JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Another bad loss and more of the same in how it looked.
Four games into this season, the Jaguars should not be 1-3. After playing who they’ve played — the Colts, Titans, Dolphins and Bengals — Jacksonville should be positioned much better than it is.
But here we are talking about the makings of another disappointing season.
The bulk of those first four weeks were winnable games. We had one win. But you’re not going to beat teams by giving up 30 points a week. That’s what the defense is asking for. Asking a young offense to go up and down the field and swap touchdown for touchdown isn’t fair.
Sunday is a perfect example of when I say, “more of the same.” Cincinnati was the definition of a winnable game.
You’re facing a rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow. He certainly has the potential to be a great one over time. But now, he’s four games into his NFL career and he’s been sacked 14 times in three games.
Get in his face. Rattle him. Knock him down. Let him know that the pressure is coming.
Burrow was clean all day. There’s no pressure from the defense. Against a rookie quarterback and a porous offensive line, that’s unacceptable.
If Jacksonville couldn’t get to Burrow, then at least make sure the running game is held in check. The Jaguars couldn’t do that either. Joe Mixon ran the ball at will and was sharp in the passing game, too.
I’ll continue to put these losses on the defense. There are too few playmakers on that side of the ball.
If the defense continues to struggle, and there’s no real reason to think that a significant improvement is on the way, what we’ve seen these first four weeks is going to be a repetitive theme all year.
This offense is still young and evolving and Gardner Minshew II isn’t quite there yet as a fully developed quarterback. The past two week’s he’s been jumpy in the pocket and not really settled back there. I thought Minshew was quite a bit more refined in games against Indianapolis and Tennessee. Against Miami and Cincinnati, he has not looked comfortable to me.
But the offense at this point is the least of my concerns. The Jaguars have got to find a way to put some pressure on quarterbacks and stop opponents from scoring so much.