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Sexton-Oehser quick thoughts ...


JACKSONVILLE -- Senior writer John Oehser and senior correspondent Brian Sexton both offer three quick thoughts on the Jaguars' 20-10 loss to the Denver Broncos at EverBank Field Sunday …

Oehser …

  1. Turnovers kill. The phrase that has defined the 2016 Jaguars season defined yet another loss Sunday. The Jaguars for the most part played the defending Super Bowl champions evenly in a tight defensive struggle, but committed three giveaways and forced no takeaways. With the Jaguars trailing 10-3 midway through the third quarter, Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby intercepted Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. It was the third time in four games Bortles had an interception returned for a touchdown. Bortles also threw a first-half interception when wide receiver Blake Bortles bobbled a pass that allowed cornerback Chris Harris to intercept – and Bortles lost a fourth-quarter fumble that led to Denver's game-clinching field goal. Take away the Pick Sixes and reverse the league-worst minus-18 turnover margin and perhaps this is a different Jaguars season. But you don't take those things away and the result is that the Jaguars are a mistake-prone team with a quarterback who has committed 19 turnovers. That combination has cost the Jaguars far too many games this season.
  1. The Jaguars are wasting a lot of good defense right now. That statement doesn't completely sum up the Jaguars' 2016 season, but it does describe the last five games. The Jaguars' defense has for the most part been stout – and stifling at times – since a 36-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the seventh game of the season. The unit held Denver to 206 yards and 10 first downs Sunday. Members of the defense correctly noted afterward that they failed to force turnovers or make impact plays, something they knew they had to do considering the quality of the Denver defenses. Still, the Jaguars' defense allowed 13 points – a touchdown on a 75-yard drive and two field goals on drivers that covered 29 and six yards. It's hard to point at the defense as a reason Sunday's loss.
  1. Whatever can go wrong sometimes does – and that remains true for the Jaguars this season. It absolutely was true late in the second quarter Sunday when the Jaguars squandered a chance to cut the Broncos lead to one point – or to take the lead. Bortles on 2nd-and-5 from the Broncos 37 threw a back-shoulder pass to Robinson, who had a chance to make the catch but instead bobbled it at least twice. Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who had good defense on the play, caught the carom and returned the interception 36 yards to the Broncos 49. It was the sort of play Robinson made routinely last season, and the sort of play big-time offenses make. Robinson had a legitimate complaint about not getting a pass interference call late in the game, and it has been a bit eye-raising to see how many times he has been contacted before the arrival of the ball without penalties being called this season. But the interception off his hands in the second quarter was a play that Robinson needs to make – and one he usually does make.

Sexton ...

  1. The Jaguars are maddeningly consistent. Week after week, they beat themselves with penalties at the worst possible moment, turnovers that turn into touchdowns and the inability to continue drives with dropped passes or fumbles. They're sloppy when they need to be precise and they aren't getting better. Perhaps they won't get better, perhaps this is what they are. That's tough to accept because it wasn't what we thought they were when the season began, but week after week, it's the same old story and they aren't getting better. Coaches like to say that you are what your record says you are, and 2-10 says a lot.
  1. It's too bad because the defense couldn't play much better. They held the Broncos to 206 total yards, allowed them to convert third down just once in 13 tries, forced them to punt on the first six drives of the second half and generally controlled the game. About the only thing you could ask is for them to take the ball away and score. They truly are playing at a much higher level than they were at the beginning of the season, and with all the young players on that side of the ball, they have the look of one of the AFC's rising units. Hats off to defensive coordinator Todd Wash and his staff. They've done an excellent job building a defense that has gotten better as the season went along. The hope was they would be able to complement the offense by this point in the season, instead, they're the dominant unit.
  1. Blake Bortles' inaccuracy is, in my opinion, his greatest flaw. He misses open receivers routinely. He sends the ball high and off the hands or even off their helmets and makes receivers stop to catch his passes instead of finding them in stride. He doesn't have the big arm, but that wouldn't keep him from being very successful if he could hit a moving target. He's made a living throwing the ball up and letting Allen Robinson go get it or the back-shoulder throw to Blake Bortles, but he makes Marqise Lee and Blake Bortles stop, and then try to re-start which negates their obvious advantage with speed and size. If Bortles can be fixed, it all starts there, with his accuracy issues…45 percent wouldn't beat the Cleveland Browns, and it sure didn't threaten the Denver Broncos.

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