JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Gamble from Brasilia, Brasil
Given the injuries, I've felt all year that this coaching staff would return. Given the total collapse of Thursday night, I'm not so sure. Why does scoring points look so hard for this team and so easy for their opponents?
I anticipate Jaguars Owner Shad Khan letting the season play out before making any decisions about the coaching staff or front office. That typically has been his approach during his time as the Jaguars' owner. There will be those who point out that Khan dismissed former Head Coach Gus Bradley with two games remaining in the 2016 regular season, but the difference is significant: Bradley to that point never had had a season with the Jaguars in which the team didn't lose at least 11 games. Head Coach Doug Marrone is a season removed from an appearance in the AFC Championship Game, proving he is very capable coaching an NFL team to a very successful season. As for why it's hard for the Jaguars to score points this season: The reason is simple. This is now an offense with four or five players originally expected to be in the starting lineup. It's a team with a beat-up offensive line and a team that needed a running game to be effective because of a lack of a front-line quarterback. That team now is down to its fourth left tackle with two Week 1 starters on the offensive line. There has been a slew of other injuries, and now there's a new quarterback and new play-caller. It's a mess – and the changes at coordinator and play-caller have had negligible impact in two games. The Jaguars haven't scored a meaningful touchdown since the changes were made. It shouldn't be this bad, but change and injuries have taken a toll. That's a reason why it looks so hard.
Bill from Springfield, VA
Undisciplined, immature, individual-focused effort on defense. Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and baloney-eating Marrone need to be upset -- just like the fans. Very disappointing!
Your email pretty much summed up the defensive effort Thursday. While it's easy to talk about "quitting" when a team plays as the Jaguars did Thursday, that's usually not exactly the right term. Undisciplined, immature and "individual-focused" feel a lot more accurate when describing the effort – though, in fairness, there were some plays when the effort didn't look ideal. You can play bad and be trying; sometimes you're just trying in a really inefficient way.
KC from Ukiah, CA
John, why not take the field goal when the drive stalled at the 1? At 7-5, you're just a kick away from having the lead and your offense can return to the sideline with a little confidence knowing they accomplished *something*.
Have you seen this offense the last two weeks? There was a strong sample size that the Jaguars weren't going to be close to the end zone all that much. Plus, you had Leonard Fournette back and you believe you're a running team. Fournette had been effective inside the 10 in his last two games before his suspension. You're 4-8. You're trying to get some momentum. Why not go for it?
Hulk from Las Vegas, NV
I hate this team and their effort. They're just collecting checks at this point. Martine isn't the problem. The players are the problem. Three missed tackles? Cheney isn't even fast. Damn sure not faster than Myles Jack. This is but wrenching. Every week it's, "What happened to your Jags?" I reply, "They suck at the game of football." Is that a wrong assessment Johnny?
It wasn't wrong Thursday. And while I don't know who the hell Martine and Cheney are, Thursday indeed was "but wrenching."
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL
Quarterback Cody Kessler did make some good throws Thursday – accurate, on-time throws. He is clearly better than Blake Bortles. Even if he ran for 20 less yards, he is the best we got and has a better shot at improving than Blake. He even did this thing where he throws the ball and it spins in a straight line as it flies through the air... what do you call that I haven't seen it in five years?
Hey, one fer Kessler!
John from Jacksonville
Why is Cody Kessler still starting? Do you personally think he gives them a better chance of winning? I would go as far as saying Marrone gave up on his team. How can he be disappointed in the team giving up if he isn't willing to start the players who give the Jags the best chance of winning!? Bortles is far better than Kessler in every aspect in my opinion. #bringbortlesback
Hey, one fer Blake!
Mark from Prescott, GA
I laughed at this.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
It looked like the Jags' defense was feeling themselves from last week.
It also looked like the Jaguars were a road team in a Thursday night game – but yeah, the performance was bad. Even by Thursday road standards.
Fred from Naples, FL
I hope the players finally get smart and vote for no more "Thursday Night Football.". It is such a HUGE (yes, I know that is in CAPS) disadvantage for the visiting team. Please vote it OUT (see, more CAPS) during the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Wow, you are SERIOUS – and you're correct. But I don't $ee the players or owners voting it out of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
TJ from Orlando, FL
Thursday was embarrassing enough that every person on that field should just go ahead and clean out their locker for the season and forfeit the rest of the games. I haven't seen a game that ugly in a long time.
Did you watch the Dallas game?
Tom from Nocatee, FL
Maybe the Jaguars' organization wouldn't have a need to play in London if they were able to build a football organization that didn't get blown out by the Titans twice a year. Oh yeah, I dare you to print this one!
The Jaguars didn't get blown out by the Titans earlier this season, and they in fact haven't been blown out by the Titans twice in the same season in recent seasons. And even if they beat the Titans twice a season they would still benefit from the increased revenue from a game in London.
Kevin from Jacksonville
John, are guys like Taven Bryan and Dawuane Smoot getting more reps because they give us the best chance to win? Or to give them more game experience and evaluation?
It's a combination of factors – injuries chief among them – but it's the latter more than anything. The Jaguars need to get Bryan and Smoot involved. When people say, "Why not play the young players and see what they've got?" then you're sometimes going to get young-player results.
Shane from Jacksonville
Clearly the former offensive coordinator is to blame for this mess.
Midseason coordinator moves are typically "meh," and the firing of Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett felt curious at the time because of the slew of offensive injuries. The Jaguars have scored one touchdown since his departure – a seven-yard touchdown pass from Cody Kessler to Dede Westbrook with the Jaguars trailing 30-2 on Thursday.
The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL
All the fans who were screaming for Hackett's job owe the man an apology. You could have Sean McVay or Sean Payton calling plays right now and it wouldn't matter.
Hey, one fer Hackett!
Jonathan from Mechanicsville, VA
Looked like they had Darius and Jackson on the bench more than usual. Is this correct? Although I believe Darius was on the field for the 99-yard run, the line seemed to struggle without him. Good assessment?
Good eye – sort of. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus played 32 percent of the snaps Thursday, while Malik Jackson played 62 percent of the plays. A major issue on this front was the absence of defensive tackle Abry Jones, who was inserted into the lineup over Jackson last month because he's a better run defender. With Jones out, Eli Ankou played extensively inside. So did Bryan. Both appeared to struggle at times. They weren't alone.
Jami from Wye Mills, MD
Are the wheels officially off?
They were Thursday. They weren't Sunday.
Scott from Medford
I don't want to beat the "Fire Marrone" drum but given the sample size as the Bills' head coach and now the Jags' head coach, he appears to be a .500 coach. I don't think he magically got smarter last year or dumber this year, I think he just regressed to the mean. What are your thoughts on Marrone going forward?
I think Marrone's a good NFL head coach. I think he should be the Jaguars' head coach next season.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, do you think as they take a look at the "longest run in history" as the years go by they will also point out the obvious facemask that allowed it?