JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2023 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars’ performance in a 37-17 loss to the Houston Texans at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville Sunday
- The Jaguars lost to the Texans for the tenth time in the past 11 meetings. The 37-17 drubbing was a comedy of errors for a team expected to contend for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Jaguars' poor execution, untimely penalties, shoddy kicking game and lackluster effort enabled the Texans to steal another game at EverBank Stadium. With back-to-back losses and questionable play on offense, defense, and special teams creating frustration and exasperation throughout the locker room and office, the Jaguars need to quickly regroup and refocus before taking on the Atlanta Falcons in London.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- Coaches routinely tell players that most games are lost due to self-inflicted errors. Turnovers, pre-snap penalties, big plays allowed, and kicking game errors frequently produce losing results in an ultra-competitive league where most games are decided by eight points or fewer. The Jaguars violated the quadfecta of "winning football" with two giveaways, six penalties (minus-49 yards), a missed field goal, a blocked field goal and a kickoff return touchdown in a horrendous performance that will frustrate players and coaches in the film review session. The lack of effort and execution in particular will lead to some hard conversations between coaches and players as the team attempts to bounce back from an upset loss to a division rival.
- The Jaguars' franchise quarterback continues struggling with accuracy and decision-making in 2023. Despite passing for 279 yards with a 67.5-percent completion rate, Lawrence is not in sync with the pass catchers and the inconsistent execution has bogged down the Jaguars' high-powered offense. While the drops from his sure-handed receivers (SEE: Calvin Ridley) have added to Lawrence's struggles, the third-year pro has made questionable decisions resulting in turnovers that have halted drives and killed momentum. For an offense attempting to find its way, the scattershot performance from No. 16 has played a role in the unit's underachievement.
- It is a shame running back Travis Etienne Jr.'s standout performance was overshadowed by the Jaguars' futility against the Texans. The third-year pro totaled 138 scrimmage yards on 23 touches, displaying the trademark speed, quickness and burst that makes him one of the most feared playmakers at his position. Etienne was the Jaguars' most dynamic weapon against the Texans, and his versatile skills were on full display in the team's disappointing loss. Despite the loss, the Jaguars should find a way to build off No. 1's performance after watching the offense sputter through the first three games.
- The offense has been a major disappointment for a team with playoff aspirations. The unit has yet to consistently move the ball or score points despite featuring a lineup loaded with blue-chip talent on the perimeter. While the playmakers have not performed up to par, the offensive line's struggles have also played a role in the offense's struggles. Throw in Lawrence's inconsistent play, and it is not a coincidence the Jaguars could not move the ball against an energetic Texans defense.
- The Jaguars could not disrupt the timing and rhythm of a young quarterback making his third start in the NFL. Despite defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell's best efforts, the Jaguars could not muster a consistent pass rush that forced Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud into a critical error. Moreover, the Jaguars could not contain the Texans' young receivers, and the superior speed and quickness resulted in several big plays through the air. Without consistent stops or any turnovers, the Jaguars' defense allowed the Texans' offense to move up and down the field despite missing several starters along the front line.