JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars went to Cincinnati and gave rookie Joe Burrow his first victory in the NFL, a 33-25 loss that dropped the Jaguars to 1-3 on the season, their third straight loss. Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game:
So much for a fast start
Doug Marrone’s team talked about needing to start faster. Marrone even went against form and took the ball after winning the toss. Then, on the first drive of the game, Gardner Minshew forced a pass to Tyler Eifert that was deflected and intercepted.
The Jaguars' defense forced a punt. So, let’s call it a moral victory since the Bengals didn’t score on the opening drive. It’s the first time this year the Jaguars opponent didn’t start the game with a touchdown. However, on the subsequent Bengals drive, Cincy took the lead with a field goal. It’s an improvement, but not enough of one.
Besides Myles Jack, who can step up and make a play on defense?
Jack had the key play in the first half, an interception to save a touchdown. He also made several key tackles before leaving the game with an injury. He was the only player on the Jaguars defense who made an impact player. Nobody else showed up. Coming into the game, the Bengals offense had only four plays of longer than 20 yards.
They had seven against the Jaguars defense. Before the Jaguars rolled into town, the Bengals had given up the most sacks and quarterback hits in the NFL. The Jaguars finished the game with one sack. For the third straight game, the Jaguars gave up at least 30 points.
James Robinson continues to shine
Robinson totaled 107 scrimmage yards in the game. In the process, he set an NFL record for the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted player in his first four games. He also continues to be very good in pass protection.
On the drive that resulted in the Jaguars' first touchdown, Robinson picked up a blitzing Bengals' defensive back, giving Minshew time to connect with DJ Chark on a 14-yard pass play. Two plays later, the Jaguars found the end zone. Not only has Robinson impressed everyone with the ball in his hands, but also on the other aspects of the game that rookies often struggle with.
At 1-3, the Jaguars are now on pace for a four-win season. If they don’t turn things around quickly, we’re looking at a total reset in the off-season … probably. The next four games, the Jaguars face the winless Texans (twice), the Lions and the Chargers. Not exactly murderer’s row, but I doubt they will be favored in any of those games. It’s not too difficult to see a scenario where the Jaguars could be looking at a long losing streak. In fact, as it stands now, the Jaguars would likely be the underdog in every game on the rest of the schedule.