Jaguars have plenty of blame to go around after latest loss
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars have more-than-usual blame to go around for their latest loss.
Rookie kicker Jason Myers missed two chances to win the game at Indianapolis, missing right in regulation and then left overtime. The offense mustered just 13 points, including the lone touchdown off a turnover, against a team that had given up nearly 27 a game in the first three weeks. The defense allowed an 80-yard touchdown drive in the first half, with more than half the distance coming because of penalties, and surrendered two big plays on the winning drive in overtime.
The result was a 16-13 loss, a complete team loss.
”It’s a tough game to watch,” coach Gus Bradley said Monday.
A tough one for Jags fans to stomach, too. Not because it dropped Bradley’s record to 8-28 in three seasons, but because it came against a struggling Indianapolis team that was playing without star quarterback Andrew Luck and with 40-year-old backup Matt Hasselbeck making his first start in nearly three years.
”I think we had a great opportunity with our team and the way we wanted to approach it and go about it,” Bradley said. ”I truly felt we missed it. It got away from us, and it’s very disappointing.”
Myers was the No. 1 scapegoat. The kicker, who made the team over veteran Josh Scobee, could have won the game in regulation but pushed a 53-yarder wide right. He had a chance to redeem himself in overtime, but went wide left from 48 yards out.
Bradley said he plans to stick with Myers, who also missed a field goal and an extra point in the season opener. Next up is a trip to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers on Sunday.
”We knew there was going to be some waves that we were going to have to go through,” Bradley said. ”I like his mentality. We’re very confident in him. He had an unfortunate day yesterday. He started off 1-for-1, 2-for-2, but in that heightened environment, it didn’t work out for us. I think the confidence comes with his demeanor and mentality. We know, with a younger kicker like this, he’s going to go through some of these situations.”
The offense, meanwhile, was supposed to be significantly improved in quarterback Blake Bortles’ second season.
Instead, the Jaguars rank last in the AFC in scoring with 62 points. That’s 15.5 points a game – slightly less than what the Jaguars averaged last season (15.6) with six rookies playing significant snaps on offense.
”It’s very frustrating for the players and the coaches, and we’ve got to get over that hump,” Bradley said. ”I think there’s a general sense where we’re making progress with the team. I think they feel like we’re making strides, but we’re not there yet obviously.”
Bradley pointed out that the Jaguars had first-and-10 plays from the Indy 6, 13 and 16, and they came away with a touchdown and two field goals.
”We’ve got to score more points than that,” he said.
It will have to happen without a key cog in the offensive line. Right guard Brandon Linder went on injured reserve Monday with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Linder will have surgery later this week.
Defensively, the Jaguars are getting healthier and could get Sen’Derrick Marks back later this month.
The unit was mostly solid against the Colts. But it had the penalty-laden drive late in the first half and faded in overtime, giving up a 28-yard passing play and then a 22-yard run that set up the winning field goal.
”Good teams consistently don’t have even a series like that, so far too many penalties in that situation,” Bradley said.
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