JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars played well in a lot of areas.
That perhaps was a positive to take from Sunday, with the obvious "not-as-positive" being that playing well in many areas wasn't quite enough in the Jaguars' 27-25 loss to the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field.
Jake Luton played well – really well for a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start and taking his first NFL snaps.
Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. played well, catching seven passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.
The offensive line played well and running back James Robinson played well behind the line – running for 99 yards and a touchdown in 26 carries.
Even the Jaguars' defense played well – compared to how it played during the first six games of what is now a seven-game losing streak, anyway. The defense forced a big turnover, recorded two sacks, and got the Texans off the field three times in the fourth quarter to give the Jaguars an opportunity for a game-tying final drive.
It wasn't enough, which means the Jaguars are 1-7. They begin the toughest part of their 2020 schedule next week against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
That's right. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack are up next.
Let's get to it …
Jim from Jagsonville
Go get em, Jake! Beginning of a new era in Jacksonville? Go Jaguars!
This was the oft-cited, much-ballyhooed, always-anticipated First Email of the Game. It came right after Luton's 73-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. on the game's third play. Jim was excited. Many people were excited. Luton presumably was excited. And you know what? The excitement lasted. Luton, playing for injured (and struggling) starter Gardner Minshew II, played well. He passed for 304 yards and a touchdown, leading an 80-yard drive that nearly tied the game late. He showed poise and a lot of the physical attributes – arm strength, velocity, size – you want from an NFL quarterback. It's a good start for the rookie. It's far too soon to say it's the beginning of a new era, but who knows?
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL
Any chance we can put Minshew's brain into Luton's body?
No disrespect to Minshew, but what did we see Sunday that made us think there's anything wrong with Luton's brain?
Dean from Rochester, NY
Why wasn't the delay of game part of the review of the touchdown?
You're referencing what should have been a delay-of-game penalty before Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for a 77-yard touchdown to wide receiver Will Fuller in the third quarter. It was a play that drew the ire of Head Coach Doug Marrone, though he declined to discuss it afterward because of NFL policies regarding criticizing officiating. Yes, the play should have been a penalty. Replays showed at least two seconds passed between the play clock turning to :00 and the ball being snapped. The reason it wasn't part of the review of the touchdown was delay is not a reviewable penalty under NFL rules.
Jon from Southampton, UK
Wow, who is that massively-out-of-his-depth cornerback playing for us? Number 23, I think. I hope he's not some first-round pick or something ...
This references Jaguars rookie cornerback CJ Henderson. And within the context of Sunday's game and a few others this season, this is fair. He allowed a 77-yard touchdown Sunday. He also had a 50-yard pass interference penalty that led to a touchdown. Both hurt. He has struggled since Week 1. It's an issue. It doesn't mean he can't improve, but it's an issue.
Blues Man from Jacksonville
John.... Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is going to end up costing us a draft pick. Every time CBS showed him, he was wearing his facemask under his chin, and they made mention of it. He's been doing this all season. He better not cost us a pick!!
Art from Drexel Hill, PA
How many 30-point games do you have to give up in a row before you think your defensive coordinator stinks? Ten? Anyone can be elite with elite talent.
I suppose the time to start thinking the defensive coordinator stinks is when there's evidence to suggest the Jaguars' defensive talent is underperforming. So far, no go.
Ron from Tallahassee, FL
I just can't make myself root for the Jags to lose. I know picking a quarterback early in the draft is what this team needs, but I just can't separate emotion from reason. #DTWD
Austin from Jacksonville
Has Myles Jack been reading his criticisms? He's playing at an All-World level in the 1st half.
This email came late in the first half Sunday. It could have been sent at any point in any game this season. Jaguars weakside linebacker Myles Jack has been playing at a high level all season and didn't play as poorly last season as many believed. He's good. He always has been good. He's playing better this season than ever, but he was always good.
Sascha from Cologne
Hey, John. I didn't like the play calling early. Predictable run on first down and afterwards only passing attempts. Give our best weapon on offense more chances. Is that too easy to say from outside or what's the plan here?
Luton was taking his first NFL snaps on Sunday, and you emailed early in the second quarter. It's fair to allow Gruden to let Luton work his way into the game a little. Maybe?
Jerell from Columbia, SC
When can we expect to see people held accountable for the horrible product put on the field under his tenure? Is tough conversations something Jaguars Owner Shad Khan struggles with?
I don't know. No.
Jimsure from DBS
Big O, is it wrong to cheer for the Jets to win a couple games to ensure we get the No.1 pick?