JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2022 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 13-6 loss to the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday
- Despite making significant progress this season, the Jaguars are still a young team learning how to win. The competitive maturity needed to win at a high level is learned over time with the guidance of a Super Bowl-winning head coach. Against the Texans, the Jaguars did not take care of business and finish off an inferior opponent due to a lack of discipline and execution. The Jaguars committed too many "DBO" (Don't Beat Ourselves) mistakes that compromised the team's chances of winning. From the red-zone turnover to the foolish penalties, the Jaguars cannot give away games with self-inflicted wounds. Until this young team learns how to avoid the simple mistakes (turnovers, big plays allowed and pre-snap or foolish penalties), the Jaguars will struggle to string together wins in a very competitive league.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- The Jaguars dominated the game statistically but failed to take advantage of opportunities. The season-long red-zone failures and turnover woes undermined a solid offensive performance that was good enough to earn a victory. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence's end-zone interception in particular prevented the Jaguars from taking a lead in a defensive battle in which points were at a premium. Rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker's unsportsmanlike penalty in the fourth quarter extended a drive that should have resulted in a punt and solid field position for the Jaguars. With the defense also unable to fully contain the Texans' running game, the Jaguars failed to execute well enough to earn a win. The talent and toughness are there for this team, but the team must develop the discipline to avoid self-inflicted mistakes to become a consistent winner in 2022.
- For the second consecutive week, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft struggled in key moments. Lawrence never settled in as a passer against the Texans' Tampa 2 defense, and his lack of patience and discipline led to some questionable decisions from the pocket. Instead of taking the open receivers in the underneath areas of the zone, Lawrence repeatedly attempted to fit the ball into tight areas down the field. With the second-year veteran missing the mark on a number of tight-window throws due to poor ball placement, the Jaguars were unable to sustain drives or score in a game that was nip and tuck for 60 minutes. While Lawrence's accuracy issues continue to show up in games, the young quarterback's turnover woes are a bit of a concern. He has given the ball away seven times over the past two games and the turnovers are simply too much for this team to overcome. Until Lawrence avoids playing "hero" ball from the pocket and commits to managing the game in a winning fashion, the Jaguars will remain an up-and-down team that lacks consistency on offense.
- Running back Travis Etienne Jr. is beginning to show the football world why the Jaguars were so excited to add the explosive playmaker to the lineup. The second-year veteran dazzled with his speed, quickness and burst against the Texans on an assortment of perimeter runs and catches designed to take advantage of his skills in space. With 114 scrimmage yards on 13 touches, the Jaguars' change of pace back added some juice to an offense that needed a spark.
- The Jaguars' offense continues to struggle in the red zone despite moving the ball up and down the field most of the game. Head Coach Doug Pederson has spread the ball around to a variety of playmakers to keep opponents off balance, but he has not been able to crack the code in the red area. Part of the Jaguars' struggles could be attributed to Lawrence's accuracy woes and judgment. Lawrence has narrowly missed the mark on a few touchdown opportunities that should have been sevens with a better throw. The second-year veteran compounded this issue against the Texans with questionable throws that resulted in an interception. As a franchise quarterback, Lawrence needs to understand when the team needs a manager or playmaker from the pocket and adjust his game accordingly.
- The Jaguars' defense has earned kudos from all corners due to their talent, speed, physicality and toughness. This unit has become a bully under coordinator Mike Caldwell and its menacing ways have helped the Jaguars become a competitive squad. Against the Texans, however, the defense did not play to the standard as a feisty and physical group. Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce controlled the game as a punishing runner between the tackles, and the Jaguars could never fully contain the rookie on the ground. Without suffocating the run, the Jaguars were unable to put the game on Davis Mills' shoulders and take advantage of the eventual miscues that were certain to come from a second-year quarterback who has struggled this season.
From The Shadows to onfield action, check out the top game day photos from the Jaguars 2022 Week 5 division matchup against the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field.
All images were shot and edited by Kam Nedd, Manager of Photography.