Bumbling Jaguars now worst in NFL in turnover differential
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, left, talks to line judge Gary Arthur (108) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville's turnover differential is a number better suited for the golf course.
The Jaguars (2-6) are minus-12 on the season, the worst margin in the NFL and a big reason coach Gus Bradley's team has lost three consecutive games and sits last in the AFC South.
Jacksonville found new ways to add to its turnover woes in a 19-14 loss at Kansas City on Sunday. Not only did the Jaguars lose a muffed punt for the third consecutive game, Chris Ivory fumbled crossing the goal line and two defenders collided to prevent what should have been an easy interception.
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The errors were part of a four-turnover performance and the fourth consecutive game without a takeaway.
And they left Bradley scratching his head.
''We talk about it every day,'' he said Monday. ''We show clips every day. We show pictures every day. Maybe it's too much.''
Ivory's fourth-quarter fumble was the only questionable one of the bunch. Trailing 19-7, Ivory lost control as he stretched the ball across the goal line. It was ruled a fumble and a touchback, and replays didn't provide any clear evidence to indicate Ivory had broken the plane before the ball slipped out of his hands.
''I have to be careful here with this,'' Bradley said. ''We get different views than they do. All I can tell you is that the view that we saw, we have an end-zone view (on the coaches' tape) that gives you a different look at it. In our mind, when we looked at it, it looked like he crossed it before the ball came out. They don't have that view at that time.''
The Jaguars might not have even needed that touchdown had it not been for all their other mistakes, especially the turnovers.
The other three were equally costly, leading to 13 points for the Chiefs:
-Bryan Walters muffed a punt in the first quarter, setting up Kansas City's first touchdown. Walter's special teams miscue was the third in as many games for Jacksonville. Marqise Lee and Rashad Greene muffed punts against Tennessee and Oakland, respectively. Bradley has no idea who will be his punt returner Sunday against division-leading Houston (5-3).
''I'd like to say open it up for a competition and let's see,'' Bradley said.
-Blake Bortles threw his 10th interception of the season in the second quarter, which put Kansas City in field-goal range and led to a 10-0 deficit. It was another poor decision and poor throw from the third-year pro who spent several days last week working with a mechanics coach . Bortles also overthrew Allen Robinson down the field for a would-be touchdown.
-T.J. Yeldon fumbled at the end of a 16-yard run in the third, and the Chiefs hit a 51-yards field goal that made it 13-7.
Throw in Jason Myers' missed field goal and Allen Hurns' dropped fourth-down pass near the goal line, and the Jaguars once again committed more self-inflicted problems than they could overcome.
Making matters worse, they're not creating or even lucking into turnovers on defense or special teams. Although the drought is at four games, it should have ended in the first quarter at Kansas City.
On a first-and-15 play from the 42, Nick Foles overthrew Jeremy Maclin down the middle of the field. Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara was in position to catch it until he crashed into safety Tashaun Gipson. It didn't cost the Jaguars because Kansas City ended up punting, but it also didn't help the turnover differential.
''We've got to have those,'' Bradley said. ''You have a chance to go back there and make a play and you get one thrown up to you. I don't know what to say on that one other than catch the ones thrown to you.''
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