Mark Brunell: Beatdown by Titans raises identity questions for Jags
Jaguars need to figure out who they are after dominant win, crushing loss
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sixty-one thousand fans arrived at the Bank Sunday with high hopes and high expectations. And rightly so. After a perfectly executed game plan against the Texans last week, the Jags were positioned to go 2-0 and take complete control of the division.
But it didn't happen. In fact, with a 37-16 beatdown, it wasn't even close.
There is a lot to be frustrated about in the game against the Titans. The penalties, the turnovers, the lack of run game, big plays against the defense and more. But what is most frustrating to me is how we can go from absolutely dominating the Texans to absolutely getting dominated by the Titans. Sure, the Texans are a bad football team. And yes, the Titans are pretty good, but to go from one extreme to the other shouldn't happen.
So it begs the question: who are we? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure right now. I know we have strengths and weaknesses like all teams, but I really have no idea what to expect as the season progresses.
But I do know one thing: We have a formula for winning. It's three fold: 1) We have to be able to run the ball. 2) We cannot turn the ball over, and 3) Our defense must play lights out. In my opinion, anything outside of this formula is a loss.
Last week, it couldn't have looked any better. Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards in his NFL debut. Blake Bortles threw the ball only 21 times, which was a career low. And our defense absolutely crushed the Houston offense, more specifically the offensive line.
I have to be honest, I thought we were in for a rough day against Houston. Admit it, you did too. But the Jags played like the team we've been waiting for and hoping for. Outside of our kicker, we were near perfect last week.
This week... not so much. We never got the run game going. We had to throw a lot more than we wanted, which led to three turnovers (only one was on Blake). And our defense after the first half was manhandled. Completely opposite of that winning formula.
I wish I could tell you what to expect in the coming weeks. I'm a former player and an analyst, but I really am concerned and, to a degree, confused by our football team.
It's definitely gut-check time. The Jags need to dig deep and figure it out because there are a lot better teams than the Titans coming up.
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