens. A winnable game.
I'm confident we will see this team bounce back. I truly believe there is solid leadership on the team coupled with good character and chemistry. Yes, we will need a win, and we'll get it. And for those who just want to talk about whether or not Gus Bradley should keep his job: shut up! Gus Bradley is a good football coach and this season will prove me right.
Former NFL QB Mark Brunell answers your questions about the game:
Is the season over if the Jaguars start 0-3? Is the Ravens game a must win?
Brunell: The season is not over at 0-3. In my opinion, the season wouldn't be over at 0-6. Beating the Ravens is critical, but let's not forget there are 16 games and anything can happen. Remember that '96 Jaguar team that started at 3-6?
How soon can you take over the Jaguars head coaching job?
Brunell: You don't want that. My head coaching ability is limited to the high school level. Besides, I believe Gus to be a good head coach if given more time and a better football team. Still early.
Why do the Jags defenders play 5 to 10 yards off the Chargers receivers when the Chargers & everyone else bump our guys at the line?
– Craig in Jacksonville
Brunell: NFL teams have different defensive schemes and strategies. Our problem is not a scheme problem, in my opinion. It's an execution problem.
How scary was the Kelvin Beachum injury to watch?
– David in Jacksonville
Brunell: Very scary. Injuries of that nature are the worst part of our game.
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