JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2020 season, NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday
The Jaguars continue to compete like madmen under Head Coach Doug Marrone. Despite dropping their 11th consecutive game, the Jaguars play hard for sixty minutes and their overall effort each week should be applauded by observers. Sure, the record is disappointing and not what anyone in Duval wants from their favorite team, but the scrappiness and fight displayed by the squad should serve as a foundation for a solid bounce-back in future years.
KEYS TO VICTORY
It is hard to win games when you lose the turnover battle by a significant margin. That's why the Jaguars walked away with another loss after a four-turnover effort that undermined their chances against a playoff contender. Quarterback Mike Glennon had three giveaways, including a critical interception in overtime that set up the Vikings for the game-winning field goal. Although the Jaguars came up with a pair of turnovers on Vikings' miscues, the giveaways from their QB1 and wide receiver Chris Conley ultimately cost them in a very competitive game.
The veteran has unquestionably sparked the offense with his experience and skills. Glennon helped the Jaguars to a fast start with an efficient first-half performance that put the Vikings' defense on its heels. He finished completing 28 of 42 passes for 280 yards with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Although he connected with eight different receivers and stretched the defense with balanced distribution, the costly turnovers from the veteran changed the momentum of the game and played a significant role in the Jaguars' loss.
UNDER THE RADAR
The Jaguars might have found an intriguing offensive weapon to add to their foundation with the emergence of rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson on the perimeter. The 6-feet-6, 222-pound pass-catcher displays outstanding playmaking ability as a vertical threat with outstanding size, length and leaping ability to win one-on-one matchups on the outside. Johnson's hand-eye coordination and ball skills are impressive, and it is easy to envision the rookie growing into a bigger role as a potential WR2. With DJ Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr. and Johnson in place for 2020 and beyond, the Jaguars have a young, dynamic wide receiver corps to build around.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is very comfortable with Glennon at the helm. The veteran gives Gruden the opportunity to utilize more plays in the playbook to keep opponents from honing on the Jaguars' top playmakers. In addition, Glennon's experience, pocket poise and awareness have enabled the savvy play-caller to put five eligible receivers into the route to stress the defense horizontally and vertically. With the passing game upgraded with a veteran in place, the running game continues to thrive with rookie running back James Robinson thriving as the designated workhorse. Gruden has taken advantage of his weapons and created a game plan that has made the Jaguars a more difficult unit to defend.
It is rare to praise to a defense that allowed a 300-yard passer, 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver, but the Jaguars kept the game close for 60-plus minutes with an outstanding effort from a patchwork defense. Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash kept Vikings running back Dalvin Cook contained for most of the game with a variety of eight-man boxes. Although the tactic exposed the Jaguars' cornerbacks to more one-on-one coverage opportunities on the outside, the Jaguars were willing to concede some passing yards to Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and Co. to keep the running game under wraps. With Cook contained for almost three quarters, the Jaguars nearly chalked up their second victory of the season.