JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton and team reporter Ashlyn Sullivan offer quick thoughts on the Jaguars' 23-17 loss to the New York Giants in a 2022 Week 7 game at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday
John Oehser, Jaguars Senior Writer
- Not again – yes again. Sunday's theme is as obvious as it is discouraging for the Jaguars. This was their fourth consecutive loss, their fifth loss of the season – with all five losses decided by key plays in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars for three-quarters Sunday played well enough to win. What followed were multiple missed opportunities. First, they failed to convert third-and-fourth-and-one from the Giants 20 with 11:30 remaining leading 17-13. The Giants immediately drove for quarterback Daniel Jones' go-ahead, one-yard sneak on a drive that featured three Jaguars penalties. The Jaguars' offense failed to produce a first down on the ensuing series, then miraculously had a chance trailing 23-17 in the final minute. That the game ended with wide receiver Christian Kirk tackled at the Giants one after a 16-yard pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence in a sense defined the season to date. "Coulda, shoulda – we're losing," running back Travis Etienne Jr. said. "No one wants to lose. We come here and bust our ass each and every day. We're so close, yet so far. You don't play this game to lose. That's the reality of the situation."
- Mistakes are killing again and again and again. Etienne Jr. was perhaps the Jaguars' best offensive player Sunday. He also made a game-defining mistake, with his red-zone fumble into the end zone costing the Jaguars three or seven critical points in the second quarter. Etienne said he stumbled on the play and kneed the ball out while trying to regain his balance. "I feel like this one's on me," Etienne said. The reality was Etienne was far from alone. Key defensive penalties hurt the Jaguars in the second half for a third consecutive game, and the Jaguars finished the game penalized 13 times for 81 yards. The Jaguars also managed just 17 points despite 452 yards offense, the second time in three weeks they scored fewer than 20 points despite 400-plus yards offense. "I feel like the whole game we were shooting ourselves in the foot," outside linebacker Josh Allen said. "That's unacceptable. You're never going to win a game like that."
Brian Sexton, Jaguars Senior Correspondent…
- The mistakes piled up on Sunday like they haven't in weeks. The Jaguars committed 13 penalties Sunday and most came at the worst possible time. Whether it was Allen jumping offsides in the first half to negate a takeaway, or linebacker Foye Oluokun roughing the passer to negate an interception by linebacker Devin Lloyd or cornerback Tyson Campbell's interference penalty in the end zone or right tackle Jawaan Taylor jumping offsides on first-and-ten down 20-17 with 5:35 remaining – the list is long and also included outside linebacker Travon Walker running away from Jones on a fourth-quarter scramble for a critical first down. The Jaguars could have ended the losing streak Sunday had they made half as many mistakes. "That's where we are as a team right now," Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "We've got to stick together and figure it out. We've just got to keep working. I still want them to play hard and aggressive but sometimes in the heat of battle you need a cooler head to prevail."
- The Jaguars ran and stopped the run – until the fourth quarter. The Jaguars ran for 74 yards in the third quarter and had 138 at the start of the fourth. But leading 17-13, they only ran twice for four yards in the fourth. Conversely, the Giants rushed for just 106 yards through the first three quarters but racked up 126 on two drives that ended with 10 points and the lead in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars did a nice job on running back Saquon Barkley and kept Jones from killing them until the fourth quarter. But both players ran for more than 100 yards and the Giants as a team rushed for 224 yards. There's the game. You can talk about being one-yard short in the end, but the fact is the Jaguars were beaten at the line of scrimmage for most of the previous 15 minutes.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Jaguars Team Reporter…
- So similar… yet so different. All week we heard the Jaguars were a team that lost close games and the Giants were a team that won close ones. Sounds about right. The Giants were not that much better than the Jaguars Sunday, but they are flying back to New York with six wins. They took advantage of the plays that came their way and did not shoot themselves in the foot. The Giants have the belief that when they are close in the fourth quarter they will win. The Jaguars have had a chance to win in nearly every one of their losses at the end of the game, and they almost play not to lose. They do not look confident they can go and do that. Until that flips, and the Jaguars actually do win one of these close games, it will continue to be the story we have written the past four weeks: Close, but not close enough.
- No identity. I don't know how to describe the Jaguars' defense right now, and I do not think the team can tell you either. A month ago, the Jaguars' defense was at the top of the league in takeaways and was one of the league's top run defenses. The Jaguars allowed the Giants two 100-yard rushers, and allowed 126 yards rushing in the fourth quarter. The defense had 81 penalty yards, and Oluokun's helmet to Daniel Jones head was textbook "do not do that." Allen had multiple mistakes that cost the team penalties; both of those guys are prominent leaders. In what needed to be a crucial stop to keep the Giants out of the end zone in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars defense had twelve players on the field. It is too much to count and the frustration is certainly boiling for a team that is tired of saying "we will learn" four consecutive weeks.
Time to get loud 📣. Swipe through to view the top live game photos from the Jaguars Week 7 matchup against the Giants.