photo by Bobby King
by Cole Pepper
October 20, 2013
The Jaguars fell to 0-7 on the season with a 24-6 loss to the Chargers Sunday in Jacksonville. Here are my takeaways from the game:
Offense looked better playing the short game-Despite the lack of touchdowns, the Jaguars short passing game was efficient. Chad Henne finished 23 of 36 for 318 yards (his second consecutive 300 yard passing game). He averaged a respectable 8.8 yards per attempt, and especially through the first three quarters, was very accurate. Having Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis all on the field together for the first time this year appeared to help, with the exception of two dropped touchdown passes by Shorts.
Pass Protection issues-The Jaguars rarely looked to throw deep, and when they did, Henne was under pressure. The Chargers sacked Henne six times on the game, including twice on 4th down plays. Last week, the Jaguars pass protection performed better against the Broncos.
Jaguars still can’t stop the tight end-It’s been an issue all year, and against Antonio Gates, you would expect some struggles. However, the Jaguars also saw Ladarius Green make some big plays, including a 27 yard catch, when he ran past linebacker Geno Hayes.
Andre Branch is going to get a look-Sticking with my theory of this being a 16-week preseason for the Jaguars, Andre Branch continues to get more snaps as the season goes on. He routinely lined up opposite Jason Babin and with Tyson Alualu and Sen’Derrick Marks at defensive tackle. Much like the evaluation of the quarterbacks, evaluating the pass rushers (especially young ones) is going to be vital for the Jaguars as they prepare their off-season plan looking forward to 2014. I would also suspect that at some point, Jordan Todman is going to get more carries at running back, for the same reason.
Jaguars scoring offense at home has been awful-In the opener against Kansas City, the Jaguars managed only 2 points on a safety. Against Indianapolis, it was a field goal. Sunday against the Chargers, the Jaguars totaled only six points. For a team trying to inspire modest interest in ticket sales, the product on the field isn’t doing enough.
Play of the Game (Jaguars version)-As the third quarter wound down, the Chargers faced 3rd and goal from the 3. Philip Rivers ran a tight end shovel pass to Antonio Gates who was hit and fumbled (or so the replay showed). One official initially called it a fumble, recovered by the Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien, but he was overruled by the other officials. Gus Bradley, who at the end of the first half had failed to call a timeout to give the booth time to review a play, challenged the play. The officials reviewed it, and despite clear evidence that Gates had fumbled, did not reverse the call. It was the worst of a bad day of calls by the zebras.
Player of the Game (Jaguars version)-Chad Henne. Hard to say that on a team that didn’t scores a touchdown, but Henne looked in control of the offense the entire game. He wasn’t perfect (he was picked off in the the 4th quarter), but by and large, Henne was solid. When a solid player is the player of the game, you have issues.