JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned in the Jaguars' 16-13 loss to the Washington Redskins at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday …
1.The Jaguars are back in double-digit-loss territory. Sunday's loss ensured the Jaguars will lose 10 or more games for the seventh time in eight seasons.
2.These struggles are epic. In a season defined by offensive difficulties, the Jaguars' offense really struggled Sunday. The Jaguars produced just 192 yards and 11 first downs, with 68 of the yards coming on scrambles by quarterback Cody Kessler.
3.The Jaguars can stop the run. The Jaguars allowed the Redskins 109 yards on 33 carries, but 49 of those yards came on scrambles by quarterback Josh Johnson. The Jaguars allowed running back Adrian Peterson just 51 yards on 19 carries, a vast improvement after allowing Titans running back Derrick Henry 238 yards and four touchdowns a week before.
4.Kessler is struggling … The third-year veteran made his third consecutive start Sunday, completing nine of 17 passes for 57 yards and no touchdowns with a late interception that set up the Redskins' game-winning field goal. Add in 37 yards lost on six sacks and the Jaguars had 20 net passing yards Sunday. That was the lowest total in the Jaguars' 24 seasons.
5. … and the wide receivers are, too. Jaguars wide receivers were targeted four times, registering three receptions for 21 yards. All three receptions were by Dede Westbrook.
6.Westbrook is dynamic. The second-year wide receiver has been the Jaguars' best offensive player in recent weeks. He was among their best special teams players Sunday, returning a punt 74 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-3 lead. There aren't many highlights for the Jaguars this season. Westbrook is one.
7.The offensive answers likely aren't coming this season. The Jaguars three games ago replaced Blake Bortles with Kessler, with quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich taking over play-calling duties after offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's dismissal. The Jaguars have one offensive touchdown since – and it came with them trailing 30-2 at Tennessee in Week 14.
8.Calais Campbell needs to be re-signed. We've known this for a while about the Jaguars' veteran defensive end, but Sunday reaffirmed it. He had sack in the first quarter, and now has a team-leading eight for the season. There has been speculation that Campbell's age and salary could make him a salary-cap casually. The guess here is the Jaguars find a way for that not to be the case.
9.Late-season injured football is a tough watch. The Jaguars and Redskins both have been wrecked offensively by injuries this season. Sunday was proof, with the teams combining for 437 yards offense.
10.The Jaguars' sacks issues aren't going away … Kessler has played four games this season, including the second half of a 20-7 Week 7 loss to the Houston Texans. He has been sacked 17 times in those four appearances. Some of the problem is a struggling line. Some of the issue is Kessler's tendency to hold the ball. Whatever the reason, the Jaguars have allowed 44 sacks after allowing 24 last season.
11. … and injuries on the offensive line are a big reason. The Jaguars started just one Week 1 starter on the offensive line Sunday: right guard A.J. Cann, who seemed to be dealing with a hamstring issue Sunday. This was supposed to be a team strength, an improved area over the unit that helped the Jaguars lead the NFL in rushing a year ago. Maybe it would have been, but the line playing now isn't the one the team envisioned.
12.The Jaguars are suddenly thin at strong safety. The Jaguars released former starter Barry Church Friday. His replacement, rookie safety Ronnie Harrison, left Sunday's game with a knee injury. His replacement, Jarrod Wilson, left with an ankle injury. Special teams ace Cody Davis replaced Wilson.
13.Logan Cooke can flip the field. The rookie punt had struggled in this area a times this season. He turned in his best game of the season Sunday, with five punts for 52.4 yards including a 63-yarder from the Jaguars' 10 in the second quarter.
14.The Jaguars can't get a break. Though the Jaguars have earned their way to 4-10, fortune hasn't favored them, either. The Redskins tied the game 13-13 Sunday with a 68-yard fourth-quarter drive that ended with Johnson's six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. It was the Redskins' lone drive of more than 40 yards. The key play: a 33-yard pass to wide receiver Jamison Crowder that caromed off the hands of Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson. Jaguars linebacker Nick DeLuca two plays earlier forced Johnson to fumble with his first career sack. The Jaguars couldn't recover. It has been that kind of season.