Four takeaways: Defense needs some work; rookie Robinson a keeper

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) unhappy with a pass interference call on a teammate during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough) (Gary McCullough, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars didn’t win over any fans with a lackluster 31-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins Thursday night at TIAA Bank Field. The loss dropped the Jaguars to 1-2 on the season. Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game:

Jaguars have to get off to better starts

The Jaguars have fallen behind in each of their first three games. Against the Colts in the opener, it was 7-0, last week against the Titans, it was 14-0 and Thursday night against the Dolphins, it was 14-0. This is not sustainable. It’s on both the offense and defense to start better. On the offensive side of the ball, that’s mostly about eliminating mistakes.

The Jaguars committed penalties, dropped passes and missed opportunities early. The defense was gashed by the Dolphins on the first drive, then Ryan Fitzpatrick did most of the damage on the second drive. Before the Jaguars knew it, the first quarter was over, and they were down by two touchdowns.

James Robinson is a keeper (Part 2)

Last week, I mentioned Robinson as a guy who had proven himself through the first two weeks. Thursday night as the Jaguars were trying to find some rhythm on offense, Robinson was the most productive player. Running the ball and catching it, Robinson totaled 129 yards from scrimmage and was one of the few bright spots in the game. I’m going to ask the question again: how did the entire league miss on this guy for seven rounds in the draft? Amazing.

The defense needs to make some plays

In the opener, the Jaguars defense made some plays, led by CJ Henderson. Against the Titans, the defense made fewer impact plays. Thursday night, they made even fewer. Time and time again, the Jaguars saw Ryan Fitzpatrick do what he wanted against them. He threw it at will, completing 12 of 14 passes in the first half.

He also ran the ball in key situations, including on a quarterback draw for a touchdown — a play that everyone in the stadium seemed to know was coming, except the guys in the all-teal uniforms. In short, this was what we worried the Jaguars would look like this year.

Time to regroup

The Jaguars now have a week and a half before their next game, a week from Sunday at Cincinnati, where they will have to find a way to slow down the No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow. Suddenly, the Jaguars went from being in a position to potentially being 3-1 after four games to needing a win to avoid a 1-3 start. After winning the opener, the Jaguars must show that they can end a losing streak.