As you assuredly already know (you're not sleeping under a rock, right?) the Jaguars were unable to defeat the defending Super Bowl Champions in London on Sunday. It was the first time that the Jaguars, who play a "home game" in London every year, have lost in the friendly confines of Wembley Stadium since Blake Bortles' rookie year. Let's take a look at, in my opinion, the biggest gaff by the Jaguars on the day.
The offensive play calling was pathetic.
I'm not normally a fan of pinning blame on the play callers. It's often difficult to decipher exactly why a play was called in a specific setting and without knowing the reasoning behind certain decisions it can be a bit of folly trying to blame plays instead of players. However, in this one the offensive play calling left me scratching my head. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of non play calling issues on offense, but here we will look at some of the bizarre play calling for the Jaguars on offense.
The Jaguars DID NOT RUN THE BALL IN THE FOURTH QUARTER. Yes, that's correct. The Jaguars, who claimed they wanted to get back to running the ball this week, decided not run it for the entire final quarter of the game. It's not as if they were down by too much to think about running it, they just decided not too. The game script allowed for more running, but the Jaguars inexplicably put the game all on Blake Bortles' arm and we all know how that story ends. The Jaguars had several opportunities with short down and distances late in the game and elected not to run the ball.
A grand total of 17 rushes, eight coming from Blake Bortles, for the Jaguars is simply unacceptable. The Jaguars traded for Carlos Hyde prior to week seven and he made his debut on Sunday, only to carry it just six times? What is going on inside that coaches room?
Some might argue that the poor performance by the Jaguars receiving group should hold some blame, and it should, but the Jaguars coaches knew that the receivers were struggling to make routine plays. That wasn't something that just happened, it's been an issue for weeks. The consistently poor play by receivers is even more reason to try to get the run game going.
After the game head coach Doug Marrone's explanation for the lack of running provided little clarity: "a lot of it is the confidence, and you have to have confidence with the guys up front being able to do it, and we just felt at times that (passing) it was our best chance to make a play."
Okay, Doug. You thought putting the game in the hands of Blake Bortles was your best chance to make win? How about using your running game? Even though the Jaguars failed to commit to the run, they still averaged over four yards per carry on the ground. Why not try running on third and short?
Carlos Hyde certainly would have liked to tote the rock some more in this one. "It would have been nice to run the ball in some of those situations. We definitely should have focused more on it", said Hyde. I think we would have got it going, though, if we stuck with it."
It would appear that the Jaguars coaching staff has reached it's breaking point. In a game that was within reach throughout the Jaguars decided simply to put it all on Blake and we've seen time and time again that that strategy will not work on a consistent basis. So why, then, has the Jaguars coaching staff decided to do just that over and over and over in 2018?
Something has got to give.
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