Brunell: Jags lose in all-too-familiar way


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars lost in an all-too-familiar way this afternoon: the defense played well, the offense ran the ball effectively and the quarterback turned the ball over too many times. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? 

This is who we have become, this is who we are. Even still, we are a team that has something to be excited about. Our defense is a Top 10 defense in the NFL -- That's not easy to do. 

Against the Denver Broncos, our defense was, in my opinion, spectacular. Paxton Lynch threw for 104 yards and the Broncos' running game was held to under 50 yards. And we lost? Seriously? It's actually hard to believe.

The defense has, in fact, fallen short in one area: we simply can't seem to force turnovers. Normally that's not too big of a problem, but when your offense is careless with the football, you can't afford to not get turnovers. 

And when I say "careless with the football," that's an understatement. If there's one thing that Tom Coughlin drilled into his Jaguars teams, it was the fact that you can't win in the NFL if you turn the ball over. It's really that simple. We had three turnovers today. Two interceptions by Blake Bortles and one costly fumble. Not to mention, one of those picks was returned for a touchdown.

Bortles summed up this season best when he said: "It's the biggest nightmare possible." As far as a football season goes, I would agree. This "nightmare" season came out of nowhere. Did anybody expect this? Not even our biggest critics could have predicted this. 

Free agents had been signed, draft picks looked promising and we seemed to have some stars in the making on offense. So, what happened? A lot happened. But what has surprised me the most has been the decline in the play of our quarterback. Bortles has struggled. You could make the argument that if he was better, we could be a .500 team right now. When your defense is as good as ours, you should win half your games. 

IMAGES: Broncos vs Jaguars
UNCUT: Gus Bradley post-game | Blake Bortles post-game

Now, this isn't all on Bortles. Too many dropped passes, missed blocks and fumbles by our running backs -- not to mention, it's not easy playing at a high level with a switch at offensive coordinator mid-season.  It's simply a "nightmare." 

You called it Blake.  

Former NFL QB Mark Brunell answers viewer's questions about the game

Can you explain why the Jaguars struggle to score points?

- Richard in San Jose

Everyone is to blame when your offense is that bad. The QB, the receivers, tight ends, offensive line, running backs and coaches. Did I miss anybody?

What does Bortles need to do in the offseason to limit his interceptions?

- Lyssa in Mandarin

Watch the tape. Learn from it. Get coached on how to minimize those errors in the future. Work.  

Where do you think the Jaguars need the biggest improvements and why?

- Jeremy in Yulee

Certainly not on defense. Todd and Gus have done a good job. Its just a shame our offense isn't better. We simply need to be better as far as taking care of the football. No turnovers!

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