LONDON – The story repeated itself Sunday. Yet again.
The Jaguars' 21-17 loss to the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium featured all-too-similar storylines and their losing streak grew to five.
The loss came in the final minutes. The Jaguars led in the second half. They led by double digits early. The defense allowed a late touchdown. The offense could not produce a late drive.
This loss had the added storyline of quarterback Trevor Lawrence throwing two really costly – and really avoidable – interceptions. As might be expected in these circumstances, the inbox is toxic and reactionary and overall, not a happy place.
Panic has set in among the readers. Everything stinks and will stink forever more. Welcome to 2-6. Hallelujah and here we go.
Let's get to it …
Tristian from Crystal River, FL
How many more of these before we accept that Trevor Lawrence is not the guy? Pathetic stat line, and the eye test didn't look any better.
A lot more. At least nine more because that's how many games remain in this season and Lawrence will get that many more. And I expect he will get a lot next season. Maybe all of them. He struggled big-time Sunday. He made mistakes at key times and has done so multiple times this season. But he still overall has been better this season than last, and there's still plenty of reason to believe he will fulfill the potential that made him the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. This story isn't yet written just as it wasn't written in September and won't be written by any single game this season. People weary of me writing "Stay tuned" in these situations. Stay tuned.
Mike from Lakeland
Doug should probably take any play call from the shotgun off the table in goal-to-go or short yardage situations. Week in and week out it's failed.
You're referencing Lawrence's first interception Sunday, which came out of shotgun on first-and-goal from the one. Lawrence has to throw the ball away there. And the Jaguars need those plays to work in the short- and long-term. Head Coach Doug Pederson's not going to take them "off the table."
Greg from Boise, ID
So, what's the excuse this week? You keep saying not the same old Jags, but they sure are a lot alike. How many years are we going to same old thing?
The Jaguars have lost six close games this season. Sometimes the defense hasn't held the lead. Other times the offense has failed in the final minutes. Sometimes Lawrence has made big mistakes. Other times other players have made mistakes. This a young team in the first season of a rebuild with a second-year quarterback in his first season in a new offense. I suppose that's what you mean by excuse." Maybe. Whatever. It's there for all to see. No one likes it. It's what they are. It's where they are. For now.
George from Savannah
John, Getting to six wins this year may be a formidable task.
Charles from Savannah
Will Doug Pederson be in Jacksonville next year? I hope so. I think this team and the coaches need more time.
I can't imagine a scenario in which Pederson is not the Jaguars' head coach next season. And he absolutely should be the Jaguars' head coach next season.
Tom from Jacksonville Beach
O, have we locked up the first pick yet?
I would be surprised if the Jaguars have the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Sneaky Pete from Jacksonville
A sack and a takeaway during the first two defensive series … is the aggressive D back?
This was the much-ballyhooed, never-transactional, oft-regrettable First Email of the Game – and the Jaguars did start Sunday better defensively than they had in recent weeks. Defensive lineman Arden Key registered a drive-ending on the Broncos' first series and cornerback Tyson Campbell intercepted Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson on the ensuing series to set up the Jaguars' first touchdown. The defense played well much of the first half. Then it allowed a late first-half touchdown. And a 98-yard third-quarter drive. And a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter. Oh well.
Joshua from Virginia Beach, VA
After a tough loss to Denver, what do you think the biggest problem is for Jacksonville? They have lost five straight games by one score and lost it in a different way each week. Any thoughts?
They can't close games. Lawrence is making too many mistakes at key times and he's not yet making big plays late in games. And the defense can't stop teams in big situations in the fourth quarter.
Dan from Ponte Vedra, FL
Not so much a question but I would like to get your thoughts on this. Right now, Trevor is holding this team back with crucial mistakes at big moments.
On Sunday? Yes. A couple of other times this season? Yes. All the time this season? No. Often enough time to be convinced he won't be good? No, no, no, no.
Andy from Halifax
Not the same team but it is the same story every week. It is hard to appreciate improvement under these circumstances.