JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned from the Jaguars' 38-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Thursday …
1.Something must get fixed.Actually, it's more accurate to say much must get fixed. The Jaguars were thoroughly dominated offensively and defensively Thursday. Tennessee's lines are good, but the Jaguars shouldn't have gotten controlled so decisively on both sides of the ball. There were too many mistakes and too many things continuing to go wrong. Too many penalties. Too little running game. Too little resistance against the Titans' running game. Something must get fixed and soon, but we've been saying that for a while.
2.Gus Bradley will remain the head coach.Jaguars Owner Shad Khan has repeatedly said he doesn't believe in midseason NFL head coaching changes. That remains true.
3.The coaching staff won't undergo changes, either. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Friday he won't make staff changes and that he won't change staff responsibilities or duties.
4.Quarterback Blake Bortles is in a funk.That's funk with a capital 'F." Bortles' numbers showed that he completed 33 of 57 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions Thursday, but the truer numbers were 8 of 16 for 64 yards and no touchdowns in the first half. That's the second consecutive week under 75 yards passing in the first half for Bortles.
5.Bortles' accuracy and mechanics are in a funk, too.Bortles never has been the most accurate young passer in the NFL, but his errant throws Thursday were errant enough to be alarming. It's hard to know how this gets fixed midseason. It will remain the key storyline around this team.
6.Frustration has set in.Considering how the first half played out, how could that be true. It's quite possible confidence is waning. If so, players and coaches – someone – must figure a way to get it back.
7.The offense remains in a funk, too.The Jaguars' offense produced just 60 first-half yards Thursday. A lot of that is because of the struggles at the quarterback position – and it does start there – but the team also rushed for just five yards in the first half.
8.The early-game woes aren't going away …The Jaguars haven't scored an opening-drive touchdown since Week 2 of the 2015 season, and they haven't scored a first-half touchdown since Week 4 in London. This has been an issue for three seasons. It remains one.
Thursday Night Football! View photos from the music city as the Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
9…. and the penalties stuff isn't going away.The Jaguars were penalized seven times for 75 yards Thursday. That was down from a 13-penalty, 112-yard game against Oakland the week before, but two early penalties stood out. One was a 15-yarder on Dante Fowler Jr. for throwing a punch and another was a 15-yarder on cornerback Jalen Ramsey for hitting a tight end out of bounds. These sorts of penalties have happened too often this season and they're still happening.
10.Allen Hurns is tough.OK, we're not learning this anymore – and it's actually well-established. No Jaguars player takes more bone-jarring shots than the third-year wide receiver, and there may not be a tougher player on the team, either.
11.The defense is vulnerable, too.The Jaguars' defense hadn't been great this season, but it usually has played well enough to keep games close. It is a testament to how the night went that even that was not remotely true on Thursday.
12.There's not much more to say.When speaking of this moment and the aftermath of this game … well, what else is there to say? We could discuss some positives in the second half, and there were yards and brief signs of life, but by then the game was well out of hand. What we learned Thursday was that this team has to play worlds better than it did against the Titans to compete the rest of the season. There are nine games remaining. This has the look in the last two weeks of a team spiraling. Perhaps it's not – and perhaps the Jaguars can indeed rally. If so, it's time for that to happen. Actually, it is past time.