INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This one felt as miserable as the score.
Quarterback Nick Foles' first start in two months hardly could have gone worse. The run defense hardly could have been worse. A lot for the Jaguars hardly could have been worse.
The result was the Jaguars lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 33-13, at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday – a game that further dampened already fading postseason hopes.
What to say? How to break this one down?
That's not easy. Very little went right.
The Jaguars stayed close through the first half despite struggling against the run, and despite Foles and the offense struggling in the second quarter after a hot start. Nothing went right after that, and the Colts pulled away with touchdowns on their first three second-half drives.
Head Coach Doug Marrone talked a lot afterward about needing to do a better job, and about it being a performance-based business. The Jaguars didn't perform Sunday, and the result was a second consecutive one-sided loss in the division.
It's time to stop talking playoffs, at least until this team wins enough to force its way back into the conversation. What's more concerning is the team played so poorly in back-to-back games that at one time appeared to mean so much.
This was a bad one. This was ugly. This was hard to explain.
Let's get to it …
_David from EC _
How long will we stick with Foles?
Head Coach Doug Marrone said after the game Sunday Foles will remain the quarterback going forward. I expect this to continue to be a conversation, and the hue and cry for rookie Gardner Minshew II will increase if Foles struggles again as he did Sunday.
Scott from Harvey, LA
Why is our run defense so bad?
It's more inconsistent than it is bad, though the Jaguars' defense unquestionably was bad Sunday against the Colts. Either way, the struggles or inconsistency starts with being undersized up front. It also involves the Jaguars needing to get better at defensive tackle moving forward and struggling at times this season to stay in gaps and lanes. Another factor Sunday: the Colts are a good running team that likes to run right at teams; that has caused a problem at times this season for the Jaguars and it caused a problem at times Sunday.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
How do you spend the bye week talking about how you have to be better against the run, and come out and perform like this?
See previous answer.
Dean from Rochester, NY
Does he still give us the best chance to win?
Yes. I believe Foles still gives this team the best chance to win. Marrone certainly believes it, which matters far more than the first part of this answer.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
Pathetic effort by the defense. They gave up a 3rd and 19?!? Hey, Jags: Stop the run!!!
The other Michael from Middleburg, FL
No one gives a rip who the quarterback is when you can't stop the run.
Mike from Jacksonville
Players have to make plays and coaches have to put players in positions to make plays, neither are happening on defense. This team is too talented to play this poorly on that side of the ball, at what point is it coaching?
It might be time to rethink the narrative of the Jaguars' talent on defense. It's not a bad defense sometimes. It's a defense that can still clearly rush the passer well given the opportunity. But is it "one of the NFL's most-talented defenses?" Until it stops the run more consistently it's hard to make that case.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
Some of that draft capital needs to be invested early in O-line. More than they normally do.
OK, but don't overlook defensive tackle.
CMo from Jacksonville
I think our coaches forgot to pack our run defense for the Indy trip. Hope they caught a later flight and show up before the game is out of reach. #not again.
This was the Much-Ballyhooed, Always-Awaited, Sometimes-Mood-Altering First Email of the Game. The First Email of the Game isn't always on point. This one was.
Jim from Jagsonville
First the holding call on the Colts reversed to the Jaguars, then the non-pass interference, and ending the half with a mystery penalty on Jacksonville? Keep telling me the ref's aren't against us? Go Jaguars!!
Of course, of the referees are against the Jaguars. The officials are against every team in the NFL. Just ask their fans.
Sascha from Cologne
Ohh John, didn't the coaches talk about a focus in the bye on the improvement of the run d? Did they forgot to tell the players? Seems like it really is always coaching …
When a team allows the sort of yards the Jaguars allowed Sunday, there are a lot of reasons. Coaching. Missed tackles. Missed lanes. Missed assignments. But sure … it's always easiest to say coaches didn't adjust.
Jerell from Columbia, SC
D.J. Hayden is the best cornerback on the team and may be the best defender. Why is he not traveling with the best wide receiver? Better yet, why is he not starting alongside A.J. Bouye?
DJ Hayden is a nickel corner.
Burt from Wisconsin
Stick a fork in it, this year is done!
It's hard to argue that. The Jaguars need to prove you wrong. That's a tall order.