Sam Kouvaris: Nothing to like in Jags' loss to Chargers
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Whatever we watched last week against the Packers we watched the opposite this week against the Chargers. From the opening snap, Phillip Rivers and San Diego did whatever they wanted against the Jaguars on offense and defense, looking dominant in a 38-14 rout.
For all of the tenacity last week against the Packers, the Jaguars folded this week on the west coast. San Diego scored on their first three possessions, running the football at will and putting the game out of reach early.
Blake Bortles threw behind Marqise Lee again in the middle of the field and it was picked off. Rivers quickly took advantage of the short field to take the lead and never looked back. When the game felt like it might be slipping away last week against the Packers, the Jaguars put their foot in the ground and made a stand.
This week, the defense was porous and Bortles had three turnovers in the first half, two interceptions and a fumble, all leading to Chargers scores.
Without an outstanding play by Yannick Ngakoue, San Diego would have been up 28-0 before halftime. Ngakoue recorded his first sack, stripping the ball from Rivers and the Jaguars recovered it. Bortles looked out of sorts all day and threw an interception to end the drive.
Besides the play by Ngakoue, Dante Fowler recorded his first two professional sacks and we saw Myles Jack on the field at middle linebacker for the first time. Other than that, there weren’t any highlights. Any scores by the Jaguars were meaningless and any stats compiled by Bortles were all during garbage time.
I’ll go back to the four keys they needed to compete in San Diego and they didn’t get any of them. No pass rush to speak of, turnovers in their own end, no running game and special teams had their failings as well. Penalties were a problem again with Jared Odrick losing his poise and his temper helping the Chargers to another score.
I’ve said all along that the number of wins at the end of the year won’t necessarily be the measuring stick for Gus Bradley’s future. Games like last week gave the Jaguars hope. Games like the one Sunday call Bradley’s future into question.
Shad Khan wants a competitive team and doesn’t like being embarrassed. He’s been patient like the fans have, and he wants results. Looking at the first four games of the season, and the rest of the schedule, it appeared the Jaguars needed to win two of their first four. Now as they’ve started 0-2, they’ll need to win against Baltimore and Joe Flacco at home and beat the Colts and Andrew Luck in London to look like a competitive team for the rest of the year.
This one’s a blow to the psyche as well as a loss on the scoreboard. It’s a ding in their confidence. What they built last week is gone and they’ll have to rebuild themselves quickly before the entire season gets away.
(Here’s a stat that applies: Teams that start 0-2 have a 12 percent chance of making the playoffs)
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