Jaguars vs. Titans, 10 Observations: Effort clearly an issue in the worst loss yet

Jaguars lose 36-22 to the Titans

Thursday Night Football turned out to be a nightmare for the Jaguars.

The team looked uninspired just days after having a sit-down with owner Shad Khan and lost 36-22 to the Tennessee Titans.

If you're a decision-maker for this franchise, giving up 27-straight points to your division rival - led by your former head coach - is probably the worst possible outcome you could have predicted for the team's lone prime time game of the season.

With head coach Gus Bradley facing tons of heat, his team completely bombed all expectations of a turnaround.

The Jaguars are in last place in the AFC South, perhaps the worst division in professional sports.

Here are 10 observations from the most embarrassing Jaguars game of the last two seasons:

1. The Jaguars' effort - especially on defense - was deplorable. The Titans running backs ran wild on the Jaguars defense, ripping through tackle attempts like a kid opening up a sack of candy on Halloween. Technique was a problem, as the edge couldn't be set on defense, there were miscommunications on a play-to-play basis and tackles were missed in heavy numbers. This team lacks discipline and confidence.

2. The Jaguars offense rebounded in the box score, but they were horrible in the first half. They couldn't get anything going early on, as the running game continues to be among the worst in the league. To the Jaguars benefit (probably), they abandoned the run after realizing they were down 17 points early in the game and that still didn't help. The Jaguars didn't show life until their first offensive drill of the second half. By then, it was too late.

3. Let's not completely ignore the fact that this Titans team is GOOD. The running back duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry may be the best in the league, especially when it comes to power running. Quarterback Marcus Mariota was sensational on Thursday night and he mostly did his damage from the pocket. Folks like to focus on Mariota's mobility, but his accuracy against the Jaguars was extremely impressive. The Titans offense in general produced 494 total yards.

On defense - down two of their top defensive backs - the Titans shut down the Jaguars in the first half. While they only produced two sacks, Tennessee held the Jaguars to a 6-of-13 conversion rate on third down. The Jaguars were forced to punt six times.

4. The Jaguars had two personal fouls before the team hit halftime. The now-usual suspects - cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Dante Fowler - were called for completely unnecessary penalties. Yes, they are two very young players, but when this happens frequently, you have to put it on the coaches. Apparently, tight end Marcedes Lewis and Paul Posluszny calling young guys out means nothing.

5. If you didn't watch the game, you'd think Blake Bortles had a great game. He completed 33-of-54 passes for 337 passing yards and three touchdowns. That doesn't change the fact that he started 2-of-7 for 18 yards or the fact that his offense couldn't move the ball at all in the first half. His ability to make consistent accurate throws has seemingly diminished for some reason. He can still put up yardage and statistics but he just doesn't seem to be on point when it really matters.

6. Mark this as the third-straight game that Allen Robinson was a non-factor. Teams are playing him as tight as ever, but this is getting ridiculous. Robinson ended up finishing with six catches for 70 yards, but a lot of that production was created after the game was out of hand. This team needs him to find a way to make big plays on a consistent basis.

7. For the second-straight game, forcing pressure on the opposing quarterback was difficult. Jacksonville failed to produce a sack, despite Mariota offering opportunities to hit him outside of the pocket. Mariota had a lot of time to throw and he took advantage. He completed 18-of-22 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns.

8. We touched on the running game earlier, but this is the team's biggest issue. The running backs are not finding holes. At times, it's on the offensive line. T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory have also proven they can't make something out of nothing. That would be fine if they were given a perfect situation 8-10 times per game.

9. Brad Nortman and Jason Myers continue to be the unsung heroes of this season. Myers kicks touchbacks with ease - and while he didn't attempt a field goal in this game - he's also perfect on extra points this season. Nortman is a busy man but he has done everything he can to help the Jaguars win the field position battle. He has been phenomenal this season.

10. The Jaguars are 2-5. Their division rivals are 3-4 (IND), 4-4 (TEN) and 4-3 (HOU). 

Jacksonville now faces a gauntlet of very good teams: 

Week 9: @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-2)

Week 10: vs. Houston Texans (4-3)

Week 11: @ Detroit Lions (4-3)

Week 12: @ Buffalo Bills (4-3)

Week 13: vs. Denver Broncos (5-2)

Week 14: vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)

Week 15: @ Houston Texans (4-3)

Week 16: vs. Tennessee Titans (4-4)

Week 17: @ Indianapolis Colts (3-4)

That's a rocky road moving forward.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment