JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned from the Jaguars' 31-20 loss to the Houston Texans at EverBank Field Sunday
1.The Jaguars have a finishing issue.The Jaguars have more than just one issue, of course. That's true of any team that is 1-5. But the Jaguars have had very real chances to win the last three games. On Sunday, they led 14-10 early in the fourth quarter and it turned into a 31-14 deficit in four minutes. Missed opportunities have killed this team lately. They did again Sunday.
2. Allen Robinson is a core player.Young teams need building blocks, and the Jaguars have one in Robinson. He had a first-half drop, but overall you see him grow every week.
3.Julius Thomas was signed for a reason.The frustrating thing about the Jaguars' recent stretch is you see some good things each week. One good thing Sunday was Thomas, the team's highest-profile offseason free agent signing, catching seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. If he can stay healthy, the Thomas-to-Bortles combination should only get better.
4.Davon House is good …The corner actually did a nice job on Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for three quarters.
Images from the Jaguars Week 6 matchup with the Houston Texans.
5. … but DeAndre Hopkins may be too tough to cover one-on-one.Hopkins had statistics but he hadn't killed the Jaguars until the fourth quarter. Early in that quarter, he caught two touchdown passes that turned a 14-10 Jaguars lead into a 24-14 Texans lead. House had played tight coverage through the first three quarters, but got beat on the two touchdowns.
6.Sen'Derrick Marks isn't 100 percent.It wasn't reasonable to expect him to be in his first game back after rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament all offseason. The veteran defensive tackle helped the defensive front, but understandably and expectedly lacked the push and acceleration that made him an 8.5-sack guy last season.
7.The pass rush is struggling.OK, this is more along the lines of, "We found this out again." This team has yet to get consistent pressure rushing four down linemen. That hurt again on Sunday.
8.Blake Bortles is still developing …The reality with young quarterbacks is development is not a steady upward arrow. A week after his first four-touchdown passing game against the Buccaneers, Bortles struggled at times Sunday, missing a wide-open Allen Hurns for a possible touchdown and throwing two costly interceptions. Such is life for a young quarterback.
9. … but he's still progressing.Don't let three interceptions make you think he's not improving. He still threw three touchdown passes, two of which came when the game was still in doubt. This wasn't Bortles' best game by any stretch, but he also wasn't the reason the Jaguars lost. Spread the blame around in this one.
10.Run-blocking is still an issue.This area is improved from last season, but not enough to give the Jaguars a consistent, reliable ground game. The Jaguars rushed for 83 yards on 21 carries, but Bortles rushed for 37 of those yards on four carries.
11.Jason Myers is still struggling. The rookie kicker through six games has had more than his share of issues. He consistently has gotten good distance on kickoffs and he was a huge reason for the victory over Miami. But he missed an extra point Sunday, and even from 33 yards, you have to make those consistently.
12.The frustration is real.The players and coaches continue to believe the Jaguars are close. There is evidence in the form of close losses and missed opportunities to suggest they're right. But close doesn't mean victories – and all close has gotten the Jaguars this season is 1-5. The playoffs weren't expected, but neither was 1-5.
13.The secondary's struggle is real, too.Through six games, the secondary does not have an interception this season. The unit had three last season, and a huge offseason goal was to improve that number. The lack of pass rush hasn't helped, but so far, the improvement hasn't happened.
Setting the Scene for the Jaguars' return to EverBank Field as they face the Houston Texans.
14.The Jaguars need to win in London.They're 0-2 in two appearances at Wembley Stadium, and the games haven't been close. Up next this week in London: the Buffalo Bills. Every team in the NFL needs to win every week, but at 1-5 with the losses and frustration mounting … well, the trip home Sunday night would be a whole lot more pleasant.