JACKSONVILLE – New week, same story – again and again and again.
In fact, it's a mind-numbingly similar story now, isn't it?
The Jaguars on Sunday lost to the Denver Broncos, 20-10, at EverBank Field in a game that followed a script that was easy to anticipate well before the game.
The Jaguars played really well on defense, holding defending Super Bowl champion Denver to 206 total yards and 10 first downs. They kept the score close. But the Jaguars' offense committed three turnovers and the defense forced none. The second half came and went without you ever getting the feeling that the Jaguars had an opportunity to win.
Quarterback Blake Bortles had three of the turnovers, and one of them was an interception returned for a touchdown. That's the 11th time in his career that has happened and the third time this season it has happened with all three of this season's Pick Sixes coming in the last four weeks.
The Jaguars are 2-10 now. They have lost seven consecutive games. They were officially eliminated from playoff contention Sunday after being eliminated in spirit weeks before.
I expect the in-box to have pretty much the same mood as the last few weeks, and you know what? It should have the same mood. There have been a lot of dark times around here in recent seasons. This is among the darkest. Sigh.
Let's get to it …
Sebastian from Mexico:
Awful game from Blake Bortles; the defense was fantastic.
John: This unfortunately for the Jaguars pretty much sums up the game. Bortles struggled with accuracy again on Sunday, but perhaps most concerning was he committed three more turnovers to bring his season total to a disturbing 19. That's 15 interceptions and four lost fumbles. Bortles' first interception Sunday was a pass that wide receiver Allen Robinson bobbled to allow cornerback Chris Harris to intercept but he also threw an interception that Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby returned 51 yards for a touchdown. Bortles also lost a fumble that led to the Broncos' game-clinching points in the fourth quarter – and it's just hard to win when the offense is turning the ball over at that rate. As for the defense … well, defensive players to a man afterward noted that they didn't make enough impact plays – i.e., turnovers, sacks, etc. This is true, but the defense allowed 206 total yards and 13 points. This one wasn't on the defense.
Mark from Glasgow, Scotland:
Bortles: 19/42 and two of those were in the last 30 seconds. Shocking, just shocking.
John: Well, it wasn't good – I'll grant you that.
Michael from Middleburg:
End of first quarter and Bortles hasn't thrown a pass that a receiver can catch yet.
John: Yeah, pretty much.
Kyle from Palm Harbor:
At 2-10, I'm not sure how the coaches haven't been fired yet. It's getting ridiculous. I have complete faith that changes are coming. #noreasontowatchthesegamesanymore
John: I wouldn't spend much energy waiting for a midseason coaching change – or wondering why you haven't seen one. Owner Shad Khan has said he doesn't believe in them and doesn't think they're beneficial in the NFL. Whether you agree or disagree or not, that is his belief and he has held true to that. I don't know what's going to happen after the season, though it's evident at 2-10 that everything in the football operations of this team will be evaluated and reconsidered moving forward.
Mike from Jacksonville:
A positive special teams play! Let's take advantage!
John: This was the much-anticipated, much-ballyhooed, much-discussed First Email of the Game – and yes, the Jaguars covered punts well early on Sunday. It's striking how beneficial it is when that's the case. Alas, it didn't last and the Jaguars' difficulties covering punts returned in a pretty glaring way in the second quarter. A 19-yard return and a 15-yard penalty on tight end Alex Ellis set up a Denver field goal at the end of the first half. It's hard to win close, low-scoring games giving away field position and points.
M from Jax:
When is enough enough????? Bortles is a cancer!! There are three absolutes in life: death, taxes and Bortles throwing a pick to cost you the game!! It's who he is; it's not going to change!!! How long do we have to watch this abomination until management concedes their mistake??? How long? What does letting him cost you four more games give you, unless you're just trying to improve your draft status! Lord I hope that's the reason, or they are just plain stupid!!
John: I imagine I'll have a better answer for this as the week goes on, and I still don't believe the Jaguars will make a quarterback change this season. But right now? Yes, it's hard to say that Bortles isn't prone to the Pick Six – and it's hard to say his mistakes aren't really, really crippling. That has been true more often than not this season and it sure hurt again Sunday.