JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ron from Tallahassee, FL
Minshew looked unsure from the beginning when he dropped back to pass. Does Chark really have that big of an impact or was it something else? His struggles seemed eerily similar to some of his really bad games last season.
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II missed wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. Thursday in a 31-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins at TIAA Bank Field. There was no disputing that. Chark – who missed the game with a chest/back issue – is good enough to force defenses to play him with shaded coverage and safety help, and that allows other receivers to be open. Minshew also depends on Chark to be reliable and consistent – and to make catches in traffic. His absence matters. But you're right that Minshew's struggles were eerily similar to some of his difficult games last season. During the euphoria of Minshew Mania, it's easy to forget that there were games he really struggled last season. More than a couple. And when he struggled, it typically was against defenses that contained him in the pocket and took away deep throws – playing soft zone and rushing in a controlled way to keep him from scrambling. The Dolphins appeared to play him that way Thursday. It's where Minshew's arm strength and decision-making in the pocket come into play. And yes: It's a concern. Minshew and the Jaguars must figure how to be better against the defensive approach. It's a copycat league. Teams will defend this offense that way now until it doesn't work.
Alejandro from Mexico City, Mexico
And emails asking to fire Todd Wash starting to arrive in 3, 2, 1... OK, if it's not his fault, why is the team not able to stop anybody?
If Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone thought for one day – or one hour, or one second – that defensive coordinator Todd Wash was the problem with this defense, he would dismiss him that same day. Or same hour. Or same second. The team "can't stop anybody" because it's young overall defensively and undermanned on the interior and in the secondary. Being young on defense doesn't help. Not playing together much before this season doesn't help. COVID-19 opt-outs and retirements didn't help. The loss of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue didn't help. The defense has gotten better late in games, particularly in Weeks 1 and 2. It got its footing a little Thursday after an awful start. Those are good signs. Maybe the unit will figure out how to start quicker. It better.
Casey from Kingsville, TX
Please save the "rah-rah" speeches. How much more are Jaguar fans going to have to endure?
What "rah-rah" speeches? What does this even mean?
Jorge from Edmonton, Canada
I'm at a loss for words. How does this happen? How are they not ready to play again? How do they regress with more time to practice and more game tape? How do they keep playing worse against teams with less talent? Heads have to roll after a performance like that. That's all there is to it.
It's tough to explain the slow defensive starts. I would refer to the email before last that I just don't know if the experience or front-line talent is good enough on all three levels of the defense for the unit to be as consistent as is necessary. The defense has shown it can make plays at times, and a few of those times came at really important times late in the first two games of the season. That's good. Perhaps the Jaguars can build on that. But the youth in the secondary is an issue. And the lack of pass rush on the defensive front is an issue. Though I'm not quite sure what you mean by more time to practice; NFL teams don't really practice at all on short weeks. As far as heads rolling following Thursday's loss … that would surprise me. I don't see Marrone parting ways with coaches after Week 3. I'd be surprised if he parts ways with any coaches during the season, but particularly after just three games.
Derek from Brookings
Our defense makes me sad...
Well, they damned sure weren't giddy about it, Derek.
David from Ada, OK
Deja vu. That's French for this sucks.
No, David … it's not. Deja vu actually is French for a feeling that one has lived through a present situation before. It's sort of like … oh, wait. I get it.
Jeremy from Omaha, NE
Let's be clear, Minshew will never quarterback this team to a Super Bowl win.
We're not there yet.
Roger from Houston, TX
They are who we thought they were.
The Jaguars were bad Thursday, so if you thought they were going to be bad … then yeah, they were who you thought they were Thursday. But I'm not sure one Thursday game erases two pretty well-played games to start the season. The thought here is that it doesn't. Or shouldn't. Now, if the Jaguars play poorly in Cincinnati in 10 days…
Eric from Columbus, IN
Sooo ... James Robinson is still what we thought he was at least...
It was a little tricky discerning from your email if you were praising or criticizing Jaguars rookie James Robinson. I'll assume it was the former because praise – in Robinson's case, at least – indeed was deserved. Robinson, a free-agent rookie, remains a bright spot for the Jaguars. This is all the more remarkable because the Jaguars have trailed early in every game this season. That means his opportunities have been limited a bit because the Jaguars have been in so many passing situations. But yes … Robinson has been a find. If that's what you're saying. And I think it was.
Bill from Jupiter, FL
I'd kind of like to get a look at Luton
We're a long way from seeing rookie quarterback Jake Luton. This team is committed to quarterback Gardner Minshew, and the Jaguars darned sure aren't going bench him after one bad game – as difficult as that one game may have been.
Brandon from Louisville, KY
They were never in the game.
Will from Jacksonville
John from Jacksonville
John, This Swiss Cheese D scheme Wash is running is really unique, holes everywhere. Todd Wash = D Coordinator of the Year.
Yes, Wash will be blamed. Hell, when he speaks to the media next week, Wash will blame himself. And that's all fine. If we can really look at the Jaguars' defensive roster and think that it's a great roster with a lot of great, experienced players then, yes … I suppose then we can fairly say it's Wash's fault. I can't say that. I suppose some people can.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
How concerning was this game? Fluke or warning sign for troubled waters ahead?
It was concerning, because it wasn't a fluke. The defense has struggled through huge swaths of all three games, and there hasn't been much of a sign that the pass rush is going to improve dramatically. The youth in the secondary is also real – and probably not something they can address during the season. Minshew's play on Thursday was a concern, too. Now: Being concerned about all these things doesn't mean those things can't be fixed. Or that those things can't improve. But those issues absolutely must improve. In a hurry.
Hulk, Baby, Yeah
Looks like they finally *BLEEPED* the bed. Where do we go from here?
Jags Fan 818
Poor play all around. James Robinson had a couple of nice runs, but what happened? Maybe the spotlight was too much for them.
I don't know that it was as much the spotlight as a lack of front-line talent on defense, a very young secondary and an offense playing without Chark. It also was an offense that didn't convert on third downs as efficiently as the first two games. The Jaguars were playing in a thin margin in Weeks 1 and 2. They were successful offensively in large part because they converted 62.5 percent of third downs. That number dropped to 30 percent Thursday. Drives got shorter. Points got scarce. Whereas there were comebacks in Weeks 1 and 2, on Thursday it was just sporadic play and frustration.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
Yea, I'm cool with the Jags getting no national attention or primetime games after this showing. Defense is swiss cheese and the offense was average. One of the uglier Jags games I've watched.
Well, it sure wasn't pretty.
Alex from Wasau, WI
WOW! This team is not even close. What a pathetic showing.
It was one game. I'm not saying this team will contend. I said throughout the offseason I believed this team's ceiling was six-to-eight games and I believed as much during the giddiness of the first two games of the season. Thursday was ugly, but it doesn't have to set the tone for the final 13 games.
Nick from Milton, Ontario
Darned right they were.