JACKSONVILLE – This is bad.
The Jaguars have lost three consecutive games after a 3-1 start, and the offense hasn't scored in the first half of the last three games.
The Jaguars are also minus-12 giveaway-takeaway-ratio this season – and if you don't know much that's bothering Head Coach Doug Marrone you weren't anywhere near TIAA Bank Field in the aftermath of a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Oh, this too: the Jaguars changed quarterbacks Sunday.
We don't yet know if the change is permanent, but Marrone on Sunday benched starting quarterback Blake Bortles early in the third quarter and backup Cody Kessler finished the game. That will be a major topic in the coming days because a quarterback change must be the major topic.
We don't yet know if Bortles will start next Sunday in London against the Philadelphia Eagles – and that will be the major topic within the major topic.
There are more topics with this team, too, of course. A struggling receiver corps. A defense not playing as well as anyone expected. Injuries. Post-game locker-room flareups. Etc.
All topics, and none of them pleasant.
That's how it is when you expected to be contending for the Super Bowl and instead have lost three consecutive games.
Sigh. Let's get to it it…
Bill from Jacksonville
Jaguars just benched their "franchise quarterback." Franchise quarterbacks don't get benched, John. That's not something that happens. The Blake Bortles era should be over.
You're right that franchise quarterbacks typically don't get benched. I don't know who called Bortles a franchise quarterback and who didn't. Maybe I did at some point, but this isn't a day to get lost in the weeds on labels. Marrone on Sunday afternoon called the quarterback competition open. He said the same was true of many offensive positions, but the most important offensive position is quarterback. I don't know what the future holds for Bortles. He has had one remarkable career reincarnation; that was last season when he quarterbacked the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game after briefly losing his job in the preseason. Can he reemerge after this? Will he get the chance? My guess is he starts against the Eagles next week, but that's a gut feeling and little more. We'll see.
Fred from Naples
John from Cocoa, FL
AAARRRGGGHHH!!! What happened to my Jaguars? I know we have sustained a lot of injuries, and then signed multiple free agents for depth. But none of that seems to be working. I am a diehard Jaguar fan, but I see our season starting to slip away. We need a win!!
There's not much to say to this email. The Jaguars' offense was never an elite unit this season, though it wasn't bad at the start of the season. Now, injuries indeed have created a situation where you wonder who is capable of making a big play and if that will ever happen. And yes, this does have the feel of a season slipping away. It doesn't have to slip away. And there is still time. But time is running short. Really short.
Kiel from Jacksonville
Got something stupid to say about getting shutout three first halves in a row EVER????
No. I have stupid things to say about a lot of other things, though. Check back tomorrow.
Mike from Rochester, NY
This is one of the most embarrassing displays of offense I've ever seen. This season is over. Blow this thing up.
I expected the Jaguars to struggle offensively Sunday. I didn't know what they were going to be able to call that felt like a strength or a go-to play. Their task moving forward is to find that. I'm not sure where that will come from.
Dan from Honolulu, HI
Stick a fork in them already John!
This was a common sentiment Sunday. It was hard to argue.
Mike from Royal Oak, MI
Myles Jack is a freak athlete but the difference between he and Poz coordinating the defense is glaring.
This is a logical conclusion to draw, but not one based much in fact. Paul Posluszny played only in base situations last season, which means he wasn't on the field and in nickel situations. Posluszny was a good player but his absence isn't why the Jaguars are 3-4.
Will from Corpus Christi, TX
What an embarrassment. I feel like burning my jersey and all my Kittyguars gear. It may be time to stop watching this sorry excuse of a "professional" football team.
When things go bad in the NFL because of injuries, sometimes it goes really bad. Sometimes it takes a while to pull out of that bad spell. This is one of those times.
Logan from Wichita, KS
LET'S GO JAGS!!! First time at TIAA Bank Field!!! Is it gonna be a day to remember?!?!?!
This was sent at 9:30 in the morning – hence, kinda, sorta, but-not-really qualifying for the First Email of the Game (or at least the day). My initial feeling was I hoped for Logan's sake the day would go well. I felt bad for Logan Sunday a lot after that initial feeling. And I don't feel bad for Logan that often.