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Something missing in Jags' loss


Veteran Jaguars running back Fred Taylor tackled the question head on.

"We're not a good team, T.E.A.M.," Taylor said, calling out the letters. "We have good players, but the mix is all wrong and that's what it is."

Team chemistry became an even bigger issue on Sunday when the Jaguars fumbled away 14 points in the first one minute and 41 seconds of the game and allowed the visiting Minnesota Vikings to coast to a 30-12 victory. What is wrong with this team? It's the question that was on everyone's lips.

This is the identity the Jaguars carved for themselves against the Vikings: Thirty-five yards rushing on 14 rushing plays, 286 yards passing on 45 pass attempts, five turnovers and a slew of holding penalties that sabotaged comeback efforts.

The day began with an embarrassing botched center-quarterback exchange between Brad Meester and David Garrard. Garrard accepted blame for not reminding his offense that he would be in shotgun formation. Meester ended up snapping the ball to himself, causing the ball to fall to the turf, where it was recovered and run into the end zone by linebacker Napoleon Harris.

"His not knowing I'm in the shotgun; tough way to start the game. Nobody feels any worse than I do. Jack (Del Rio) said he's never been a part of a game that went down like that and I haven't either," Garrard said.

Garrard experienced his first-ever 300-yard passing game, but he was often betrayed by his receivers. Matt Jones fumbled following a catch, a couple of passes were dropped and Mike Walker allowed one to slip through his hands and into the hands of a Vikings defender. Right tackle Tony Pashos was penalized three times for holding and Garrard was sacked four times.

Even the Jaguars' reliable special teams had a bad day. Josh Scobee missed two field goal attempts and kick-returner Brian Witherspoon's fumble led to the Vikings' second touchdown and Witherspoon nearly lost a fumble near the Jaguars' goal line.

The lone star for the Jaguars is running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who caught nine passes for 113 yards.

"We just need a few more guys playing the way he is," Del Rio said of Jones-Drew.

Del Rio was sharp in his postgame comments. "It might be the all-time great practice team," he said of his club. "There's something missing. You would've thought we drew things up with no practice."

At 4-7, the Jaguars are likely to be the underdog in each of their remaining five games. They next play in Houston on Monday Night Football, Dec. 1.

"I will sink with the ship. Win, lose or draw, I'm on it," Taylor said.

The Jaguars got within 17-10 and could've cut the lead to a point at halftime, had Scobee not missed field goal attempts of 46 and 38 yards right before halftime. In the second half, however, the Jaguars offense failed to score a point for the second consecutive week.

Minnesota clinched the outcome when running back Adrian Peterson burst off left tackle for 16 yards and a touchdown with 6:55 to play.

"They played hard but we beat ourselves," Garrard said.

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