Jaguars vs. Titans, 10 observations: Jacksonville fails to make up for turnovers, penalties

Blake Bortles discusses Jaguars' loss to the Titans

The Jaguars were hit with a bit of their own Week 1 medicine during Sunday's 37-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field. 

Following a very close first half, the game got away from the hometown team in the third quarter due to some self-inflicted wounds.

The Jaguars allowed 31 points in the final two quarters. It was a clear shift from the 29-7 victory over the Houston Texans last week.

Below are 10 observations from the Week 2 loss to the Titans:

1. Turnovers sunk the Jaguars in the middle of the game.

While it's hard to hand out complete blame to quarterback Blake Bortles, his three turnovers stuck out like a sore thumb on Sunday. 

The first was a sack-fumble after rookie left tackle Cam Robinson was beat by Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. The veteran pass rusher swiped the ball from Bortles' blindside. That turnover wasn't as much on the quarterback as it was on his protection.

His first interception was tipped at the line and caught by Titans defensive back Curtis Riley. Once again, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone assigned blame to the offensive line for allowing defensive tackle Daquan Jones to put his hand up and tip the pass. 

I think the blame falls on both Bortles and the line. He threw it pretty low and it was easy for the defender to knock it down.

Bortles' second interception was thrown behind Marqise Lee and bounced off the wide receiver's hands. Again, not completely on the quarterback, but he did make a poor throw.

The turnovers only led to six points for the Titans, but the momentum shifts were felt on the field more than the scoreboard indicated.

2. Penalties actually hurt the Jaguars this time

In Week 1, the Jaguars committed 10 penalties for 89 yards. The flags didn't matter because the Jaguars never trailed in the game and built a solid lead by halftime. On Sunday, it was the exact opposite. 

Again, the Jaguars had 10 penalties - this time for 99 yards - but the infractions impacted the end result in a big way.

The Jaguars were flagged for five penalties for 54 yards in the third quarter. The Titans added 17 points to their total during that period.

All five offensive possessions that featured a Jaguars penalty ended with either a punt or a turnover. 

The Jaguars had three consecutive drives with an offensive penalty in the third quarter. Those setbacks led to punts, which in turn led to three-straight touchdowns for the Titans.

3. The offensive line takes a step back

After protecting Bortles and creating space for the running backs against Houston, the Jaguars' offensive line failed to produce an encore against Tennessee.

Bortles was sacked twice and the Jaguars' running backs produced just 70 rushing yards on 21 carries (3.3 yards per carry). The Titans were well-prepared for Jacksonville's ground-and-pound attack, allowing it to thrive in the first quarter, before shutting it down for the rest of the game.

First-round running back Leonard Fournette was held to just 40 yards on 14 carries. He had to will his way through the defensive line for a majority of those yards. He was able to make defenders miss, but received little help from the guys up front.

The Jaguars' offensive line is still a question mark.

4. Bortles was brought back to 2016

While it's hard to put all the blame on Bortles, this game looked to be on par with his work from the last two seasons. He played poorly during the first three quarters and then made up for it in the stat sheet with his garbage time performance.

Entering the fourth quarter, Bortles had completed just 11 of 25 passes for 89 passing yards and two interceptions. The score was 23-3 in favor of the Titans at that point. 

As the Titans' offensive onslaught continued to pad the score in the fourth quarter, Bortles was able to take advantage of the Titans' softer coverage in prevent defense. He then completed 9 of 9 passes for 134 passing yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

It was too little, too late for Bortles.

5. The Jaguars need to find an Allen Robinson replacement

There is no one like Robinson left on the Jaguars' wide receiver depth chart, but the group needs to have someone step up immediately.

While Bortles played poorly early on, he was given very little help from his wide receivers.

Allen Hurns caught one pass for 16 yards before the fourth quarter. Keelan Cole caught two passes for 13 yards in an increased role.

Marqise Lee was basically back to his No. 2 wide receiver production with seven catches for 76 yards. Lee added 28 yards on two catches in the fourth quarter.

Bortles had little room to throw against the Titans. Again, this loss was not all on him.

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6. The defensive line also struggles

After producing 10 sacks in Week 1, the Jaguars pass rush produced just one sack against the Titans. While the front was able to draw some penalties and produce some pressure, the overall outlook wasn't positive.

The Jaguars' defense allowed 179 rushing yards and produced just one sack. 

In fairness, the Jaguars did face a very talented Titans offensive line Sunday. 

7. Myers makes the most of his opportunities in Week 2

Jaguars kicker Jason Myers shouldn't feel comfortable right now. However, he did make both of his attempts against the Titans.

Myers nailed a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter and connected on an extra point in the fourth.

It was a solid showing after the Jaguars spent part of Friday working out kickers Josh Lambo, Mike Meyer and Andrew Franks.

8. Tight ends continue to be an afterthought

In two games, the Jaguars' tight ends have combined for just one catch for 18 receiving yards. With Robinson out for the year, the Jaguars may want to get a bit more creative on the receiving front. The tight ends should be part of that plan.

Ben Koyack and Marcedes Lewis received three total targets against Tennessee. By comparison, the Titans' tight ends were targeted seven times and caught six passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. 

James O'Shaughnessy's lone contribution was a holding penalty in the third quarter.

9. Titans currently own the tie-breaker over the Jaguars in the AFC South

Tennessee and Jacksonville have identical 1-1 overall records. However, the Titans are now 1-0 in the division and 1-0 against the Jaguars.

There are 14 games remaining and another Jaguars vs. Titans matchup looming, so Jacksonville has plenty of time to catch up.

10. The Jaguars need to figure out who they are in London.

The Jaguars have been on the winning and losing ends of blowouts over the last two weeks.

We know they are a team that commits a lot of penalties, but that's about the only consistency in their two performances.

The Jaguars need to level out the production and provide an outlook into what this team really is.

The Jaguars will face the undefeated Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Wembley Stadium in Week 3. The Ravens' defense has allowed just 10 points in two games. The offense has passed the 20-point threshold in both contests.

The Jaguars will hopefully find out a lot about all three phases of their team next week in England.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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