Mark Brunell: Jaguars take a big step back with listless showing against Dolphins

Mark Brunell's Monday Morning Quarterback appears the day after Jaguars games.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A game in primetime was always one of the best nights of the season for our team.

Everyone plays on a Sunday at 1 or 4. In primetime, you have that stage to yourself.

I’m from the West Coast. I have a lot of family and friends out there and I always knew that they were going to watch those nationally televised games. Being in Jacksonville, a small market that didn’t get a lot of attention, it meant something to be on for the country to see, and our play reflected it.

We had some big games, big wins on Monday Night Football. We had some big games and big wins on Thursday nights and on Sunday nights. There was just something special about it.

The Jaguars had that platform on Thursday night and a chance to really change the perception on the franchise. All offseason, it was just how bad the Jaguars were going to be. Then the season started and Jacksonville started to change that perspective.

We’d beaten the Colts and gone toe-to-toe with the Titans. Thursday night football against the winless Miami Dolphins was the next step for the young team.

And then to come out and play like that, on national TV, no less, was a major step back for the Jaguars. There’s no way to gloss over that loss. It was bad. It was ugly. Not many positives.

Everyone expected them to win and keep the momentum going.

They come out and go down 14-0, which wasn’t bad. We’ve seen them fall into deficits this season and claw back out of them. That’s kind of been their M.O. early, right. Start slow. Come back late.

Gardner Minshew wasn’t himself against the Dolphins. He was never comfortable and didn’t get into a rhythm. He looked a little unnerved in the pocket. It reminded me a lot of the rookie Gardner Minshew, not the one we’ve seen the first two weeks.

Defense continues to be a problem. Three games in a row, it has been porous and just flat out bad in a lot of spots.

Who are we? That’s my biggest question heading into next week at Cincinnati? What is this team made of? I don’t think you can say with any sort of confidence that they can go into Cincinnati and win that game. Thursday night was a big step back. A big step back. And the whole country got to see it.

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