JACKSONVILLE – Calais Campbell was direct, and not overly kind.
"We're underachievers right now," he said.
That was the All-Pro defensive end on Monday while discussing the Jaguars' 3-5 start to the season, and Campbell said something else is equally true.
"This team will be there when it matters," Campbell said a day after the Jaguars' fourth consecutive loss – this one coming 24-18 to the Philadelphia Eagles at Wembley Stadium in London.
Such was the mood of the Jaguars' locker room Monday:
Yes, players are aware that an October in which they failed to win a game – and slipped from first place in the AFC South to a tie for last – is unacceptable. The Jaguars, who are off this week, are aware improvement must come quickly.
"We're happy to have a bye week," Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. "There's a lot going on around here and things haven't been going our way. I think the guys are focused on getting out of here mentally and rebooting."
At the same time, the team that won the AFC South in 2017 and advanced to the AFC Championship game in January remained confident that the season is not lost – even after failing to score a first-half offensive touchdown throughout the month of October.
"I have confidence that if we can get it going the way we know it can go that we can do something special here, and that we can salvage the season," Campbell said. "We've made it real hard on ourselves, but hey: it will make for a good story."
The Jaguars, after leading the AFC South with a 3-1 record at the end of September, enter November 3-5 tied with the Indianapolis Colts for third place in the division. They are two games behind the South-leading Houston Texans and have lost two home division games: to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3 and Houston in Week 7.
"Everybody understands what we need to do and where we need to be," Jackson said. "We just have to get it done."
The Jaguars have four AFC South games remaining: home and away against Indianapolis, at Houston and at Tennessee. Campbell called the Jaguars' first game after the bye – a road game at Indianapolis – critical.
"We can't give away any more division games; that's just the way it goes," Campbell said. "We've got to keep our belief strong. No matter what the outside noise says or does, we just have to keep our belief strong. Five losses in this league this early really sucks, but five losses throughout the season … that's not bad at all. That's a heck of a year.
"We have a lot of ball to play. We made it real hard on ourselves, but I truly believe the guys we have here are built to be able to do something special even given our current circumstance."
*The Colts, who like the Jaguars have a bye this week, have won their last two games over Buffalo (37-5) and Oakland (42-28). "They're real hot right now," Campbell said. "This is where you've got to draw the line in the sand. We have to put our foot down and get going. … It's going to be a tall task, but I'm up for it and I know the guys in here are up for it."
*A primary difference between the Jaguars last season and this season remains giveaway-takeaway ratio. The Jaguars forced two takeaways and committed one turnover Sunday, but their turnover ratio through eight games is minus-11. They finished last season plus-10. "That's ridiculous," Campbell said. "You're not supposed to win ballgames when you do that." …
*Jackson said he didn't expect lineup changes following a four-game losing streak. "I think we're doing the best we can with the people we have," Jackson said. "We have a few key injuries. Guys are working hard. [Jaguars Head] Coach [Doug Marrone] might come in here and switch everything, so we'll see." …