Four takeaways: Urban may be gone, but team still going nowhere fast

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson, left, celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans with teammate tackle Malcom Brown during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (Phelan M. Ebenhack, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars began the post-Urban Meyer era with a 30-16 loss to the Houston Texans. It’s the second time this year the Jaguars have lost to Houston and the eighth straight loss in the series. The Jaguars are now 2-12 on the season with three games remaining.

The Jaguars roster still needs work

Just because Urban Meyer isn’t here anymore doesn’t mean the Jaguars’ problems have all been solved. There is a lack of depth and talent on this team. Outside of Trevor Lawrence and Tyson Campbell, none of the draft picks have shown much as rookies.

The team lacks a consistent pass rush outside of scheming the blitz. The offensive line is inconsistent at best. And there are few players running open in the passing game, particularly on deep balls. This will take at least one more offseason to upgrade the roster to get to the point where they can be competitive against average NFL teams.

James Robinson is a good running back after all

We all knew this, all along. Well, all except Meyer, apparently. With Bevell calling the plays on his own, Robinson carried 18 times for 75 yards and a touchdown. He also added three receptions for 13 yards. Coming into the game, Robinson hadn’t carried more than 18 times in any game this season. On Sunday, it was clear that Bevell was bound and determined to feature Robinson. He should for the rest of the season.

The culture of mistakes did not go away with Urban Meyer

Once again, there were too many mistakes made. It’s unreasonable to expect that the team would turn things around in that category after struggling most of the year. Among the issues, a roughing the punter penalty that extended the Houston drive and led to the Texans’ first field goal.

Poor special teams coverage that allowed a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as Houston’s second score. And then there was the punt return that Jaydon Mickens decided to try to bring back from the 1-yard line. Mickens actually turned it into a nice return, but Dawuane Smoot was flagged for sideline interference. The replay appeared to show him bumping into an official during the post-play celebration. It was a very Jaggy day at the Bank.

What’s next?

The Jaguars play their second straight game against a rookie quarterback when they face Zach Wilson and the New York Jets on the day after Christmas in the Meadowlands. Jacksonville has a real chance at the first pick in the draft after losing to the Texans, and after the Detroit Lions (2-11-1) upset the Arizona Cardinals. The Jaguars are a half-game ahead of the Lions in the chase for the top pick.

About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.