Here's what we learned in the Jaguars' 30-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.
Some of it's good and some of it's bad, but here you have it . . .
1.The Jaguars can play defense.Five games this season; four opponents under 300 yards. Yes, the Saints produced 500 yards, but in every other game – and even in that one – the Jaguars' quickly-rebuilt defense has fared very well.
2.Matt Turk is struggling. OK, we knew this already – and this is an understatement. What we don't know is if he will get the chance to keep struggling with the Jaguars. Maybe it's a bad fit. Maybe the Jaguars are asking him to change his style. Whatever. This is a team that needs to perform well on special teams. Right now, they're not.
*3.Gabbert's improving. *We knew that with the Jaguars' receiving corps there were going to be struggles for the young quarterback. But there were definitely strides made by Gabbert Sunday.
4.Cecil Shorts is struggling, too.He has yet to catch a pass in five games, and he made multiple errors in judgment returning punts Sunday. It's not time to give up on Shorts, but the mistakes were awfully costly in the return game Sunday.
5.Gabbert's got some poise.The Bengals, like the Saints the week before, blitzed Gabbert pretty heavily. He stood up to it and made some plays with his feet as well as his arm. He went through progressions when he had time and didn't panic. As the game starts to slow a bit for him, he should keep getting better.
6.The receivers must improve.Is this a broken record? Maybe. Did we really learn this Sunday? Maybe not. Still, whatever's happening that they're not on the same page with Gabbert needs to change. There's no superstar in this group, but they should be more productive.
7.The defensive line is deep.They still don't have that superstar pass rusher, and may not this season, but the Jaguars have a lot of guys up front who are pretty good. Count Jeremy Mincey and John Chick among that group.
8.Maurice cares.Jones-Drew was visibly upset following the loss. Yeah, that's expected, but I've been in losing locker rooms before, and not all players appear to care. Jones-Drew is a leader and he's one reason I don't think this team will quit. To be fair, there are a lot of guys in the locker room who fit that description. There are few players who don't take accountability. That's fine. Now, it's time to get it done on the field and stop the correctable late-game mistakes.
9.The defense has heart.This isn't a group with superstars, but it was under pressure throughout the second half and made a lot of big plays. Even when the defense was put in multiple difficult situations, it played hard. Don't blame the defense for a 23-yard game-winning drive. That's a situation that's almost impossible.
10.Frustration is setting in.How could it not? There were some weird, weird plays at the end of that game Sunday. There has been weirdness at the end of several games this season. As coach Jack Del Rio said, it's unacceptable.