JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Over the first three games of the season the Jacksonville Jaguars were involved in three straight blowouts. The average margin of victory in those games was just over 26 points. That’s not usually how it works in the NFL and on Sunday the Jaguars were involved in their first close game of the year. Their 23-20 loss to the New York Jets could’ve gone either way and the Jaguars admit they’re still learning how to win close games.
“This past Sunday was probably the craziest game I ever played in my career,” said wide receiver Arrelious Benn, whose holding penalty wiped out what could’ve been a game winning touchdown by Leonard Fournette. “It was a see saw type of battle. There were a lot of things that you question. Why were those calls made? Not just the holding call that I had but it’s a lot of things.”
In overtime wide receiver Marqise Lee dropped a crucial pass on third down that would’ve put the Jaguars in field goal range.
This isn’t a new issue for the Jaguars. Going back to the past two seasons they’re only 6-14 in games decided by seven points or less.
“When the pressure is on you and you know you can’t make certain mistakes in a game that’s when you really learn,” said defensive tackle Abry Jones. You learn from it and you learn from the mistakes you do make in those situations.”
Over the first quarter (first four games) of the 2017 season the theme for the Jaguars has been consistency. On Sunday they’ll play a Steelers team that is the model of consistency. While Jacksonville hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007, Pittsburgh has reached the postseason six times over that same span.