JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We’re running out of ways to discuss the Jaguars' struggles, and we’re only in mid-October. Jacksonville gave up more than 30 points for the fifth straight week in a 34-16 loss to the Lions on Sunday. Here are my four takeaways from the game.
This was one of the worst performances I’ve seen from the Jaguars in a long time. And yes, I know that’s a high — or is it low — bar to reach. Facing a team giving up a league-worst 170 yards per game on the ground, the Jaguars managed just 44 rushing yards. As we have seen all too often, they gave up on the run far too early.
The defense didn’t pressure Matthew Stafford, didn’t stress the Lions and never seemed like they were ready to make a play to impact the game at all.
Playing without Josh Allen and Abry Jones, the Jaguars looked like a junior varsity team trying to prove that they can hang with the varsity. They could not.
We’ve seen some good games from Minshew this year, notably, the first two games of the year. Lately, his play is slipping. Too often on Sunday, he was fading away from pressure that wasn’t there and he missed too many open receivers.
His numbers looked decent at the end of the game when he put up some garbage time stats, but he certainly isn’t helping his cause to be the quarterback of the future. This team has many problems greater than the quarterback, but he has not shown the kind of improvement needed through the first six games of the year.
Cole and Schobert worth noting
If there are a couple of guys worth pointing out. Keelan Cole has been one of the few Jaguars to have exceeded expectations this season. After a lost 2019, Cole continued to play week, catching six passes for 143 yards against the Lions.
I also thought Joe Schobert had his best game as a Jaguars player. Maybe it’s no surprise with the return of Myles Jack beside him. Schobert made 10 tackles, many of them tracking down Lions near the sideline, albeit too far down field. He also had an interception. If this year is about looking for confirmation of building-block players, then Schobert helped his cause on Sunday.
The Jaguars will travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers on Sunday. The game was originally scheduled for the following week but was moved up when the league shuffled the schedule to account for some teams having COVID-19 outbreaks. It will be the only trip to the West Coast this year.