by Cole Pepper
November 17, 2013
The Jaguars lost to the Cardinals 27-14 Sunday at EverBank Field, missing on a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2010. Here are my takeaways from the game:
1. More Evidence That Gus Bradley’s Approach is Working-The Jaguars continue to play hard for Bradley. There are significant obstacles to victories (most notably, the lack of talent and experience on the roster), but all the way through the game, whether the Jaguars were leading in the first half, or trailing in the second half, effort has not been a problem. One of the key storylines I’m watching the rest of the season is whether Bradley is the right guy for the job. So far, the limited evidence is tending toward the affirmative.
2. Offense Is Evolving-On several occasions, the Jaguars offense showed some wrinkles that they haven’t shown this year, including motioning tight end Marcedes Lewis out wide and on another occasion, sneaking tight end Clay Harbor almost all the way to the sideline where the Cardinals lost track of him. It lead to a __ yard completion (I’m calling it the Secret Harbor play). That being said, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch calls way to many screens. This is not a good screen team right now. It’s time to pocket 90% of those wide receiver and running back screens.
3. Henne Started Hot…then…-The Jaguars quarterback completed 13 of 15 passes in the first half, his best stretch of accuracy of the season. Then things turned ugly. In the second half of the game, Henne completed 14 of 27 passes, threw two interception and nearly threw two more. Clearly, Henne isn’t going to be the Jaguars quarterback of the future, but the Jaguars need to have something approaching a steady hadn on the wheel for the rest of this season in order to allow for a fair assessment of the progress of the young team. The problem is, Henne has a track record of inconsistency. Can he hold it together for another month and a half?
4. Tight End Issues Continue-The Jaguars continue to have problems with tight ends. Arizona’s Jake Ballard, Jim Dray and Rob Housler combined for nine catches for 117 yards. Who’s to blame? A young secondary, general lack of athleticism among the linebackers and poor pass rush. The good news is (in part) that the secondary will continue to gain experience. Looking to the future, the Jaguars will still need to improve the pass rush. Carson Palmer finished the game with 419 yards passing.
Player of the Game (Jaguars Edition): Bryan Anger. The former 3rd round pick averaged 47.8 yards per punt, including 6 kicks inside the 10 yard line. When kicking to the field, he averaged over 55 yards per punt.
Play of the Game (Jaguars Edition)-Facing 4th and 1 on their own 38 yard line in the first quarter, Gus Bradley rolled the dice and went for it. A well designed play action pass to tight end Danny Noble went for 62 yards and a touchdown. It was the Jaguars first touchdown at EverBank Field since last December.