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Five takeaways from Jaguars' 27-3 loss to the Steelers

It's the Monday Morning After... and Shad Khan's 100th loss is just the tip of this abyssmal iceberg
Credit: AP
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack (44) walks off the field after being defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

100 losses in 141 games.

Even if “97 losses in 138 games” was too much math for you, this is one set of numbers you can’t ignore. 100 losses in 141 games is more of an eye-sore than the former Hart Bridge over-pass and Jacksonville Landing combined. 

But wait! There’s more.

There’s some other numbers that Jaguars' fans must also evaluate as they take a long, hard look in the mirror on behalf of Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan. Because evidently – as these statistics will indicate – he refuses to do so himself.

1) Six

There are six players on the Jaguars’ roster who were drafted by the team prior to 2019. Taven Bryan. D.J. Chark. Dawuane Smoot. Dede Westbrook. A.J. Cann. Brandon Linder.

That’s it.

The Jaguars’ opponent Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers?

They have 20 players still on their roster who were drafted by the team prior to 2019.

It’s not like Khan bought the team in the last two years and sought to clean house. And there certainly hasn’t been a coaching or regime change in the last two years. If anything, the lack thereof is what has driven many of those former draft picks away.

How can a team be expected to become a consistent contender if it can’t keep and develop homegrown players?

2) Ten

Since Shad Khan bought the Jaguars in 2012, they have had 10 players make a Pro Bowl. Compared to other teams during that time frame, it’s actually not that terrible a number. The Steelers have had 16 players make the Pro Bowl since 2012. The Jaguars’ AFC rivals, the Tennessee Titans – who also found themselves down-on-their-luck for a stretch there in the 2010s – have had 12 selections. The lowly New York Jets have had 11.

Here’s the problem: of those 10 Jaguars, six made the Pro Bowl in the aberration of a year that was the 2017 season.

To make matters worse: of those 10 players, only two remain in Jacksonville.

Not every player in the NFL is a Pro Bowler. And not every team is the Kansas City Chiefs with 5 Pro Bowlers on offense alone. Football is, after all, a team sport; as many a player will tell you, “it’s not about the individual stats and accolades.”

But if a franchise is to be "viable," if butts are to be put into the seats: there needs to be a show. There needs to be talent on the field. Whether you pay for it via free agency or draft it doesn't matter: talent is non-negotiable. 

3) 415.6

So far, the Jaguars have given up an average of 415.6 yards per game in 2020. Somehow, that is not the worst mark in the league (Seattle is 32nd, but has the offense to compensate).

The worst mark in the NFL in 2019? The Miami Dolphins (397.8 yards/game)

The worst mark in the NFL in 2018? The Oakland Raiders (381.4 yards/game)

The worst mark in the NFL in 2017? The Houston Texans (346.6 yards/game)

Jacksonville is on-pace to break records – in the wrong way. This should be grounds to fire defensive coordinator Todd Wash (and head coach Doug Marrone, since they are allegedly a package deal) based on this statistic alone.

Yes, this seemingly demonstrates the game continues to trend towards high-powered offenses. But, unlike the Seahawks, the Jaguars don’t have a competent offense either.

4) 15.5

In his defense: it was sixth-round rookie Jake Luton’s third career start – and he was going against the Steelers’ top-ranked defense.

But at the same time: a passer-rating of 15.5 (and a 10.9 passer-rating at one point Sunday) has only been accomplished twice since 2010. It’s difficult to play that poor in the National Football League. It’s another historically bad number courtesy of the 2020 Jacksonville Jaguars. 

The Jaguars front office fell in love with Luton’s touchdown-to-interception ratio during the pre-Draft process. Luton had 28 touchdowns to just three interceptions his senior year at Oregon State. He never threw more than four interceptions in a season in college. 

He has now thrown six in three games. Some might argue he got lucky in his debut against the Texans, and that number should be somewhere closer to nine.

Gardner Minshew has thrown 11 interceptions in 21 career games.

If the only game the Jaguars are playing at this point is to “see if Luton or Minshew will be the back-up next year,” there’s no contest. Sure, you can play Luton out and give him a larger body of work. It doesn’t appear it will help in the win column (not that many fans want that right now, with a Top-Two Draft pick on the horizon). What it may do is preserve Minshew’s trade-value.

Because the lowest QBR Minshew has posted in 21 games? 51.4

5) 8 of 9

Our final number goes hand-in-hand with the omnipresent, 100-loss stat. If the Jaguars are to lose another game this year – and with one of the strongest remaining schedules in the league, they certainly will – Shad Khan will have seen eight of his nine Jaguars teams lose 10-plus games.

While he’s the second fastest to 100 losses, Khan does have some company in this stat. Naturally, the fastest owner to 100 losses – Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ former owner Hugh Culverhouse – is among the ranks. Of the 14 Bucs teams from 1983 to 1996, 13 lost 10 or more games.

The 21st Century Cleveland Browns and their revolving door of coaches, general managers, and quarterbacks are also featured on this list (they have had three owners since 2000). The Browns posted 10-plus loss seasons in 10 of their 11 campaigns from 2003 to 2014. They’ve also lost 10-plus games in four of the last six years.

The Browns have been to the playoffs once since 1999. Sure, after moving on from Culverhouse, the Buccaneers won the 2002 Super Bowl title. But they haven’t made the playoffs since 2007.  

Is this the company Shad Khan wants to keep? Aspire to be Cleveland?

Well, if so, he’s not doing a very good job of it. Because even lowly Cleveland has not been afraid to make a change when the numbers demanded it. And last I checked: a man valued at $8 billion should know a thing or two about numbers and sense.

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Want to sound off about the Jaguars? Sports Anchor / Reporter Mia O'Brien can be reached at mobrien1@firstcoastnews.com and @MiaOBrienTV on Twitter.