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Brunell: Interceptions, poor special teams play too much to overcome

Jaguas fall to 2-8 after loss to Lions

The Jaguars slipped to 2-8 on the season Sunday with their loss to the Detroit Lions.

Again, the opportunities for a win were there. Aside from a few big plays in the fourth quarter, the defense, once again, played well. The offense ran the ball effectively and Blake Bortles, for the most part, made good decisions in the passing game. But it just wasn't enough.

So what went wrong? 

Turnovers once again played a big role in this football game.

The defense finally forced a turnover which hasn't happened in some time -- which was good to see. However, the offense gave two away. One turnover resulted in points for the Lions with Bortles throwing an inaccurate pass that was tipped and returned for a Detroit score. For the second week in a row, Bortles' interceptions proved too difficult to overcome. Chris Ivory continued to be careless with the football. His four fumbles on the season lead the NFL.

Poor play on special teams continues to hurt our football team.

A big punt return for the opponent led to points this week. Jason Meyers also missed an extra point attempt.  Special teams don't always have to help you as a football team, but they should never hurt you. 

PHOTOS: Jaguars vs. Lions
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The defense played well Sunday. Amazingly enough, the Lions were held to 14 yards on the ground and somehow still managed to win the football game. Matthew Stafford was held in check for most of the game but came alive in the fourth quarter with some big plays to keep drives alive. The Lions continued to play solid fourth quarter football, with all six wins of the season coming from behind late in the game. 

The Jaguars head to Buffalo next week to face Rex Ryan's Buffalo Bills. At 5-5, the Bills are beatable. The Jaguars are certainly capable of winning this next game but need to keep away from the mistakes that have plagued them all season.

Go Jaguars!

#AskBrunell: Aanswers viewer's questions about the game

Why can't the Jaguars get to the opposing quarterback?

- Lucas in Arlington

Our pass rushers are young and inexperienced. Fowler and Ngakoue are very talented and loaded with potential but still have a lot to learn.

Can you explain why the Jags have such a hard time converting third downs?

- Tina in Mandarin

We've been better in this area the last few weeks, however there is a long way to go. Blake needs to get better at keeping his team on the field.

Is it too early to start talking about the 2017 draft?

- Robert in Fruit Cove

Yes, too early. Way too early.  

About the Author:

Mark Brunell is a sports analyst and reporter with News4Jax and current head football coach at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.