The Jaguars loss to the Falcons saw Atlanta’s duo of quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones dominate the Jaguars defense in a 24-12 Falcons win. The Jaguars fell to 5-10 on the season and must win in the season finale to avoid back-to-back five-win seasons. Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game:
Fournette is the team MVP
Not that there are a lot of good candidates for this award, but Leonard Fournette has been productive all year long. He joined Jimmy Smith as the only Jaguars players with 75 receptions and over 1,600 scrimmage yards in a single season. He runs hard, even with an average run blocking offensive line. He is productive in the passing game and he has become a better leader in the locker room. He deserves credit in a season where these’ not much to celebrate.
Minshew still a rookie, but he’s still fun
Even though Gardner Minshew had thrown for all of 57 yards in the first three quarters, he started to get something going in the fourth quarter. After a 20-yard hookup with tight end Seth DeValve, Minshew dropped an over the shoulder of Chris Conley for a 42-yard touchdown. Then with just over six minutes left, the Jaguars faced a fourth-and-10. Minshew connected with Conley again to move the chains and keep the drive alive. Later in the drive, Minshew avoided the blitz, stepped up and found Keelan Cole at the 5-yard line for a first down. Minshew could not convert on a third fourth-down when DJ Chark dropped a ball in the end zone. Minshew will should enter next season as the man to beat in the quarterback competition.
Where’s teal on teal?
The Jaguars wore their teal pants and white jerseys. It’s the second time they have worn the combination in the last two seasons. Since the uniform redesign, the Jaguars have worn every possible uniform combination except teal uniforms and teal pants. Will we see it next week? It’s my Christmas wish for Jaguars fans.
One more to go
There has been a sentiment that Doug Marrone and Dave Caldwell might be back for another season if the team finished well. After last week’s win over Oakland, the Jaguars were unable to follow it up with another road win. So the question that only Shad Khan can answer is does Sunday’s season finale figure into his decision-making on the future of the Jaguars remaining leadership? Many of the players we spoke with last week support Marrone and it will be interesting to see if their voice and the game against the Colts is a factor in whether he and Caldwell return or if it is a foregone conclusion.