If you read the piece from yesterday, you saw in living color the problems the team has and it points to leadership. Read more in Good, Bad, Ugly, Jaguars show signs of life vs Colts to see that there was a lot of good. Good enough to win out. Good will be saved for last as incentive to keep reading.
I’m going to lay some fault for the ugly in Perry Fewell and Mark Collins’ laps. Yes, the defense is missing Paul Posluszny as a hub to balance all the spokes of egos, but the team has had eleven months to fill that role.
Granted, coaches can’t make someone a leader, especially since no one on defense has been there long; however, coaches are responsible for a disconnect.
They’re responsible for the linebackers and secondary not being on the same page, having communication issues and not trusting each other with assignments. That was ugly.
Ugly was penalties and when they happened. 8 for 61. Not all flags are equal, but Jax had ones that helped Indy keep drives going. In particular, a nasty personal foul that gave the Colts what they needed to score. That flag very well was the difference between a loss and a win.
That ugly is on Doug Marrone. Get a grip on this, it’s losing games.
The ugly was only 34 total tackles, 0 sacks, no QB hits, only three tackles for a loss and only two passes were defended. Three. That is why no sacks, since the secondary wasn’t a threat, Luck didn’t have to hold the ball waiting for a better opening.
For comparison, Indy had 57 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss, and six passes defended. Granted, Luck is a better QB and had a better OL, but this defense has played several QB’s in the last 12 months every bit as good and didn’t choke.
Ugly was allowing Indy to get 83% of their third downs in the first half, going 5-6 and getting 306 yards. Allowing their three tight ends to walk all over the defense was the ugliest of all. Maybe they stunk at it because they have little to practice against.
Indy 3-3 in the red zone during the 1st Half was damn ugly
The bad was injured offensive linemen. When Blake Bortles has protection and time to throw, he can get the job done. After losing left tackle Josh Walker, already a 3rd team replacement, and center Jeremy Parnell, the run game was affected. Fournette’s production dropped 3/4 a yard in the second half.
We also saw Bortles play small, intent on getting the ball out fast (for him) to avoid sacks, but it also allowed Indy to play close which also made the run game tougher.
Then here’s the good and bad of Leonard Fournette. His bad was only averaging 2.2 yards per carry (2.9 1st half); however, he picked up key downs that has been missing. The bad was he missed easy lanes showing he lacks vision.
The good was many fold. First, and key, was we saw TIGHT ENDS. Not going to insert disco dancers and a choir singing Hallelujah, but it’s what I’m thinking. They helped block, gave Bortles a little more confidence and caught passes (wow). Plus, a beg thee, use them more.
We also saw more of Tommy Bohanon, who helped bust a run and also caught a pass. He’s been woefully underused this season. To me, the play calling was much better than it’s been in a month.
More good was we held the rush to 3.5 yards which is better than they had. Next was Jax getting 91 yards rushing, also an improvement. Bortles threw 320 yards, two TD’s and no interceptions.
Good was DJ Chark averaging 38 yards per kick-off return which can’t be overlooked. Often this season, the offense has started deep in their territory. If they can rely on 36 yard returns that’s a big relief (minus dumb flags). The average start was at the 31.
Good was 24 first downs, and 53% 9-17 on third downs, plus 2-3, 67% in the red zone (big improvement). Finally for the offense, they controlled the clock for 35:10 and put up 26 points.
You add all that up and it’s enough to win games. The second half of defense was also good. Not a point was allowed, although that partly was due to a missed field goal.
Good was getting an interception, having the Colts start at an average of 24 yards. For three quarters, the Jags controlled time of possession and during the third quarter, had the ball for 12:09. That’s massive.
Had that defense showed up from the start, the Jags would be in a manageable 4-5 situation and have a divisional win. Can they rattle off seven wins in a row? Yes, they can. Do they believe it? That’s the only thing stopping them.
Good is ten wins puts Jacksonville in the hunt for a play off birth. Ten wins, gives them belief in next season. Ten wins helps keep or get free agents. If they don’t do that, some players and coaches need pink slips because the talent is there, all that’s missing is belief and teamwork.