JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned from the Jaguars' 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday
1.The Jaguars won't have a winning season. This has been obvious for a while, but it became official Sunday. The Jaguars' eighth consecutive loss after a Week 1 victory over Indianapolis dropped them to 1-8 on the season. It assured their third consecutive non-winning season – and also assured their ninth such season in the last decade.
2.Losing hurts. This also has been obvious for a while, but Head Coach Doug Marrone showed rare emotion following Sunday's loss: "Every time you play and lose, it's something that's in my soul that just gets (expletive) ripped out. So, that's how I feel. So, it doesn't matter whether it's this game or the other seven before … and it's something that you can't replace. At least that's how I feel."
3.Keelan Cole is valuable on special teams … The fourth-year wide receiver had the Jaguars' biggest special-teams play of the season Sunday – a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown that marked the longest punt return in franchise history and longest punt return in the NFL this season.
4. … and on offense, too. Cole continued a very good season Sunday on offense, catching a 12-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Jake Luton that tied the game 17-17 in the third quarter. Cole has 34 receptions for 427 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, a pace for career-highs in all three categories. Cole struggled for a season and a half after a standout 2017 rookie season. He since has improved steadily and is now a key part of a strong three-receiver rotation for the Jaguars.
5.James Robinson is good. Really good. It's difficult to find new ways to say this because the Jaguars' rookie running back is consistently good in the same way each week. He's not spectacular. He doesn't have a bunch of 30-yard runs. But his 109-yard rushing game Sunday was his third such game of the season.
6.Robinson is consistent. Really consistent. Robinson rushed for six yards on each of his first three carries Sunday. That's fitting for a player who over and over again gets the most out of runs. Robinson is a strikingly good runner at squeezing the most from every carry and every opportunity. He's not "good for a rookie." He's not "good for a rookie free agent." He's really good. Period.
7.Myles Jack is outstanding. The Jaguars' weak-side linebacker entered the game playing as well as any linebacker in the NFL. What did he do Sunday? He continued playing as well as any linebacker in the NFL. The Jaguars' record may prevent Jack from Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition. That would be unfair. Considering how he is playing, he deserves both.
8.Hope is not lost for CJ Henderson. The No. 9 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft received a lot of criticism in recent weeks, particularly after allowing a 77-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller in a loss to Houston last week. Those who wrote Henderson off did so very prematurely. He's a talented player and made an impact Sunday – forcing a fumble that Jack recovered and looking better in coverage than he did a week before. He must be more consistent, but he still looks as if he will be a very good player moving forward.
9.Sidney Jones IV is no fluke. Jones, who joined the Jaguars in September after being waived by the Eagles, has moved into the starting lineup for the last five games. He continued to produce in that role Sunday with a team-high nine tackles, an interception, two passed defensed and a forced fumble. Jones has nine passes defensed and two interceptions this season and appears a possible long-term starter.
10.New kickers aren't always a bad thing. The Jaguars' kicking woes this season have been well-chronicled, and Chase McLaughlin on Sunday was their sixth kicker of the season. He not only converted a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter, but he converted a 31-yarder later and didn't miss a placement Sunday. He's the fifth kicker the Jaguars have used this season aside from Josh Lambo, but the first of that group not to miss a kick.
11.DaVon Hamilton. The rookie nose tackle started a fourth consecutive game, and he continues to show up. Showing up on Sunday meant his first career sack and a big late stop in short yardage.
12.The Jaguars' offensive line is good … The unit played really well for the most part Sunday, clearing the way for Robinson's 109-yard game and allowing just one sack before the team's final series.
13. … but not perfect. Jaguars offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson allowed back-to-back sacks on the Jaguars' final series, taking the offense from scoring range to a fourth-and-26 that the Jaguars couldn't convert. Those two tackles must be better.
14.The Jaguars haven't quit. This doesn't matter to many fans, because 1-8 in a very real sense is all that matters. But if you're looking for signs that Marrone is still reaching the team look no further than Sunday. The Jaguars played their most physical game of the season and went toe-to-toe with a Super Bowl favorite. Effort wasn't the issue Sunday.