JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2021 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 50-10 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday
The Jaguars were outclassed by a Patriots squad looking to get back on track after back-to-back losses. The perennial title contender did not take it easy on the Jaguars with eight scores in ten total possessions. Perhaps the Patriots were simply treating the game like a playoff tune-up or perhaps Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was sending a message to Jaguars for a future matchup. Regardless, the 50-10 beatdown let the Jaguars know how much they must improve to become a viable contender.
KEYS TO VICTORY
The Patriots methodically whipped the Jaguars for sixty minutes behind a solid performance from their offense, defense and special teams. The complementary football exhibition was like watching a masterclass in how to play championship-caliber football at the end of the season. From Patriots quarterback Mac Jones' efficient play from the pocket to the defense's opportunistic play to the hidden yards and points generated by the kicking units, the Patriots showed the Jaguars how things should be done when you are vying a championship each year. Although the Jaguars suited up the JV team with COVID-19 issues ravaging the roster, the experience should help the young players understand what an elite team looks like between the lines.
The Jaguars' franchise quarterback got a chance to see the difference between playing chess and checkers against the Patriots. Belichick throws the kitchen sink at young quarterbacks to see how they respond to the anxiety and pressure created by pre-snap disguises and post-snap movement from the Patriots. Lawrence repeatedly tossed the ball into tight coverage, which resulted in multiple turnovers (three interceptions) from a quarterback attempting to make plays with hero throws. The costly mistakes against a veteran-laden team hurt the Jaguars, but the lessons learned from the experience should serve the rookie well as he continues to understand the nuances of the pro game.
The Jaguars certainly must upgrade wide receiver in the offseason, but the team would be wise to keep Laquon Treadwell in the rotation after his solid play this season. The veteran continued to make his case to stick around with a six-catch, 87-yard effort against the Patriots that showcased his rock-solid skills as a WR3 on this team. Based on Lawrence's confidence in Treadwell, the Jaguars should keep the rookie's security blanket around to maintain some continuity and stability in the passing game.
Despite their best efforts, the Jaguars could not get it going on offense against the Patriots. The unit mustered just 253 yards, 11 first downs and ten points over 60 minutes with most of the production in garbage time. The Patriots suffocated the Jaguars with their "man-match" coverage to eliminate the quick routes and bubble screens that would have enabled Lawrence to get off to a fast start. In addition, the Patriots attacked the Jaguars' offensive line with a variety of stunts and games to win at the line of scrimmage. With the Jaguars unable to move the ball against a stingy defense, the game got away from the team early and ended with a lopsided result.
Defensive coordinator Joe Cullen did not have any answers for the Patriots' straightforward offensive approach. The Jaguars were unable to stop the run, rush the passer or cover the receivers on the perimeter. The unit's inability to get a stop was evidenced by eight scores allowed in ten possessions. With 50 points on the board and the Patriots doing whatever they wanted between the lines, the embarrassing loss is another disappointment in a season full of lowlights.
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