EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – This was opportunity lost. Plain and oh-so simple.
That theme will be discussed a lot on this website and by anyone else covering and discussing the team. Sometimes, the theme is simple. This is one of those times because the Jaguars on Sunday simply squandered too many chances to win a game they could have and should have won. Sigh.
Let's get to it …
Mike from Rochester, NY:
This team is slowly killing me. In prior years I expected this. To start this season I expected this. Then after the Houston and Baltimore games, I felt a thing that I haven't in a long time: hope. I know we are still tied for first place but what I saw on offense just doesn't leave me believing this team is going places.
John: Sunday was excruciating, frustrating and will undoubtedly be a game the Jaguars look at Sunday night and Monday and believe they should have won. Players afterward talked about learning lessons from this game, and about it obviously being a major opportunity lost in disappointing fashion. I didn't get the feeling it was a locker room that would slide and lose faith after this loss. I actually was impressed with running back Leonard Fournette talking in a tone of leadership and essentially saying he believed the team would come together from this game. That's not a message that makes Sunday easier to take for players and coaches. But perhaps it's one that will prove prophetic. We'll see.
Clayton from Gambier, OH:
Why did the offensive staff decide to make Blake Bortles the focal point of the first half against the Jets?
John: The same reason they made him a focal point against the Ravens a week ago. They saw something in the Jets' defense that made them believe they could throw effectively – and had Bortles been as accurate as he was the previous week, they might well have been right. There were plays to be made in the passing game Sunday. Not enough got made.
Kent from Jacksonville:
I'm over Blake Bortles as a quarterback. He can't place a touch pass if his life depended on it. He has missed on too many intermediate routes. He can't hit deep. Was last week an aberration?
John: Bortles was really good a week ago, and looked really good early Sunday He struggled mightily in the last three quarters on Sunday. The tip/interception by Kony Early was another one of those plays that just seems to happen too often to Bortles. This game wasn't remotely on all on Bortles. The run defense will rightly receive a lot of criticism – and wide receiver Marqise Lee had too many, game-turning errors. But yeah … this looked like a step back for Bortles after a step forward a week ago.
Travis from High Springs, FL:
Hi John, the defense looked sluggish and undisciplined in the first half. Do you think that was fatigue from playing in London last week?
John: Nah. That will be something observers discuss, but I didn't get the feeling this team had tired legs or minds this week. I didn't get the idea defenders jumping out of lanes and allowing big runs was about playing in London last week. The Jaguars didn't play well for much of the game Sunday. It looked that simple.
Wilfredo from Corpus Christi, TX:
The passing game was completely off today. Not even close.
John: It was rough.
Shane from Atlanta, GA:
I'm just going to ask it ... why NOT us? Why can't we be the team that surprises everyone this year?
John: Hold on.
Shane from Atlanta, GA:
Never mind. I remember.
Brian from DUVAL COUNTY:
What about our defense being called the "The Jungle!?" Let's get this movement started.
John: Let's put the nicknames on hold for a spell.
Troy from Miami, FL:
Are the Jaguars a Super Bowl team?
John: Let's put this on hold for a spell, too.
Sid from Sidsonville:
I got a bad feeling about this game. This roller coaster season is gonna be rough.
John: This was the much-anticipated, much-balyhooed, oft-overhyped first email of the game. It proved rather prophetic.
JT from Rosamond, CA:
Win or lose this game the Jags need to correct the run defense quickly.
John: True, but this run-defense performance didn't feel like one that will be a season-long issue. The Jaguars aren't the biggest defensive front, so I don't know that this is an elite run defense. But a lot of the issues on Sunday appeared to be defenders getting out of gaps – i.e., trying to do someone else's job rather than their own. That makes for some ugly runs – and there certainly were such moments on Sunday. I suspect the Jaguars will talk a lot this week about the issue being fixable, and they'll be right. But they also need to get to fixing.