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What we learned


1) The work is still in progress.We knew there was work to be done. On Sunday, it looked like a lot of work. Losses are rarely as bad on tape as they look in person, and in professional football that's certainly true, but there shouldn't be any problem getting players to focus this week.

2) Daryl Smith matters.We knew this already, but the defense misses the veteran linebacker. His absence isn't the only reason the defense has struggled at times against the run, but it's a big one.

3) Bryan Anger is good.He punted nine times, and his average was over 50 for a second consecutive week. He had a punt or two that didn't have as much hang time as he would have liked, but overall, you have to like his start.

4) Injuries have taken a toll.Fans don't want to hear about injuries. Players don't want to talk about them. Shoot, we're tired of writing about them. But when you're down to a starting guard who hasn't started in four years, that's tough to overcome against any team, particularly the Texans.

5) Lee Evans was right.The veteran receiver said during minicamps and OTAs that this offense could have some hiccups as players learned it. He was right. These sorts of weeks aren't easy to digest, but in a new offense they happen.

6) The Texans are good.The result Sunday wasn't all about the Jaguars' poor play. The Texans are good, and good teams can exploit holes of teams that are still working to get there.

7) The Jaguars' tackling still needs work.Mike Mularkey was clear on Sunday that the offense could have helped the defense out in this area. That's true. It's tough to play defense when you're on the field constantly. Still, the tackling still needs improvement.

8) Gabbert still has a ways to go.We knew this, and it was a constant theme – even as he improved throughout the preseason and even after a good Week 1 performance. He's young. Sunday was his 16th NFL start. That start wasn't pretty. It wasn't all on him, but he'll be the first to say it wasn't a step in the right direction.

9) The pass rush still needs work.To be fair, it's tough to get a rush when the other team isn't in passing situations and the Texans were rarely in passing situations. And there were times early on when the line got pressure. Still, two sacks in two games isn't what this line wanted.

10) Justin Blackmon needs to be more of a factor.He wasn't the only Jaguars offensive player who struggled Sunday, but the Jaguars need production from Blackmon. Rookie wide receivers are going to have ups and downs, but this team needs more of the former than the latter.

11) It's still how you play.The Jaguars talked all offseason about a better feeling in this locker room. They talked all week about it, too. And it's all true. But in the NFL it's about winning, and without winning all the other stuff doesn't feel as good.

12) To be determined...The most important thing we learn from Sunday is something we didn't learn Sunday, and that's how the Jaguars respond to this loss. This team still believes in itself. There's still time to respond from that loss. How the Jaguars do that will teach us more about this team than anything.

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