SAN DIEGO, California – Sigh.
There's really not a lot of analysis to do in the wake of Chargers 38, Jaguars 14. This was unexpected, and it sure didn't fit the mindset of this team all week.
This was one-sided and ugly from the start, and it was disturbing for a lot of reasons. The Jaguars must do something fast to turn what happened Sunday into something different. We'll see if they can.
And yes, the in-box was a mean, ugly place. With reason.
Let's get to it …
Kris from Atlanta, GA:
Why do I keep watching this for eight years? It's painful!
John: I have answered a lot of O-Zone questions after a lot of ugly games in five-plus seasons doing this. Fans' emails are often understandably emotional and quick-trigger, but I didn't find anything quick-trigger about the reaction Sunday. Fans were angry. They were disappointed. They thought the outcome was ridiculous. There was little argument to be made. I firmly believed throughout the week that the Jaguars would play well in San Diego. I thought they would win. I thought they would break a lot of hexes and show that they were truly an improved team. I was really, really, really wrong. I don't think Sunday proves they're not improved. I think there's still talent on this team to forge something better from this season. But I cannot in good conscious write in this O-Zone Late Night that what fans saw Sunday was anything but disappointing and disturbing. The first half was bad, plain and simple. The second half wasn't different enough to matter.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Jags are pathetic.
John: This was the much-anticipated, ballyhooed first email of the game. It came unsurprisingly from Jerell. I anticipated being able to lampoon him for jumping to conclusions. I was not able to do any such lampooning on Sunday.
Bill from Folkston, GA:
Well, not even halftime yet and Bortles has thrown an interception and fumbled. The defense has yet to stop San Diego and our offense seems like as usual it just can't do anything in the first half. I am thinking of starting the bye week early. Why not get Jack in now?
John: This was not the much-anticipated first email of the game, but it did hold some truths. It was a bad start for the offense reminiscent of last season and some of the mistakes by Bortles were reminiscent of some of last season's struggles, too. As for why not play Jack … the same reasons hold true as before: the Jaguars' linebackers playing in front of him, Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith, know the scheme better and were therefore starting. As for when he will play … well, I can't help think it will be soon. We'll see.
Gary from Fleming Island, FL:
Have the coaches not yet learned that Bortles cannot throw a down and in? This is two games in a row that they have called that play in the first series and both times he threw behind the receiver, was intercepted, and resulted in a touchdown. That is poor coaching.
John: I'm not going to sit behind this laptop and write that anything the Jaguars did in the first half or indeed much of the game was un-poor. But to blame the coaches for Bortles twice this season throwing behind his receiver on what should be a makeable NFL throw is not correct. Bortles has to be able to make the two throws that have been tipped into the air for interceptions this season. And he can't make the one he forced into coverage late in the second quarter, either. I believe he's an ascending, capable young quarterback. He's also one with growing left to do. Sunday's first half was an example of the latter.
Brian from Dunwoody, GA:
I try to stay calm, but this defense showed up incredibly weak and this offensive play-calling is garbage. This team has strengths, this team has playmakers, and it seems like we're trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Can we please just let Blake come out firing?
John: I have a tough time after Sunday's game making the argument that the solution to all things that ailed the Jaguars Sunday would be to have let Bortles "come out firing."
Blake from Seattle:
John: I gave this one some thought before I responded. First thought: No, the season obviously is not over. There are 14 games remaining and that's obviously plenty of time to turn things around. Second thought: Well, if the Jaguars can't respond to this, learn something from it and have this sort of performance not happen … well, if that can't happen this season that began so short a time ago with some pretty decent expectations indeed could be over in a hurry.