The Jaguars made too many mistakes in the first half, and one deadly mistake in the second half as they lost to the Colts in Indianapolis 29-26. The Jaguars saw four touchdowns scored by Colts tight ends in the first half, several on miscommunications by the Jaguars defense. Then, while driving for a potential game-winning touchdown, or game-tying field goal attempt, wide receiver Rashad Green fumbled the ball away, giving the Colts the win. Here are my four takeaways from the game.
Leonard Fournette really does make a difference
Fournette played in just his third game of the year Sunday and showed what kind of an impact he can make for the Jaguars offense. Fournette finished the game with 109 total yards and made some impact plays, including a 31-yard gain on a screen pass. Even with some injuries on the offensive line, Fournette found holes. He didn’t find a long run, his longest was an 11-yard gain. That’s the next step for Fournette as he returns from his hamstring injury.
Bortles is starting to get into a bit of a rhythm
Against the Eagles in London, Bortles was very efficient, completing 24 of 41 for 286 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. Sunday, Bortles was even better, finishing 26 of 38 for 319 yards and two toucdhowns.If Bortles can continue to play that kind of efficient football without turnovers, the Jaguars have a chance to win some games, even if they are ugly wins. Right now, the Jaguars shouldn’t be concerned with style points. Just win. In fact, win them all. It's the only way they are likely to have a chance to make the playoffs.
The Jaguars defense has some work to do
It is hard to figure how the Jaguars defense can turn in a first half like they did against the Colts. They had just one injury to deal with, A.J. Bouye, but it wasn’t Bouye’s replacement, Tyler Patmon, who was getting picked on. Telvin Smith and Barry Church had several instances of miscommunication leading to Colts touchdowns. With the help of the Jaguars offense turning in some long, sustained drives in the second half, the Jaguars defense looked more like the group we are used to seeing, pitching a shutout after the break.
The Jaguars playoff hopes still live...for now
The Jaguars aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but it might take seven straight wins to get there. Even then, 10-6 may not be enough. This team is a long way from the 16-0 predictions of the preseason.