JACKSONVILLE – A day after, senior writer John Oehser examines the Jaguars' 21-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in a 2021 Week 12 game at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday…
1. Big mo is more. The Jaguars had a sniff of momentum in late October/early November, winning two of three games (Miami, Buffalo) around an October 24 bye. They now have lost three consecutive games, including the last two at home. No mo mo.
2. … but the want-to remains. If you like heart and fight, then you currently like the Jaguars. They trailed 21-3 midway through the third quarter Sunday, had done little offensively and seemed to be mistaking their way to a second consecutive one-sided loss. They instead scratched and clawed their way back to within seven, 21-14, and had possession in the final two minutes with an opportunity to win. "They fought their tails off," Head Coach Urban Meyer said. Indeed.
3. Slow starts are a real issue. The Jaguars have trailed by 17 or more points in their last three games and have trailed by 10 or more points in nine of 11 games this season. They have rallied impressively at times and did Sunday. But overcoming large deficits is a hard way to go, particularly when the offense is struggling.
4. The offense is still struggling … The Jaguars managed 14 points Sunday and have scored 20 or more points three times in 11 games. That's struggling.
5. … but there were a few signs of improvement. The Jaguars had three drives Sunday of more than 70 yards with five plays of more than 20 yards. That the most 20-yard plays in a game since Miami the week before the bye and the most drives more than 70 yards since Week 1. "Offensively, we were a lot more efficient," Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. "I did think we took a step as far as productivity today. I thought we did a better job."
6. The Jaguars could play more tempo moving forward … Meyer made this clear late Sunday afternoon. The Jaguars scored 11 second-half points and moved effectively in the second half when playing up tempo. "I think you'll see more of that," Meyer said. Added Lawrence, "I like tempo. I think over the course of the season we've started to realize that's something that we do well."
7. … and they could use more RPOs, too. Lawrence rushed five times for 39 yards Sunday, including three times for 27 yards on two second-half scoring drives. He appeared comfortable running run-pass options. "I think a lot of the shotgun runs were really good today," Meyer said. "I thought Trevor made some good decisions. He protects himself when he gets down. As we move forward that's going to be more and more who we are."
8. Wide receivers run well against the Jaguars. A week ago, 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel rushed for 79 yards on eight carries against the Jaguars. Falcons wide receiver/running back Cordarrelle Patterson on Sunday rushed 16 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns. "We know we're going to see that next week," defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen said. "It's the type of league we play in, and we know that -- we saw the same plays from last week. We've just got to fix those mistakes."
9. Lawrence's struggles are real. Make no mistake: Lawrence is not the major problem with the offense. But something's not working in the passing game that's limiting his accuracy. Maybe that's timing with new receivers. Maybe it's indecision. Maybe it's mechanics. Maybe it's receivers too closely covered. Whatever, it remains an issue in recent weeks.
10. Penaties remain an issue … The Jaguars committed just six penalties for 43 yards Sunday, but three extended drives. Defensive end Lerentee McCray jumped offsides on a second-quarter punt for a Falcons first down. Defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for leverage later in the quarter on a field-goal attempt. Falcons wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson scored on a 12-yard touchdown run on the ensuing play. Finally, cornerback Nevin Lawson was called for holding on third-and-2 late in the fourth quarter for a Falcons a first down. Meyer called the penalties "devastating." He added, "We have to attack those things. We have to attack it as if it's a turnover and make some decisions."
11. Campbell is improving. Jaguars rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell, who struggled early in the season playing the ball in the air, had his best game yet with his first career interception and three passes defensed. "I think he's going to be a really good player," Meyer said.
12. Wide receiver production remains an issue. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell led the Jaguars with 53 yards receiving Sunday. That's the highest yardage total for a Jaguars receiver since Marvin Jones Jr. had 100 yards receiving against Miami – the team's lone 100-yard receiving game of the season.
13. Injuries continue to be an issue on offense. The Jaguars already were without three key skill players lost for the season: wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (ankle), running back/receiver Travis Etienne Jr. (foot) and wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew (hip). Tight end Dan Arnold, the team's leading receiver since his Week 4 arrival, sustained a knee injury Sunday that appeared serious. Another blow.
14. Losing still hurts. Allen: "It's not a good feeling right now. We're sick and tired of it. We're just trying to figure out what the hell (is happening). I can't really answer that one. Just tired of it."
Check out these top game photos of the Jacksonville Jaguars as they take on the Atlanta Falcons for Week 12 of the NFL Regular Season.