JACKSONVILLE – We arrive at Wednesday again.
That means putting Sunday in the past, which this week for the Jaguars means moving past a frustrating, emotional loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But the emotions of that game could continue into the week as the Jaguars attempt to end a three-game losing streak.
That streak has taken the Jaguars from the optimistic possibilities of a 1-1 record following a Week 2 victory over Miami to the frustration and urgency of 1-4 following losses at New England, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay.
Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley on Sunday and Monday showed more emotion than normal in the wake of the loss, saying on Sunday that it felt as if something was wrong in the way the Jaguars play. He has emphasized the need to eliminate costly mistakes, specifically calling the team's performance against the Buccaneers "unacceptable."
With that in mind, here are six questions as the Jaguars begin preparations for the Houston Texans Sunday at EverBank Field:
1)How's the shoulder?Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has made significant strides. He threw for four touchdowns against the Buccaneers Sunday, his first NFL game with more than two passing touchdowns. He played through an AC joint sprain in his shoulder much of the game Sunday, and while he could miss practice Wednesday, he is expected to play against Houston. Still, a quarterback with a shoulder injury? That will be a week-long topic.
2)What about the Run D?This question has an undertone of, "Will Paul Posluszny play?" Or maybe it's an overtone. Posluszny, the Jaguars' starting middle linebacker, missed Sunday's loss to Tampa. In his absence, a team that entered the game No. 5 in the NFL against the run missed 23 tackles and allowed the Buccaneers 183 yards rushing. Look for Posluszny's status to be a daily issue.
*3)What's the plan with Julius Thomas? *Thomas made his Jaguars regular-season debut Sunday, but because his hand injury kept his status unknown much of last week the Jaguars didn't extensively game plan around him. The result? He played 32 plays, catching two passes for 20 yards. If he's healthy enough to practice full this week, look for him to be a lot more involved.
4)What's up with Sen'Derrick Marks?The veteran defensive tackle got his most extensive practice work of the season last week, a positive sign as he continues to return from January reconstructive knee surgery. He was questionable on the final injury of the report last week. Could this be the week?
5)Can consistency be achieved?The Jaguars are statistically better than last season. An exception is the statistic that reads: 1-4. Mistakes have crushed chances at victories each the last two weeks. Eliminating those would make the Jaguars much more consistent, but eliminating key mistakes is easier said than done in the NFL.
6)Will they get 'em blocked? The Jaguars have improved their pass-protection issues this season. They actually had improved them a lot until allowing six sacks to the Buccaneers Sunday. The Texans feature not only defensive end J.J. Watt but linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. The former is one of the NFL's elite defensive players, and while the latter doesn't have a sack this season, he is starting to show why he was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. This could be the toughest test of the season for Jaguars offensive tackles Jermey Parnell and Luke Joeckel.