INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This was a weird one.
It was weird to watch the way the Jaguars lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 23-17, at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday. And weird to try to analyze, too.
The Jaguars were very bad early on offense and defense, which was why they trailed 17-0 late in the first quarter. They were bad offensively much of the game, which was why it felt for much of the game like no matter how they scrapped and clawed they weren't going to win.
But they were very good defensively for three quarters, and they were OK offensively for a couple of series. They also were damned scrappy and gutty, which was why late Sunday that had a very real chance to beat a contending team for a second consecutive week after all.
Victory didn't happen. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence lost a fumble with just under a minute remaining, and the Jaguars lost when they were surprisingly close to winning for a third time in four games.
Weird? Yeah, it was weird. So, there's a lot to parse through.
Let's get to it …
Robert from Middleburg
I'm not close to tapping the panic button yet. But … it has been a minute since Trevor has played well. Is he regressing? Ease my mild concerns, Great O.
This promises to be a major theme this week, perhaps for the rest of the season. I said and wrote last week that I worried this team's defining offensive limitations – particularly at wide receiver – were going to cause people to worry about and criticize Lawrence the rest of the season. Sunday showed why. Lawrence wasn't great. He said afterward he must improve his accuracy. But too often there's nothing downfield – and seemingly just as often, catchable passes are dropped. That makes an already tricky NFL learning curve steeper than necessary.
Chuck from Jacksonville, FL
That loss was on Trevor. Take him out of the line of fire for a week?
No. No, no, no.
JT from Palm Coast
Watching our offensive football give me heartburn. Bad offensive football makes football look impossible. This team desperately needs an offensive production overhaul in the offseason. Three or four wins seems to be the absolute cap that this team is capable of winning this year.
I could see this team winning three or four more games this season. I could see that because I like a lot about what the Jaguars are starting to do defensively. It's also encouraging that the team hasn't quit – as evidenced by the final three quarters Sunday. But yes … some serious improvement must be made offensively. This team lacks explosiveness and go-to offensive players. It's difficult to win in the NFL these days lacking that.
Gary from Fleming Island
Mike from St. Augustine, FL
Houston, we have a defense.
The Jaguars' defense indeed was impressive Sunday. Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was brutally effective, but the Jaguars adjusted defensively and were very good in the final three quarters – perhaps a good as they were throughout a 6-3 victory over Buffalo a week ago. That was winning defense Sunday. It's for real – and it's encouraging.
Jay from London
Is that the worst start to a game any team has ever had? I can't think what would make it worse...
Sunday was not the worst start to a game any team ever has had.
Ryan from Reality
Not good, John. Not good.
This was the much-anticipated, over-ballyhooed, mega-fun First Email of the Game – and it came in a first quarter that featured a blizzard of big plays. Most of those plays favored the Colts, so yeah … it was not good. Much of the first quarter in fact was really bad for the good guys. It got a lot better defensively. It got a little better offensively. As noted above … weird game.
Just A Fan from Duval
Did I just hear you say Hyde played well against the Bills on the Jags pregame? Did he fumble in the red zone?
Good ear. I did say during Sunday's pre-game radio show that running back Carlos Hyde played well against Buffalo. (This came shortly before the aforementioned First Email of the Game). I didn't say he played great. I didn't say he was the reason the Jaguars won. I didn't say they should have taken his shoes and put them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I said he played well. And except for a fumble late in the first half when he was making an extra effort surge, he did.
Gregg from Jax
What happened to the team that played in Jaguars uniforms last week?
It's a week-to-week league.
JT from Palm Coast
At this point do we even continue trying to make extra points? Honest question because our kicking game might be the worse I can ever remember. Ridiculous
Matthew Wright missed an extra point for the Jaguars Sunday; it should be noted that's the second extra point he has missed since joining the team. That's not ideal, but it's not horrific considering how many conversions are getting missed around the league these days. It also should be noted that Wright has kicked some significant and clutch field goals for this team in both of its victories. And if you believe this is the worst kicking situation in franchise history you were fortunate enough not to have watched the 2020 1-15 season all that closely. It was worse. Much worse.
Adam from St Johns, FL
Lawrence very rarely has someone to throw to when hits the pocket. Which throws timing off, etc. He's struggling to make a play and it's maddening that the Jags roll the same sorry wide receivers out every single week.