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Game that was: "They did their job; we didn't…"

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) tries to get past Cincinnati Bengals cornerback LeShaun Sims (38) in the second half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) tries to get past Cincinnati Bengals cornerback LeShaun Sims (38) in the second half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

One word summed up Sunday.

Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones was asked to discuss the Jaguars' pass rush, which continued its early season struggles Sunday.

"High," Jones said.

With reason. 

The Jaguars for a fourth consecutive game struggled to pressure the opposing passer Sunday, sacking Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow once in a 33-25 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"Their offensive line gets paid too just like us," Jones said. "They did their job, we didn't. We have tremendous talent on this d-line – first-round talent year in and year out that's on this team right now and we're not getting enough [pressure]. We have to look at ourselves and really see that there are a lot of problems, but there are some things that start with us upfront and definitely pressure is one of them.

"We have to make pressure an emphasis. I have to find a way to motivate these guys. It's too much talent out here that's not getting their name called on Sundays for doing what they do best. 

"I really don't have a secret formula for you. That's just the good old football, blue-collar grit. Go back to the drawing board, grind it out, and make the results come on Sunday. If we do that, come back, we get a good couple weeks back to back. This was will just look like an old problem and we can roll forward and really become a better defense."

The Jaguars have four sacks in four games this season, registering one in each game.

"We've just got to do a better job of coaching those guys to get them in a better position to win," Head Coach Doug Marrone said.

Marrone also discussed the dilemma of rushing with four players – as the Jaguars typically do – or blitzing with extra defenders and leaving a young secondary further exposed. Marrone, as he has done throughout the course of the season, reiterated that it's a "fine line."

"You've got to watch your matchups on the outside as the game goes," he said.

The Jaguars, after entering the game 16th in the NFL in rushing defense at 116.3 yards per game allowed, allowed 205 yards rushing Sunday. It marked the first 200-plus-rushing game allowed this season after the Jaguars allowed five such games last season.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon, after rushing for 30 yards on 12 first-half carries, rushed for 121 second-half yards on 13 carries. He capped back-to-back third-quarter drives with touchdown runs of 34 and 23 yards.

"The most obvious changes were really just execution," Jones said. "They came out and they had an emphasis on trying to run between the tackles. We did a good job of bottling that up and really restricting the run game. Then in the second half, they really just started hitting one way and cutting back and really testing our responsibilities and we didn't execute properly.

"Every man on defense has a gap and we have to be able to trust every man on that field to make that play when it comes to him."


Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., who missed a Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins with a chest/back injury, caught eight passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns Sunday. The Jaguars have scored 20, 30 and 25 points in games in which Chark has played. They scored 13 in the lone game he missed. "It's huge having DJ out there," quarterback Gardner Minshew II said. "He's one of the top receivers in the league, I truly believe that. He went to the Pro Bowl last year. He is better than he was last year. He is also good at being a leader and a guy we can really count on."


Multiple Jaguars players left Sunday's game with injuries: cornerback D.J. Hayden (hamstring), cornerback CJ Henderson (shoulder), linebacker Myles Jack (ankle), left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring).


Minshew: "I believe the ceiling is very high for this offense. We ran the ball well today. Threw it well at times. We've just got to stay away from drive killers, away from turnovers, and I believe we can be really good. … We just have to bring more consistency is the big thing."


Jones: "I'm always going to believe in my guys. I mean it comes down to just straight execution. I feel like this a defense that can turn it around, execute, and take out the mistakes that we've been making and we can get on a nice run of  out some wins together and get where we want to go further in this season. After that, once we get ourselves in position and we get to a postseason playing, we're going to look like a good defense."

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