1. Special Teams
The guys that are paid to kick the ball for the Jaguars had a TERRIBLE day. Brad Nortman, who has been highly reliable in seasons past, was awful on Sunday. One of his punts traveled just 16 yards! Another one of his punts was blocked and recovered for a touchdown. Jason Myers missed two 54 yard field goals, and was part of a coverage unit that allowed a touchdown return. Allowing two touchdowns on special teams is never a winning formula, in fact it's a formula that nearly guarantees a loss.
2. Run defense
The Jaguars league worst run defense isn't a fluke, at least for now. The Jaguars defensive line looked non existent most of the time the Rams ran the ball. The Jaguars allowed 142 yards on the ground, which is slightly better than their season average, but still absolutely awful. The gap control for the defensive line has become a joke. In what world does a combination of Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Abry Jones, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler lead to the worst run defense in football? Unfortunately in this world it does. Four of those five defenders graded positive against the run in 2016, but something has changed. Are they trying to get to the QB too much? If this run defenses can't improve the Jaguars are going to struggle down the stretch.
3. Offensive line play
The Jaguars offensive line played terrible against a talented Rams front. The Jaguars had allowed five sacks all season coming into Sunday, but surrendered five against the Rams alone. Bortles was regularly under duress. If you take away Leonard Fournette's first minute touchdown run of 75 yards the Jaguars only picked up 55 yards on the ground, despite running the ball 26 times on the day. Yikes. The offensive line play just wasn't there in this one.
The officiating was poor on Sunday. In two of the Jaguars losses so far questionable calls (or non calls) have gone in favor of the Jaguars opponent. Sunday poor officiating reared it's ugly head again. On the play prior to the punt block touchdown that appeared to break the will of the Jaguars, Marqise Lee was mugged on a third down. If the penalty was called, the Jaguars would have gotten a first down and likely would never have had a punt blocked. On a different, yet equally as disappointing play, the Jaguars forced a Robert Woods fumble that was picked up and returned for a touchdown. The officials originally ruled that Woods was down by contact. The call on the field was overturned and the Jaguars got the ball, but Aaron Colvin's impressive run back was negated. A 14 point swing from officiating? That's exactly what I am suggesting. It's impossible not to sound like that homer that complains about officiating too much when you complain about officiating, but I'm just going to call it as I see it. From where I'm sitting it looks like the refs did the Jaguars no favors in this one.
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