JACKSONVILLE – New week, same story.
And if losing pretty much always feels the same lousy way, the Jaguars' four-game losing streak that continued with a 23-17 loss to the New York Giants at TIAA Bank Field Sunday feels particularly repetitive and particularly lousy. And frustrating.
The Jaguars lost for a fifth time this season, with all losses by a score or less. All five were decided in the last two minutes. Critical, avoidable mistakes cost them in all five losses.
The Jaguars could be 5-2. Or 6-1. Instead, they're 2-5. Good teams win games because good teams make key plays at key times. The Jaguars aren't doing that right now and they won't snap this streak until they do.
Let's get to it …
Josh from Atlanta
This might be the most excruciating season I've seen. I mean … just wow.
My first thought was to respond that the season hasn't been excruciating because the Jaguars are improving and close whereas they hadn't been that for a while. But you know what? That's wrong. The Jaguars have lost five games by a score or less and have lost three games because of gut-wrenching turnovers in the red zone. So, yeah … that's excruciating.
Tyler in Section 242 from Jax
Wow, Duval, pretty embarrassing that even before the game starts I am disappointed. The amount of Giants fans was ridiculous.
This was not the much-ballyhooed, oft-disappointing, sometimes-deluded First Email of the Game because it actually came before the game. Yes, there were a lot of Giants fans at the game Sunday. This was as expected. They are a historical franchise from a large market and have many generations of fans. The fan base "travels" well and – like many such fan bases – they often have a lot of fans at road games in less-traditional markets. This is not new, nor is it unique to Jacksonville.
Greg from Boise, ID
Looks like James Robinson is being overshadowed by Travis Etienne Jr. Travis seems to be getting the bulk of the run calls. Is JR hurt or just becoming the No. 2 back?
Running back Travis Etienne Jr. is earning the bulk of the carries and snaps by being productive – and by being a threat to break a long run consistently.
Jeremy from Wise, VA
Pass rush is not getting ANY pressure.
Not enough, no.
Hermer from Ponce
So, when is this team is going to learn how to win? Tired of this.
The Jaguars are tired, too – probably more tired than you. It seems all we talked about – and wrote about and asked about – in the post-game locker room and press conferences Sunday was the inability to win close games. And the mistakes that cause the Jaguars to lose close games. It was a theme all week and has been the theme for a month – all season, really. Sometimes it's new things. Sometimes it's familiar things. Head Coach Doug Pederson's right when he says all there is to do is keep coaching and to keep getting in the situation to win. There's no magic formula. Eventually, you break through. One hopes.
Nick from St. Augustine, FL
So, I observed the offensive line, particularly the overpaid Cam Robinson. I gotta say they're not better than I believe.
The Jaguars had 452 yards total offense, rushed for 6.8 yards per carry and did not allow a sack on Sunday with two quarterback hits. It's always the offensive line in the NFL.
Dan from Fort Dodge, IA
Can't have stupid penalties that is all.
Dan from Birmingham, AL
This is the second time Doug has failed to challenge at a huge moment in the game. Why did he not challenge the Kirk end around?
Pederson after the game Sunday did discuss the decision not to challenge the spot on what appeared to be a first down on a five-yard run by wide receiver Christian Kirk on second-and-six from the Giants 26 early in the fourth quarter. He said part of the reasoning was you don't want to risk a challenge when you're third-and-one because third-and-one is a down and distance you ought to pick up. Although he didn't specifically say this, it's also very possible the Jaguars didn't quite have a view that made them absolutely sure Kirk gained the first down. I imagine Pederson would challenge if he had to do it over again.
Adrian from Live from Kickers Union
I know it's "always coaching" but the Jags have been in five games decided by one possession or less, at some point you have to take all the points you can get and kick the damn field goal.
It's easy to criticize Pederson for not kicking the field goal on fourth-and-one from the 20 Sunday. If he had opted to kick it, the Jaguars probably would have led 20-13 with just over 11 minutes remaining. But you're supposed to pickup fourth and one – particularly running as well as the Jaguars had been running. And if you pick up a first down there and score a touchdown, you go a long way toward ending the game. The right call in the NFL is the one that works. The wrong call is the one that doesn't.
Greg from Jacksonville
You are still the problem. You are still the curse. Once you leave, things will change.