NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senior writer John Oehser and senior correspondent Brian Sexton both offer three quick thoughts on the Jaguars' 36-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium Thursday
- This was bad. This was really bad. What else to say after the Jaguars' one-sided loss on national television Thursday to the Tennessee Titans? The Jaguars were close for about a quarter, then allowed two touchdowns within the first five minutes of the second quarter. The Titans had outgained the Jaguars 198-23 at that point; the second touchdown – a six-yard run by Derrick Henry – gave the Titans a 17-0 lead. The yardage advantage at halftime was 354-60. This came five days after two Jaguars players were ejected in a one-sided home loss to the Oakland Raiders. This also came in a game in which the Jaguars had a real chance to pull themselves back into the AFC South race. There understandably has been much noise and discontent among the fan base in recent days and weeks – largely directed at Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley. More was expected of this team. That noise will only get louder. Thursday's performance was that kind of night.
- Few good things happened for the Jaguars Thursday. There may not be a way to adequately describe the one-sided nature of the first half. One of the worst signs was a continuation of avoidable, undisciplined penalties. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson and cornerback Jalen Ramsey were both ejected from last Sunday's loss to Oakland in the first quarter. That was absolutely the sort of performance the Jaguars couldn't have Thursday. Yet, Ramsey drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the first quarter and second-year defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. drew one in the second quarter. That's not discipline. That's finding ways to hurt your team and lose. Those penalties weren't why the Jaguars lost the game, but it once again was a bad, bad look.
- The Jaguars' offense … well, frankly, right now it's tough to describe it. The Jaguars had three first downs in the first half and failed to score in the first half. They in fact failed to really threaten – and quarterback Blake Bortles' struggles continued in a big way. A first-quarter drive seemed to define a lot of what is going wrong in the first half of the season. Bortles completed a nine-yard pass on 1st-and-10 from the Jaguars 25, but a run up the middle by Chris Ivory lost two yards. Bortles threw three or four feet wide of wide receiver Blake Bortles on third down, then reacted in frustration while walking off the field. The Jaguars, already down 3-0, punted on the ensuing play. These struggles have been going on in a big way all season, with Bortles and the running game seeming to struggle to the same troubling degree. It has defined the first seven games. Right now, there seem to be few answers.
- For the third consecutive game, the Jaguars created little pressure and had no take aways. An average quarterback like Brian Hoyer will give a defense trouble with time to throw, and Marcus Mariota showed us that he is a lot better than Hoyer. The Jags have invested time, money and draft assets to get to the quarterback, and nearly halfway through the season, they aren't nearly close enough. When they went after Mariota with four, no one got close, and when they sent more rushers, no one got home. The lack of a pass rush goes hand in hand with a lack of bad throws, which become interceptions....you get the point.
2. Allen Robinson is really, really frustrated and it took him out of his game tonight. You may have seen him fling his helmet on the sideline, which is dangerous by the way, but he lets his energy get the best of him, and it takes him out of focus. Football is an emotional roller coaster, and when you're playing poorly it feels like all you're doing is falling. He's young but needs to get ahold of that anger, frustration or passion and channel it more productivly - like spending time with Blake Bortles and talking through what he sees or what Bortles is missing. I thought he took himself out of the game tonight when things weren't going well, and that can't happen with your best offensive player.
3. The Jags can't run the ball at all. That's a major reason why the offense is struggling.