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Urban Meyer on adjustment to NFL: ‘There is no margin for error’

Jaguars looking to bounce back after rough start against Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer blows his whistle before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer blows his whistle before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A day later, it still didn’t look good to Urban Meyer.

In the wake of Jacksonville’s season-opening loss to the Texans, Meyer said on Monday that things didn’t change after he went through and analyzed the game. Meyer’s big point of emphasis — fixing “self-inflicted errors” that forced the game to get out of hand.

Penalties. Dropped passes. Missed coverages. Mistakes that shouldn’t be happening one week into the regular season, and especially not against a team with so many issues like the Texans have. Houston won 37-21 in a game that didn’t feel nearly that close. It was the 16th consecutive loss for the Jaguars, a streak that’s tied for the 12th longest in NFL history.

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Picking up the pieces after that game, Meyer and the Jaguars (0-1) have to find out what went wrong and the best way to fix them before the Broncos (1-0) visit TIAA Bank Field on Sunday for the home opener.

“Not really [if his thoughts had changed since watching the tape]. Obviously, I always like to tell the team we played, they played well and they did,” Meyer said.

“But self-inflicted errors on offense were crucial but nine penalties on offense which is unheard of and absolutely unacceptable. And we forced a couple throws, that we’ve just got to make the right reads. But [that’s] about what I thought.”

The good news — Jacksonville came through the Texans came relatively healthy, Meyer said. And rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence will no doubt build off of his first start and look to cut down on his turnovers. Lawrence was picked off three times in the game. He finished finished 28 of 51 for 332 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in his debut.

Houston was in control from the outset against the Jaguars, but mistakes certainly hurt. Jacksonville jettisoned the running game, despite having success with James Robinson and Carlos Hyde. Meyer said that was because of the early deficit (Jacksonville trailed by 20 at halftime), but penalties hurt, too. Holding calls erased first-down runs by both Hyde and Robinson before the break.

Meyer said that the margin for error is nonexistent in the NFL.

“I always tell people, I’ve always told teams that when talent becomes equated, there is no margin for error. .. I just watched it, we went through it again, I was watching with [General Manager] Trent [Baalke], another time, [it’s] just the margin of error,” Meyer said. “You have a nice run, another flag pops out there, then all of a sudden, another pick. So, it’s just consistency and any time you’re facing talented teams, the margin of error is very minimal.”


About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.