JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars have played in two blowouts to start the season.
Both games were against AFC South opponents and featured the Jaguars committing 10 penalties.
The similarities stopped there for Jacksonville, as the two games had remarkably different results.
In Week 1, the Jaguars dominated the Houston Texans. On Sunday, Jacksonville was blown out by the Tennessee Titans
The polar opposite results have led to uncertainty. It's unclear how good (or bad) this Jaguars team can be this season.
“Honestly, we’re going to have to go back and look at the film, just stepping off the field," linebacker Myles Jack said. "I honestly don’t know. We’ve got to come out and do better all the way around as a team and especially as a defense we’ve got to step up and get takeaways like we did last week. I honestly don’t know. This just wasn’t a good day today.”
Perhaps this was just a hiccup for a young team. However, following years of letdowns, it's hard to subscribe to that line of thinking.
The Jaguars may have caught the Texans off-guard when they were reeling from the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Maybe the Titans did the same with Jacksonville still working to move past Hurricane Irma.
There's also something to be said about the Jaguars showing off their approach in Week 1. It gave the Titans insight the Texans lacked.
“First game is kind of, teams really don’t have a game plan for you, but they do in a way," running back Corey Grant. "As the season goes on and in this second game, they can watch last week’s film and really dial in on what we did last week.”
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While game-planning clearly played a role in the loss, the Jaguars were quick to point out their self-inflicted setbacks in the locker room. The team committed several drive-killing penalties and lost the turnover battle, 3-1.
"I feel like once we got something going we would have a first down and come back because it was a penalty." wide receiver Allen Hurns said. "That haunted us in a lot of the drives. We have to stay consistent and play ahead of mistakes instead of being second-and-long or third-and-long. That is going to hurt us.”
The penalties and turnovers stalled drives for the offense, and in turn, created unfavorable field position for the defense. All five of the Jaguars' offensive possessions that featured penalties were ended with punts or turnovers.
“We had a lot of mistakes," wide receiver Marqise Lee said. "Even when we found ways to move the ball forward, we still found ways to bring ourselves back. You can’t win the game doing things like that. Tipped balls and things and turnovers, we just have to improve in that standpoint. I feel like we had more control than the tipped balls and mistakes on our own. We will be fine.”
The Jaguars find themselves with game film that features two extremes. They played very well in Houston, but were embarrassed in Jacksonville.
It's a peculiar sample size, to say the least.
"It's a complete difference," Colvin said. "Let's be real, emotions are heavily involved in this game and when you lose the way we lost, it's difficult. As a competitor, you've got to be able to bounce back and you have to be able to win that next game. Good teams don't lose two games in a row."
The Jaguars' next test will come in London. Jacksonville will face the undefeated Baltimore Ravens at Wembley Stadium next weekend.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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