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Notes and observations: Big opponent, a "bad game" and more


JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's notes and observations from Thursday as the Jaguars prepare for the New York Jets Sunday: Looking back and looking forward with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, and updating the Jaguars' injury situation …

1.Nathaniel Hackett's not panicking – and no, the game plan won't change because of what happened four days ago. "Each week is completely separate," the Jaguars' offensive coordinator said early Thursday afternoon. "You can't treat it as one big thing. It's a marathon. It's week-by-week, and you focus on one situation at a time and one opponent. Everybody's so different." Hackett during his weekly media availability Thursday discussed in detail a 9-6 loss to the Tennessee Titans this past Sunday that ranked as one of the worst statistical offensive games of his tenure as coordinator. "It was bad," he said. He also said while a Jets defense that features a large defensive front and one of the NFL's best strong safeties (Jamal Adams) is different than a Titans defense that wins with experience and an athletic front, this week's challenge is unquestionably as difficult as the one faced last week. "These guys are still quick – still athletic – but they're big, heavy-handed guys," Hackett said. "That's going to be one thing: moving them up front, preventing them from collapsing the pocket, then moving them in the run game. Defensively, they're a very good football team."

2.Hackett on Thursday reiterated what Head Coach Doug Marrone and offensive players said earlier this week – that the struggles against Tennessee were very much a group thing. "Wasn't it brutal?" he said. "I chalk it up to, 'Gotta move on, gotta get to the next week.' Sometimes those happen. I felt like everybody had a hand in it. I don't think it was just one specific person. If you ask the guys, I think they all had that premise – that they could have done something more. We just didn't come out hot. Nobody got in a rhythm. We've got to find a way to get out of it." The Jaguars' 233 total yards Sunday were their fewest in Hackett's 21 regular-season games. Their 12 first downs were their lowest in his tenure. "It was everybody," he said. "We came out flat and never got into a rhythm. The wide receivers had some stuff. The quarterback had some stuff. The line had some stuff. The tight end had some stuff. It wasn't who we are and not who we want to be. … It was a lack of steam and intensity. That's what held us back. That's what we missed out on." Hackett called left tackle Josh Wells' performance Sunday "one of the bright spots."

3.The Jaguars' top two running backs practiced Thursday, with starter Leonard Fournette (hamstring) working limited for a second consecutive day and backup T.J. Yeldon (ankle) working limited after missing Wednesday; Fournette's injury kept him out the last two weeks, and this is the second consecutive week he has practice limited after missing practice all week immediately after sustaining his injury in a Week 1 victory over the New York Giants. Five Jaguars players practiced limited Thursday: right guard A.J. Cann (triceps), center Brandon Linder (knee), right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (core muscle) and defensive end Calais Campbell (ankle); Cann, Parnell and Seferian-Jenkins all worked limited Wednesday while Linder missed practice that day and Campbell worked full Wednesday. Cornerback D.J. Hayden missed a second consecutive practice with a sprained toe and kicker Josh Lambo (hip) was added to Thursday's injury report. …

4.Defensive coordinator Todd Wash on Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold: "He can make every throw. He really does a nice job when he gets out of the pocket. He keeps his eyes downfield. He doesn't feel the rush at all. That's obviously very good for a rookie quarterback." Darnold, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, led the Jets to a come-from-behind victory over the Lions in Week 1 after his first NFL pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The Jets have lost to Miami and Cleveland in two weeks since, with Darold completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 701 yards and three touchdowns with five interceptions in three games. "The scary part about it is he's going against a very experienced secondary, the best in the league," Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson said Wednesday. "If we don't get to him, the D-line [defensive line] will get to him. We're all licking our chops, but at the end of the day, he's still a phenomenal player. He definitely can make every throw – and he can beat you."

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