HOUSTON, Texas – The Jaguars lost to the Houston Texans Sunday.
That was the result in the 2018 regular-season finale, but the post-game news dwarfed that:
Owner Shad Khan announced at end of the Jaguars’ 20-3 loss at NRG Stadium Sunday that the team will retain Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone moving forward.
The Jaguars, after winning the AFC South last season and advancing to the AFC Championship Game, started this season 3-1 before losing 10 of their last 12 games for a 5-11 finish. That finish prompted many observers to speculate about a change in leadership.
We learned shortly after Sunday’s game that there will be no change on that level, but change is inevitable in the NFL – and change inevitably will come at various places on the Jaguars’ roster. We’ll find out in the coming days and weeks just where and how extensively that change will come.
Let’s get to it. …
Michael from Middleburg
WHY IS YELDON SITTING ON HIS HUMP??
It was a newsy day for the Jaguars – as might be expected in the wake of a disappointing season. The news regarding both running back T.J. Yeldon and running back Leonard Fournette wasn’t nearly as pleasant as the news of Jaguars leadership returning. Fournette was inactive Sunday with a foot/ankle issue; Yeldon was active, but did not play. Both spent much of the game sitting on the bench, including when the Jaguars’ offense was on the field. Their actions were notable because inactive players often stand to watch the game. Players who are dressed for the game almost always do. A post-game statement from Coughlin aptly summed up the scene: “I am disappointed in the behavior today from T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette. They were disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.” With Yeldon an unrestricted free agent, Sunday almost certainly was his last game in a Jaguars uniform. Fournette, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, has two years remaining on his rookie contract. Marrone and many Jaguars players on Sunday talked in the post-game about the need to fix the culture of this locker room, and Marrone sounded determined to do so. Stay tuned.
Jeff from Orange County, CA
Is it me or was the Jaguars’ offense in the second half of the season historically bad?
Goodness gracious, man … it sure wasn’t good.
Big on Blake from Philly
If Blake is released Caldwell will be going with him. It’s plain as that. But, considering the contract, the available options, and the desired plan, keeping Bortles makes sense. Caldwell, however, may still be out. We all like Blake as a person. I hope he crushes the Texans today and at least gives Tom and Doug something to think about. Dave can think about what he will do with all his newly acquired free time.
This email came during the game. It reflected the mood of many before the game, and the post-game reaction to the news that Marrone, Caldwell and Coughlin all will return reflected the mood of the email. While people had begun to assume that Coughlin and Marrone would return, many readers assumed that Caldwell would not. I had written often in recent days that I thought there was a good chance Caldwell would return. There were many reasons for this, with Khan’s desire for stability foremost among them. As for quarterback Blake Bortles’ future, he talked after the game Sunday like a player who believes he won’t return. He didn’t say his much, but that was his tone. I doubt Bortles will be back, but stranger things have happened. Again … stay tuned.
Michael from Middleburg, FL
The offensive line has been much maligned this year, but I have noticed one thing they have gotten great at this year ... picking the quarterback up from the ground.
Hey! A funny guy!
Chris from Mandarin, FL
Telvin Smith misses like three tackles per game, but the two on the Texans first touchdown drive. woof.
Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith has struggled more than was expected this season. He hasn’t been alone, but that has been an issue this season far more than is ideal.
Stan from Jacksonville
The best thing about the Houston finale is that this horrible, disappointing season is finally over. Can’t wait to see TC and the team come up with some magic for next year. Jags players, a decimated team will struggle, no matter how good the “survivors” might be. Get rested. GET HEALTHY! See you next year.
This was the much-awaited, oft-ballyhooed, sometimes-disappointing First Email of the Game. Stan was EXCITED! As evidenced by the CAPITAL LETTERS and EXCLAMATION POINTS!! God love ya, Stan.
Matt from Bradford, UK
Gee, this offence is inept. Punters sure earn their money in Jacksonville.
Nelson from Jacksonville
No question, just an observation. We have to be the worst team currently playing in the NFL. I am glad this season is over. I don’t think I could stomach sitting through another game this year. The incompetent cats have taken all the fun out of football.