JACKSONVILLE – Sigh.
Let's get to it …
Cory from Edmonton, Alberta:
That offense was bad. I went from watching the Jaguars be able to move the ball and hoping for touchdowns when Blake Bortles first started to just hoping for a punt and not a Pick 6. How is this just a blip and not regression?
John: In a sense, it is a regression – in the short-term sense. At the same time, it's not unprecedented and not entirely unexpected. Bortles is going through the process of having the game get more difficult as defenses learn how to game plan for him. Head Coach Gus Bradley mentioned this before the bye, and … well, it's real. Early in the season, Bortles played well against some defenses that didn't know his strengths and didn't know his tendencies. As time goes on, defenses figure out what works against a player. His charge now is to get better and deal with those looks. Let's not hang all of this on Bortles, though. Defensive coordinators also figure out what a team likes to do and what it can do. At first glance on Sunday it appeared that the Colts were going to take away the run with the idea that the Jaguars' passing game would have trouble beating them. I say, "Passing game" and not "Bortles" for a reason, because it didn't appear Bortles was missing open receivers and it didn't appear the line was protecting for long enough to allow routes to get open downfield. That was how it appeared at first glance. The video often reveals more details. The bottom line is the Jaguars are young and struggling on offense, and the struggles go beyond the young quarterback. Does it get fixed this season? We'll see.
Deb from Jacksonville:
O-Zone, how badly do these gentlemen really want to win?! I'm not seeing it.
John: They want to win, Deb. They're just not playing well enough to do it right now, particularly on offense. They may not be experienced or mature enough on offense to do it this season. They haven't been lately, certainly. We'll see if that changes.
Bobby from Section 236:
John, this ain't progress.
John: No, within the context of this season Sunday was not an improvement. There's no doubt that the defense overall this season is improved. That unit has played well at times this season and played well enough Sunday to give the Jaguars a chance to win the game. That didn't happen often last season. But within the context of this season, Sunday was not progress offensively. Not at all.
John from Jacksonville:
Bortles throws an interception on his first pass … what a surprise …
John: This was the first email received on Sunday. It pretty much set the tone. It wasn't a good game for Blake Bortles, and was particularly disappointing coming out of the bye. One question I got a lot was why Bortles didn't throw downfield more. It was hard to see at first glance why, but there were times Bortles seemed to be under too much pressure to throw downfield. Have to look at the replay. (Sigh).
Pat from Wayne, NJ:
Not going to blame Bortles. Not going to blame Denard. Won't blame the general manager or the coach. The offensive line is a joke. The run lanes aren't to be found and the pass protection might be the worst I've ever seen.
John: I've seen worse, but it wasn't good.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Another tipped kick … come on, what is going on with special teams?
John: What's going on is too many mistakes and too much penetration on too many Jaguars kicks this season. It has hurt. No doubt.
Matt from Yulee and Section 132:
I am the biggest Jag fan you will ever find, John. But I am sick to death of losing season after season. We HAVE to see more, quickly.
John: Yeah, this was a pretty common sentiment in the inbox, too. Hard to argue.
Bobby from Draper, UT:
I'm getting sick of this conservative stuff. The cornerbacks know that we are running short routes. Hey, jump the route and Blake Bortles throws it every time. Open up the playbook and take some shots. Double routes will help out a lot.
John: Yeah, we got this sentiment a lot. No doubt. I will say that in the first half it seemed like Bortles was under duress when he threw even short, and that makes it tough to throw downfield. But there was no question that the Jaguars' offense felt very bunched up much of the game for whatever reason. It's awfully hard to win that way.
Duval Doom fromSection217:
Still with the "DUUUUUVALLLLLLLLL" emails? Man, I live in Kingsland. I work in Jacksonville, but I've never lived THERE. Duval is a better (more original) way of saying "Jagnation", that's all. And it IS fun to say.
Geoff from Orlando and Section 243:
The offense couldn't have been more inept in the first quarter.
John: This email was sent before the third quarter.
Randy from Jacksonville:
Every President has left office with grey hair. After reading these questions every day.... have you turned grey yet??
John: Not yet. Then again, I've only been at this for three and a half years.