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Even in 6th Straight Loss, Growth is Seen

Updated on October 13, 2014
Blake Bortles throwing the ball against the Tennessee defense
Blake Bortles throwing the ball against the Tennessee defense | Source

The Jacksonville Jaguars fall short in losing to the Tennessee Titans 16-14.

Call it what you want but Jacksonville was a blocked field goal away from their first win of the season.

I know. Everyone wants a win. I want a win but more importantly I want to see growth. You have to focus on the fact that Jacksonville is playing six rookies on offense. Doing the math....carry the one...that is over half of the offense.

The Jaguars did not play particularly well (understatement) including an interception thrown by Blake Bortles -- yes, I think he threw it late -- and a costly fumble late in the 4th quarter by Cecil Shorts III in the redzone.

Look at the positives -- you can see growth on both sides of the ball.

Look at some of these offensive stats:

  • ROOKIE quarterback Blake Bortles had his first (of many) 300 yard game and scrambled for another 38 yards
  • ROOKIE wide receiver Allen Robinson was targeted 9 times -- 8 catches for 68 yards
  • ROOKIE running back Storm Johnson and 2ND YEAR running backs Denard Robinson & Jordan Todman are who made up our backfield in the 2 point loss
  • ROOKIEs and 2ND YEAR players accounted for 204 yards rushing/receiving yesterday (includes Bortles rushing stats)
  • OT Luke Joeckel might as well be considered a rookie for as much time he lost last year to injury -- but he is a 2ND YEAR player and then you have C Luke Bowanko who is a ROOKIE

The defense has allowed 10 & 16 points respectively over the last two games. I am positive there is not one Jaguar fan that will complain about that. In review lets look at some of the defensive stats:

  • 2ND YEAR Safety Jonathan Cyprien accounted for 15 tackles, 12 solo
  • Defense had 3 sacks putting their sack total to 19 for the year through 6 games (tied for 2nd) on pace for 50 sacks on the season -- sack totals last 5 years -- 31 (2013), 20 (2012), 31 (2011), 26 (2010), 14 (2009)
  • Defense has allowed less points per game as of late -- 27 (week 1), 41 (w2), 37 (w3), 33 (w4), 10 (w5), and 16 (w6)
  • For the 2nd week in a row no touchdowns scored by an opposing team offense -- adjustments ARE being made

I feel the biggest evolution left on the growth plan, other than maturity, is execution. This word is often the final part of a team coming together. When the execution becomes better you are going to see a different team. Jordan Todman dropped a ball yesterday late in the 3rd quarter that would have put the Jaguars in the redzone. That was the difference as it would have changed the play calling and, we don;t know obviously, may have negated the interception and allow us to put points on the board.

Execution, execution, execution! It will come. It is usually one of the last items to occur when rebuilding a team.

NAYSAYERS

I enjoy reading your words on the message boards. I like the many insults, arm-chair quarterbacking and general manager decisions you guys would make. It is great for entertainment but, most of all, it shows your passion about this team. For that I thank you.

The only opinions (other than the above) I would put out there is that we are still rebuilding. Know one likes the term especially a franchise that has been "rebuilding" for the last six years. We are all, as fans, frustrated by the wins and losses column in the newspaper. It is a column I never look at because of the position we are in with the franchise.

We are not ready to measure the team in wins and losses at this time. You have to measure the Jaguars by my keyword in this article -- growth. The growth is occurring for once in the six year timeframe. It is exciting to see. Once we finish up with the final steps to the owner's/general manager/coaches plan, you will see it.

The Jaguars are growing. Be happy, be proud and be ready. Once the team starts hitting on all cylinders it is going to be a great show and we can finally start judging by that win column.

DRAFT NEEDS

New spot for this as it is something that a lot of individuals will be focussing on sooner rather than later. Here are my top 4 choices of what we will be looking for (not in any particular order)

  1. Corner Back -- We do need a shutdown corner. We have Aaron Colvin is on the Active/Non-football injury list and should begin practicing in the next couple of weeks. I still think this was a huge steal and a focus on the future for the personnel department. We still need to get one more corner, though.
  2. Middle Linebacker -- I really like Poz. With that being said, he is horrible at pass defending. We see it every weekend and it is something that will be addressed. I would love to see a time that Poz is in on obvious running downs and a young guy coming in on passing downs. We have young guys in the fold but expect to see this position addressed and addressed early.
  3. Offensive line -- The line is not all there. We have a rookie center that the team likes and we have two tackles I feel the coaches are extremely happy with. We need better guard play and more depth
  4. Quarterback -- WHOA...hold on peeps. Let me finish. We need a serviceable backup. Chad Henne is good for leadership but I think we address this position late to have a back up plan. If the line keeps allowing all of these sacks, it will be difficult to keep Blake healthy. Even the Patriots had to go without Tom Brady for a year.

LONDON

Anyone else heading to London for the game? I will be there and am excited for the opportunity -- it pays to have friends in the military, right Kate!!

Let me know if there are any spots I have to hit for the game or just in general. Wife and I are making plans now.

FAN CORNER

Here is a quote I got from a good friend of mine that goes with everything I am saying:

"I saw a team trying. A team who was better than the team they were playing, they just didn't know it. I'm excited to see them learn how good they can be."

~ Joe Nathan, Jacksonville


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