The Jaguars have, like Austin Powers, lost their mojo. Yes, I'm having way too much fun with the Austin Powers references. Sorry, I'm not sorry. I have to find some way to entertain myself . . . the Jaguars offense certainly hasn't given us anything to get excited about over the last three weeks.
Yesterday I came up with five reasons the Jaguars could potentially end their skid this Sunday as they take on the Eagles in the friendly confines of Wembley Stadium.
Today I have a much easier task. I'll provide five reasons that the Jaguars might not regain their mojo against the Eagles across the pond.
Let's get to it.
1. The Eagles have a much better QB and QBs win games in the NFL.
It's, sadly, true. The Eagles are in a much, much better situation at the quarterback position. Blake "The BOAT" Bortles appears to be a sinking ship, while Carson Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, is flying high. He's completing over 70% of his passes and has thrown 10 TDs to just 1 INT on the year. The Eagles offense isn't performing at the same level they did in 2017, but they're still miles better than the Jaguars on that side of the ball. The main reason for that? Carson Wentz. He's dealing with a back injury and was limited in practice, but Wentz (even when slightly hobbled) is easily the better QB in this matchup. After all, the Jaguars offense led by Blake Bortles hasn't scored a single point in the first half of the last three contests.
2. The Jaguars offensive line is hemorrhaging and the Eagles pass rush is elite.
The Jaguars offensive line has been letting up ungodly amounts of pressure in recent weeks, especially on the left side, where they're down to their third string tackle. Over the last three weeks the Jaguars O-Line has surrendered an average of 21.6 pressure per game, while the Eagles defensive front has been a terror. They've registered an absurd 174 pressures on the season and have 18 sacks to show for it. This Jaguars O-Line vs a Philly D-Line that features Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett, and Chris Long does not appear to be a matchup the Jaguars can win.
3. Rookie Punter Logan Cooke is hurting the Jaguars.
Yes, I believe the Jaguars punter is having a major impact in a very negative way. Cooke started off the season fairly strong, but has since cooled. Last week his poor play led to several unfortunate field position situations. A 26 yard punt in the second quarter gave the Texans the ball at their own 40 yard line, which gave Deshaun Watson a short field and led to a TD. Cooke also let two punts sail into the end zone. He wasn't completely awful on the day, but mistakes on special teams often lead to points, and that held true in the Jaguars loss to the Texans. Cooke was also partially to blame for the first touchdown of the game in the Jaguars week six loss to the Cowboys. He shanked one that traveled just 30 yards, and with a holding penalty on long snapper Matt Overton, the Cowboys got the ball with starting field position on the Jaguars side of the field. Like I said before, Cooke has had plenty of bright moments, but his mistakes have proven critical in two straight losses.
4. The Jaguars can't seem to win the turnover battle.
Balls just aren't bouncing the Jaguars way, on either side of the ball. When a Jaguars offensive player makes a mistake, it's been costing the Jaguars big time. And on the defensive side of the ball when opposing players put the ball on the turf the Jaguars just can't seem to get their hands on it. It's been frustrating for a team that was so good at forcing turnovers in 2017. The Jaguars have the second worst turnover differential in football at -12. YIKES! Over the last three weeks they've turned the ball over a whopping 12 times. You can't win games playing that kind of football in the NFL.
5. The Jaguars haven't even been close in three straight.
The Jaguars and the Eagles are both reeling right now. The Jaguars have lost three straight games by an average margin of over 20 points per game. They just can't get anything going on offense and the defense can only hold up for so long. For the Eagles they've lost three out of four, but each of their losses has at least been close. They're competing. Philly's three losses in the last four weeks have come by an average of just three points per game. The Eagles are a competitive team right now and the Jaguars, plainly, are not.
Whew, bashing the Jaguars for over 800 words is not a fun exercise. Still, there are (obviously) plenty of reasons to believe the Jaguars won't get things turned around this week. But, hey, any given Sunday right?
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