JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A season-opening win over the Colts feels like an eternity ago.
Since that 27-20 victory, the Jaguars have tumbled. Injuries and poor play have combined to put the Jaguars on a four-game losing streak. Jacksonville (1-4) hosts the Lions (1-3) Sunday at TIAA Bank Field in an effort to halt an early season slide.
In all four of the losses, players and coaches have agreed that they didn’t lose because of a lack effort. Effort isn’t something that any stat can measure but it is enough to give the Jaguars hope that they can turn this season around.
“I think one of the things that has been an extreme positive has been the guys willingness to stay locked in,” said receiver Chris Conley.
The Jaguars have one of the youngest rosters in the NFL. Coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell both cited the team’s youth as a reason for optimism heading into the season. There is still optimism that they can get things turned around.
“I have been on teams that were 1-5 and won 11 straight games and made it to the playoffs. I have been there,” Conley said. “I have seen that. I have been on teams that are just as talented as we are here, and we won a lot of games.”
Despite the struggles on both offense and defense through the first five games don’t expect wholesale changes. The Jaguars are planning to stay the course and believe that the issues all come down to execution.
“I think if there was a way of doing it better, we would be doing that from the beginning,” said quarterback Gardner Minshew II. “I really believe in the preparation we put in, the work we put in. I think it just comes down to execution.”
Sunday’s game against the Lions will give this young Jaguars team another chance to show they can execute out on the football field. If the team can’t get it done this week, those questions will only continue as the team prepares to enter the second half of the season.