JACKSONVILLE – So, the Jaguars are now 0-5.
They played well in spots Sunday – particularly offensively in the first half. And they weren't bad for a stretch defensively in the second half. All of that made for an exciting few minutes early in the fourth quarter of a 37-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field.
A couple of truths:
The game didn't feel quite as one-sided as the final score.
And the team in a very real sense is finding an offensive identity, with running back James Robinson having a career-best day Sunday and with rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence continuing to mature and grow before our eyes.
Here's the bigger truth:
While growth matters, close losses are still losses. It's not enough in the NFL to do what the Jaguars did Sunday – which was to play well enough for a spurt to get in position to kind of get close early in the fourth quarter.
Good teams take that situation and pull out a victory. Teams that aren't there yet take that situation and lose. The Jaguars aren't there yet. On to London and the Miami Dolphins.
Let's get to it …
JT from Palm Coast
Jaguars gonna do Jaguars things.
This game Sunday did feature many things that have hurt the Jaguars this season. They're not making big plays at critical times and they're making mistakes at critical times. They had a chance to get back in the game in the fourth quarter and didn't. And then once they didn't score near the goal line, the defense – which had played well for three consecutive series – allowed the Titans to drive and change field position. The game wasn't over when the Titans stopped running back Carlos Hyde for a four-yard loss on 4th-and-1. Just over 10 minutes remained. The Jaguars still had a chance and the Titans outplayed them after that.
_Outraged Jag from Atlanta _
You absolutely CANNOT convince me that the league doesn't use officiating to keep this team languishing in order to drive fans away and convince Jaguars Owner Shad Khan to relocate the team somewhere that would provide greater revenues.
You're not remotely correct, but I'm positive you're right that I can't convince you. Three calls in particular stood out Sunday: A fumble by Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold that could have been ruled an incomplete pass but instead was returned by Titans safety Kevin Byard for first-quarter touchdown. An incomplete pass by Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill that could have been ruled a sack/fumble and Jaguars ball in the third quarter. Lawrence getting ruled down at the 1 early in the fourth quarter for what could have been a touchdown. All were close. All went against the Jaguars. I thought all could have gone the other way. They didn't. Overcome the call. Stop the Titans after the incomplete pass. Get your own turnover. Score on the play after Lawrence's touchdown. All teams get bad calls. Good teams make plays to overcome the calls. Struggling teams don't.
Clayton from Mandarin
The first game the Jags win the turnover battle is the first game the Jaguars win.
Josh from Fernandina Beach (via Ft. Lauderdale)
Zone: Another frustrating loss. Fortunately, our problems this year are different than our problems last year and for most prior years in as much as the long-term quarterback situation seems bright. Looking forward to getting a win.
Lawrence is going to be good – probably great. That's more obvious by the week. That's the important thing in the short term. And losing sucks in the short term. Both are true.
Rob from Jacksonville
What an inspiring start. In reality, after a couple plus decades of this we should be used to it. Go Jags.
This was the always-exciting, much-ballyhooed, wildly-anticipated First Email of the Game – and it didn't quite reflect what followed. Yes, Sunday started horrifically for the Jaguars when Byard returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown a minute into the game. But the Jaguars' response was impressive. They got back into it. This wasn't an uninspired performance Sunday. There was effort. There were just too many mistakes and not enough big plays – like most Jaguars games so far this season.
Sascha from Cologne
Hey John, it gets more and more obvious that the receiving corps is not as good as we have thought at the begin of the season. They are just not able to get separation. Seems that has to be a focus next year
KC from Orlando
Adding injury to insult in the 4th-and-1, would Shatley be the next man up to man the center position with Linder out? Two weeks and two starters out with 12 more games to go … our margin of victory keeps getting smaller: [Running back Travis] Etienne Jr., [wide receiver DJ Chark [Jr.], [right guard AJ.] Cann, [center Brandon] Linder. Next man up keeps stacking up against us. _
Linder indeed sustained what Head Coach Urban Meyer said was an ankle/medial collateral ligament injury on the 4th-and-1 play from the 1 on which Hyde lost four yards. Potential good news is that Meyer said the injury may not be as severe as it first seemed. Either way, it would seem Linder certainly would be out for an extended time. Yes, Tyler Shatley would replace Linder. And yes … attrition has set in for the Jaguars. It's October. That's when attrition commonly becomes NFL reality.
Royce from Jacksonville
How many times can a team kick the ball into goal post and win?
Mike from Atlanta, GA
It's been a while since we've made a field goal, hasn't it?
Andres from México city
Maybe it is time to move on from Meyer, the team does not look playing Hard.
I didn't see that Sunday. Though how the Jaguars would play Sunday was a major storyline considered the off-field issues surrounding Meyer, it was hard to make the case the Jaguars didn't play hard. They didn't play well in spots. But they got down early a couple of times in the first half and responded offensively pretty quickly and decisively. They also had a crucial early mistake and a couple of missed opportunities. But it didn't look like a team that had quit.