O-Zone Late Night: Saints 13, Jaguars 6
JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars lost a second consecutive game Sunday.
This one was notably frustrating for a few reasons. The biggest was the offense that had looked so good for three weeks suddenly didn't, and that was particularly true of quarterback Gardner Minshew II.
Minshew on Sunday looked for the first time like what he is – i.e., a rookie.
Another reason a 13-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field Sunday afternoon was frustrating was while the Jaguars struggled offensively and never led, they also were very much in the game – particularly for the first three and a half quarters.
The defense responded to last week's 34-27 loss to Carolina with its best performance in three weeks. It stopped the run, had three sacks and was stifling at times. It wasn't a perfect performance defensively, but – frustratingly – it was good enough to win.
Head Coach Doug Marrone said it best afterward when he talked about the need to play well in all three phases. The Jaguars haven't done that enough this season. It's why they're 2-4 and two games out of first place instead of being in control of the AFC South.
A lot of things about this team have been good at times. A lot of things haven't been good enough. That has been the story for six games, and it was the story again Sunday.
Let's get to it …
Terry from Jacksonville
Looks like the offense isn't that great.
Welcome to the NFL. It's a week-to-week league. That's particularly true when you have a rookie quarterback. Minshew II had been remarkably productive and consistent in five previous appearances. The Saints on Sunday utilized a defensive look that Minshew hadn't seen – keeping him in the pocket and forcing him to make plays in the passing game consistently in the middle of the field. It surprised the Jaguars. They didn't adjust to it well enough, and that's not uncommon when playing with a rookie quarterback. The unusual thing wasn't that Minshew struggled Sunday as much as it had taken him so long to have a difficult game. It happens. It's why quarterback's a brutally difficult position and why so few rookies do it well consistently.
Steve from Nashville, TN
When is Nick Foles eligible to return?
Emiel from Texas
If that wasn't blatant pass interference, what is?
You're talking about a non-interference call late in the fourth quarter with Saints safety Mario Williams covering Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley. Head Coach Doug Marrone challenged the play, and review unsurprisingly upheld the non-call on the field. This follows the overriding pattern in the NFL this season with the newly implemented rule allowing pass interference to be challenged. This is not surprising that replay is upholding so many calls; pass interference is typically enough of a judgement situation that it's going to be difficult to find "clear-and-obvious" evidence to overturn a call. I wrote repeatedly that implementing replay on interference was a bad idea that would solve nothing, and I have seen nothing to make me believe I was wrong.
Renee from Jacksonville
The Jags are pedestrian, mediocre, below average at best. Sigh ... go Jags.
We'll see. The Jaguars are 2-4 and that's disappointing considering the excitement after a victory over the Broncos moved them to 2-2. But remember: this two-game stretch against Carolina and New Orleans was always going to be difficult. I wrote when the Jaguars were 2-2 that I believed they could drop to 2-4 then recover and get fans excited again by winning their next three games. The Jaguars have accomplished the first part of that sentence. Let's see how they do with the second before we write off the season.
Logan from Wichita, KS
JUST ONE TIME COULD WE NOT SHOOT OURSELVES IN THE FOOT WITH PENALTIES?!?!?! 1 DAMN TIME!!!!! JUST ONCE!?!?!?!?!
Art from Drexel Hill
Either fine cornerback Jalen Ramsey or put him on injured reserve. I've never seen something handled so childishly. I lost all respect for him at this point.
Ramsey was deactivated for a third consecutive game because of a back injury. He reportedly watched the first quarter and part of the third and went to the locker room afterward. I assume he needed to rest his back.
Adam from Jacksonville
Yo Brogurt!!! Feeling good dude!!!
Duval 'til we die.
Big on Blake from Philly
Our Boys came to play today! #gapdiscipline
This was the much-ballyhooed, oft-discussed, always-available First Email of the Game. Big on Blake was excited about the early performance of the Jaguars' run defense, and with reason. The defense started off playing very well Sunday, particularly against the run. The unit faltered in that area a bit late, but only a bit. This wasn't a spectacular effort defensively, but it was solid. And it was good enough to win had the offense functioned.
Jerell from Columbia, SC
Jags pash rush stinks.
Thank you, Jerell.