Senior writer John Oehser and senior correspondent Brian Sexton both offer three quick thoughts on the Jaguars' 33-16 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Everbank Field Sunday
- This was a tough one to watch – and to accept. The Jaguars entered the game with a very real chance to redefine their season and reach .500 in October for the first time since 2010. Instead, the offense struggled in a big way against a team that entered the game ranked 32nd in the NFL in total defense. Quarterback Blake Bortles' struggles continued; his first-quarter interception was a huge momentum-killer. That was the major issue – even with the continuing problems in the running game, multiple dropped passes and a striking lack of second-half poise. The Raiders lead the AFC West and are a legitimately good team, but consider this one a mammoth opportunity lost. Consider it, too, another difficult, disturbing game for the Jaguars' quarterback.
2.Bortles' performance is a long-term concern. This repeats a bit from the first quick thought, but Bortles' season-long issues were a particular concern Sunday. The Jaguars once again started slowly to start the game, failing to score a touchdown in the first half for the fourth time this season. That statistic isn't completely Bortles' responsibility, but his first-half struggles were a major issue Sunday. He completed one of six first-half passes for six yards with an interception and finished the first half completing five of 14 passes for 57 yards with the interception. The Jaguars had three red-zone possessions in the first half. They ended with two field goals and an interception when Bortles threw short to triple-covered wide receiver Marqise Lee. It's impossible to win in the NFL doing that.
- The second half was a bad look for the Jaguars – a really bad look. It was particularly bad for defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who drew three 15-yard penalties on one drive. Jackson, who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Denver in the offseason, was disqualified following his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey also was ejected – for fighting in the fourth quarter. Fire is fine. Emotion is fine. But you can't put yourself in a situation in which you're disqualified from the game. A lot of things went wrong for the Jaguars Sunday, and Jackson's penalties weren't the reason Jacksonville lost; Ramsey's penalty wasn't, either. It's also understandable that there would be frustration considering the importance of this game. Still, not a good look in the fourth quarter. Not a good look at all. You must keep your poise and composure. On Sunday, the Jaguars didn't.
- This was an unexplainable offensive performance in so many ways. You might say the first turnover, the interception Blake Bortles threw in the end zone in the first quarter says it all. But to me nothing exemplifies the day more than back to back drives with first and goal inside the Raiders 10-yard line. The Jaguars scored just six points on two field goals thanks to some questionable play choices, a big holding penalty and poor blocking up front which disrupted Bortles in the pocket and forced him to get rid of the ball way too quickly. Six games into the season and Bortles looks nothing like the gunslinger from a year ago. His accuracy is so far off that it makes me wonder if there is something really wrong.
- I can't explain the penchant for mistakes. For the second time in three games the Jaguars have committed double-digit penalties, costing them more than 100 yards. Add in turnovers and you have a formula for disaster, which is what today was…a disaster. Even when the Raiders put the ball on the ground in the fourth quarter, the punter…the punter picked it up and raced for a first down…the punter. Nothing went right today.
- It was embarrassing enough when Malik Jackson was tossed for a pair of personal fouls over the span of five plays. It was downright disheartening to watch Jalen Ramsey leave the field in the final few minutes, especially after doing such a sensational job of taking Amari Cooper out of the game. This went from a really bad day to a complete meltdown which tells you the Jaguars knew they blew a big one in front of the home crowd.