The Jaguars failed to show any follow through on Sunday. After a promising start that saw Nick Foles lead the team down the field on an impressive scoring drive, capped off by a Foles to Chark touchdown that put Jacksonville up 7-0, the Jaguars' offense fell flat. And on the other side of the ball, the defense didn't get close to slowing down the Colts' rushing attack. With this embarrassing effort, the Jaguars fell to 4-6 on the season.
While Nick Foles' final stats — 33/47 for 296 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception — tell you that he didn't play all that poorly in his first start since breaking his clavicle in week one, the eye test tells a much different story. Sure, Foles had some brilliant moments, but far too often, he was mistake-prone. He under-threw too many passes to count, and he regularly threw the ball into negative situations. He just wasn't sharp. He looked like a guy playing for the first time in a long time. Perhaps this result shouldn't have come as a surprise to so many (including myself).
An aspect of the loss that certainly is no surprise: the Jaguars' poor run defense. The Jags were gashed by the Colts on the ground time and time again in this one. We've seen it several times before this season. This run defense just can't hold up against teams that really know how to run the football. The Colts rushed for 264 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Against teams that are in the top ten in rushing yards this season, the Jaguars have given up an average of 223 yards per game on the ground. Abysmal. The Jaguars still have two teams left on their schedule, Oakland and Indianapolis, that are in the top ten in rushing. Winning those games will be a tall task for a defense that excels at slowing down opponents' passing attacks at the expense of allowing big yardage totals on the ground.
These Jaguars have been an outscored 59-16 in their last two games, both of which were must-win divisional contests.
Until they're mathematically eliminated, this coaching staff isn't going to start looking towards the future. They can't. If Doug Marrone and company can't get this thing turned around next week against the Titans, the Jaguars will have just about no chance to make the playoffs. Even if they do win next week, they'll need to win at least four of the following five games to have a shot. Never say never in this business, but the Jaguars are hanging on by a thread at this point.
If the Jaguars don't get close to making the playoffs this season, it should be time to clean house. There are plenty of built-in excuses as to why this team has underperformed. Their starting QB missed the first half of the season; Jalen Ramsey went awol; Telvin Smith unexpectedly retired, but the real issue here is that the team just isn't talented enough where it counts.
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