The Jaguars (0-2) went on a West Coast trip and will come back to Jacksonville with a familiar souvenir: a loss.
Jacksonville was humiliated in a 38-14 blowout loss to the San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Qualcomm Stadium. After building up optimism in a Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Jaguars went through the wrong door on Sunday.
The flood gates opened, but not in a positive manner. At one point, the Jaguars trailed 35-0 and Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers was able to produce four passing touchdowns in three quarters. The Jaguars put up two meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter and watched San Diego backup quarterback Kellen Clemens close out the contest.
Below are 10 observations from the tough outing:
1. The Jaguars were outperformed and out-coached on Sunday. The Jaguars have talent but were completely overwhelmed by the Chargers offense. After talking up Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead and Phillip Rivers all week, the Jaguars defense still couldn't figure them out.
This is the third time the Jaguars have played the Chargers under Gus Bradley and it was like the team walked into a buzzsaw that they hadn't seen before. From matchup issues to an overall lack of ability to stop the big play, the Jaguars were just completely embarrassed.
2. A horrific first half was met with a rough start to the second half. The Jaguars came out after halftime and produced a three and out. It was just another example of the Jaguars not having answers for the Chargers. Most of Jacksonville's offensive struggles were self-inflicted.
3. Blake Bortles was a turnover machine in the first half. Every time the Jaguars defense would make a stop or the offense would start to move the ball, Bortles would cough up the ball. With Jason Verrett all over Allen Robinson, Bortles looked lost at times. He forced throws and also pressed in the pocket, which led to turnovers. He responded a bit in the fourth quarter but it was arguably one of the most forgettable performances of his young career.
4. Penalties were a continuing theme for the Jaguars. Jacksonville had 13 penalties for 93 yards, which helped the Chargers quite a bit with field positioning. The Jared Odrick double-penalty look was actually the first time the Jaguars showed life in the game. Yes, it helped the Chargers keep a drive alive, but it showed the level of frustration the Jaguars had on Sunday.
5. The Jaguars fan base got a lot of what it asked for, but it was hard to enjoy. Jaguars fans wanted to see rookie linebacker Myles Jack play on defense and he did in garbage time. They wanted to see an established pass rush from Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue and they produced three sacks during the blowout. It wasn't exactly the setting, but there's some progress.
6. Chargers wide receivers Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin were overlooked in the conversation all week but they should not have been. With Keenan Allen out of the lineup, the Jaguars looked to have caught a break. However, Benjamin and Williams combined for 176 receiving yards and three touchdowns against Jacksonville.
7. Phillip Rivers kills the Jaguars every time he plays them and little has changed. You can talk about the upgraded defense and the offense that can hang with anyone, but the veteran quarterback was the "be all, end all" in this matchup. He was basically perfect against Jacksonville, with his lone blemish coming on a lost fumble following the Ngakoue sack.
8. The Jaguars are 0-2. That's a really tough mark to have, but it's all too familiar. Look, you can be embarrassed on the road one week and then dominate a team at home the following week. The Los Angeles Rams put in a pathetic performance in their opener against the San Francisco 49ers, but beat the Seattle Seahawks, 9-3, in Week 2. The Jaguars can do that with the Baltimore Ravens coming to town.
However, it better work out because Week 3 will be as "must win" as it gets.
9. Kelvin Beachum's injury was scary and his absence will be a huge loss (if he is held out due to the NFL concussion protocol). Beachum has played relatively well in his first two games with the team and his concussion recovery will be a storyline moving forward. The Jaguars only have eight offensive linemen on their roster and only dress seven, so it'll be interesting to see how they handle Beachum's ailment. He was driven off the field and sent to a hospital for further evaluation.
10. The early bye may be a good thing. The Jaguars will get the week off after Week 4's matchup with the Indianapolis Colts in London.
The start to the season hasn't been what most figured it would be. If the Jaguars can turn it around in the next two games and regroup, they may be able to make a major run down the stretch. The Colts are also 0-2, the Tennessee Titans are 1-1 and the Houston Texans are 2-0. The Jaguars need to climb out of the grave over the next two weeks.