The Jaguars lost for the ninth straight year in Nashville, falling to the Titans 20-0 to fall to 2-11 on the season. It’s the second five-game losing streak of the year for Jacksonville. Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game:
Offense is downright offensive
The Jaguars had not been shutout since 2009, when they lost a 41-0 decision in Seattle. After flirting with being shutout in several games this year, Jacksonville was finally blanked by the Titans. Until the last play of the first half, the Jaguars offense had totaled just 53 yards of offense.
On the final play of the half, facing a prevent defense, Trevor Lawrence tossed a short pass to Marvin Jones who ran for 31 yards, ending the half. It was one of only two long plays by the Jaguars on Sunday. The offensive line struggled from the first series.
The Jaguars gave James Robinson six carries — he finished with a career-low four yards a week after he was benched after fumbling. Lawrence tossed an interception on a pass that was in Laviska Shenault’s hands. The Jaguars have still not scored more than 23 points in a game this year and they have now scored six touchdowns in the seven games since the bye week. Awful.
The rookie quarterback continues to struggle statistically, but it’s not always on him. The interception off Shenault’s hands is an example of that. That being said, Lawrence threw a season-high four interceptions against the Titans. The deeper concern is whether he is learning enough positive lessons in the course of his first season in the NFL.
It would be perfectly human to lose confidence in the system after what he has been through, and it is still far too early to label him as a bust. But over the final four games of the season the Jaguars will want to see some signs that Lawrence is not completely lost on the field. There were some positive plays, but they were few and far between — again — on Sunday.
Winds of change
If Urban Meyer’s tumultuous season would have been in year two or later, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be fired. The fact that it’s happening in his first year in the NFL may be the only thing saving him. First, because the decision that Shad Khan made to hire Meyer is less than a year old, he may hold onto hope that Meyer can turn things around. I don’t think it’s likely to happen.
Khan also has usually been overly-patient with football coaches in his 10 years owning the Jaguars. For those who are optimistic, there is a chance that Meyer takes the lessons learned in his first NFL season and adjusts in his second year. That seems highly optimistic thinking, but only one man has a vote on this question, Khan.
The Jaguars return home to face the Houston Texans in a game that will make a major impact on the draft order. Coming into this week, the Jaguars were slotted to have the second overall selection and the Texans the third pick. The winner of the game will be the loser in the draft order. Will there be any coaching changes this week? It would be the ideal time to do so if Khan is going to make a move before the end of the season. Coming home, facing the Texans and the final game before Christmas.