JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars already have double-digits losses at home and on the road.
They might add abroad to the resume next week.
Philip Rivers threw for 285 yards and a touchdown, Ryan Mathews ran for 110 yards and a score, and the surging San Diego Chargers beat the inept Jaguars 24-6 Sunday.
“It was a big letdown for the team, for the fans, for the city,” defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks said. “Everybody who believes in Jacksonville, it was a letdown from us to them. We’ve got to take full responsibility for what happened.”
Jacksonville (0-7) travels to London next week to face defending NFC champion San Francisco — and the Jaguars have given little, if any, indication they’re close to turning things around.
The Jags have lost every game this season by double digits, becoming the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to garner that dubious distinction. The Oilers lost their first 10 games that year by at least 10 points.
And the most glaring issue Sunday was a lack of effort.
“We acted like a young team. Whether that’s right or not, I’m not going there,” coach Gus Bradley said. “I just think that we didn’t respond the right way to the challenge. The three most dangerous words in the NFL are ‘I’ve got it,’ and I think that we felt like ‘We’re making strides. We’ve got this. We’ve just got to go out there and do this,’ and that’s not how it works.
“If we had that mentality, then we got punched right in the mouth.”
Bradley shouldered the blame for failing to have his team ready, a feeling he got in pregame warm-ups and in the locker room. Jacksonville was widely praised for covering a 27-point spread at Denver last week and spent part of this past week preparing for a week long stay in London.
Unlike the Chargers, who handled a short week and a cross-country flight, the Jaguars failed to get a grasp on all the potential distractions.
“We talk about playing with toughness, playing with effort, playing with enthusiasm and playing smart,” Bradley said. “That’s our style. I don’t think we did any one of those four today.”
Bradley couldn’t pinpoint the problem.
But everyone who’s watched Jacksonville play this season knows it’s a talent-based issue.
The Chargers dominated every aspect of the game.
Rivers completed his first 14 passes, picking apart Jacksonville’s defense with short throws and clock-eating drives. He finished 22 of 26. Mathews topped the century mark for the second consecutive week.
The Chargers scored on their first two drives of the second half, pushing the lead to 24-6. Mathews’ 3-yard run with 14:08 remaining sent many of the Jacksonville faithful scrambling for the exits early — again. The Jaguars have been outscored 89-11 in three home games this season.
“We can say we keep doing good things, but if we don’t get a win or get more points on the board, it’s really not doing good things,” Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne said. “We’re really disappointed right now as an offense. … It’s tough to swallow.”
Jacksonville was its own worst enemy.
Marks was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following a 1-yard run on a second-and-34 play, giving San Diego an automatic first down.
“I just went over and I actually did push his helmet and was like, ‘Dude, don’t hold me no more,'” Marks said. “But the ref said I tried to poke him in the eye. But it was all on me because I did turn around and walk back to him. I accept all the blame for that. That whole penalty was my fault and that continuation of that drive was all my fault.”
Shorts, who played with a shoulder injury, had eight receptions for 80 yards. He also dropped two slant passes in the end zone.
“I was hurting today,” he said. “Still, no excuse. I should have made those two slants. Those are routine for me. I’ve made them 100 times in practice, 100 times in my career. I’m not even sure what happened. It’s just easy catches that I messed up. I put the blame on myself for not putting 12 points on the board right there.
“I’m not going to hold my head down. I was very, very upset with myself. I was in here crying, but that’s part of the game. I’m going to bounce back and play well next week.”