The Jaguars opened the season with a 20-15 road win at the New York Giants. It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but it was a win. Leonard Fournette left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. Myles Jack highlighted the defensive effort with an interception return for a touchdown. Here are my four takeaways from the game:
The defense is for real, but to be historic, they need to tighten up a few details
The Jaguars are going to win a lot of games this year thanks to their defense. They want to be a defense that is remembered among the best in the history of the game. To do that, they can’t allow big plays in key times. Saquon Barkley is going to make his plays. The Giants rookie looks like the real deal. But his 68-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter gave the Giants life after Jack’s pick-six.
The offensive line needs to play better
Last year in Carolina, Andrew Norwell did not allow a sack all season. In the first quarter, Norwell allowed a sack. Later, he cost the Jaguars a touchdown when he was flagged for a hands to the face penalty. The Jaguars would settle for a field goal. In the fourth quarter, with the Jaguars up by five with less than five minutes remaining, they didn’t protect Blake Bortles well enough to allow the quarterback to make plays. On a team predicated on the running game and not making mistakes, the offensive line needs to execute better.
Aside from Leonard Fournette, nobody showed that they can be a weapon on the offense
If Fournette is going to miss some time with the hamstring injury, someone needs to step up and make plays on offense. It doesn’t have to be the same guy every game, but nobody looked consistently dangerous. Whether it is Keelan Cole or Donte Moncreif or Austin Seferian-Jenkins or T.J. Yeldon or somebody else, the Jaguars need somebody to make plays. Even if it simply moves the chains to maintain possession, weapons are needed.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win
There will be more ugly wins this year. There is nothing wrong with ugly wins. The Jaguars would take 16 ugly wins over 8 pretty ones. Celebrate it, get better and prepare for the Patriots, who come to Jacksonville Sunday.