Sam's Commentary

November 02, 2014 Commentary Archive

Jaguars Mistakes Cost Them Again

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted November 02, 2014 ===========================================================================

Leading up to the game in Cincinnati, the Jaguars knew they'd be making some changes in their lineup and the Bengals would be a mixed bag of personnel who had gotten them to four victories this year. The Bengals are thin on the defensive line and at linebacker and their best running back; Giovanni Bernard is banged up and out. AJ Green is returning to the Bengals lineup after missing time with a toe injury. But on defense, Cincy has six first round picks among their safeties and cornerbacks.

Blake Bortles had an "attacking" week at practice according to Head Coach Gus Bradley, focusing on not turning the ball over. With a nice mix of the pass and run, the Jaguars moved the ball with only one heart-skipping moment when Bortles threw a pass right to a Cincy defensive back but Toby Gerhart, healthy, and Denard Robinson, again, moved the ball downfield leading to a Josh Scobee FB, 3-0 Jaguars. It was a little conservative when it came inside the red zone but points are points and the Jaguars took an early lead.

It wasn't a shock when the Jaguars defense stuffed the Bengals rushing attack, forcing Andy Dalton to go to the air to try to move the ball. With a week to prepare with Demetrius McCray and Dwayne Gratz at corners and Sherrod Martin knowing he was going to play, the Jaguars defensive backfield looked well organized early in the game against the Bengals passing attack. All three made nice plays on Dalton passes to keep Cincinnati at bay. But between Green and Mohammed Sanu, the Bengals have a formidable duo heading downfield. So when they started to get on rhythm with Dalton, it was not good news for the Jaguars. Using those two and the occasional run from Jeremy Hill the Cincinnati marched down the field on a 10-play 80 yard 4:33 drive to take a 7-3 lead.

It was a few early mistakes that cost the Jaguars good opportunities. A couple of penalties on the offensive line on Zane Beadles and Austin Pasztor and a missed tackle on defense by Telvin Smith either snuffed out drives for the Jaguars or kept things going for the Bengals early. Those mistakes are the kinds of things that get you beat, the little things that are magnified when you're at least competitive.

Good teams usually get some breaks. The Jaguars forced AJ Green into a fumble but Abry Jones couldn't control it at the 10-yard line and Sanu recovered. It's the kind of play good teams get and the Jaguars haven't gotten there yet. It was a good defensive stand helped by an offside penalty against Green that wiped out his TD catch. A field goal ensued and the Jaguars trailed 10-3.

Maybe it's because they're young or maybe that's just an excuse but the Jaguars small mistakes are blatant enough to keep them from succeeding and allowing the other team second, or easy chances. Telvin Smith missed a tackle that would have forced a Cincinnati punt. Then he apparently missed a block on the punt that allowed the Bengals to come up with a block in the end zone that resulted in a safety, 12-3 Bengals. And at the end of the half, Smith was called for unnecessary roughness after the punt on the final play of the half, pushing the kickoff back to the 20 to open the second half.

The Bengals made the Jaguars pay for that penalty, taking advantage of the field position gained and scored on their opening drive to take a 19-3 lead. And just when you thought that might be the game-got-out-of-hand moment, Blake Bortles ran the naked bootleg and threw a long pass to Alan Hurns for a TD. Hurns made a great adjustment on the ball and perhaps Bortles under threw it on purpose but either way the Jaguars scored to make it 19-10.

After a nice interception by Sherrod Martin where he broke on the ball in front of the receiver, it was the small things that kept the Jaguars from scoring. Denard Robinson ran through a gaping hole only to get in front of himself trying to run down field and fell after a decent but not great gain. Then on 2nd down Bortles didn't throw the ball downfield enough for Toby Gerhart to go get it, incomplete. Incomplete on third down and they were forced to punt. The plays were there; the jaguars just didn't make them when it counted.

Special teams bit the Jaguars again, allowing a long punt return by Adam (Pacman) Jones followed by a TD pass from Dalton to Green, again, 26-10 Bengals.

Again, the Jaguars fight back, scoring on another nice adjustment by Hurns in the end zone against double coverage made the score 26-16 and the Jaguars decided to go for two. Cecil Shorts couldn't hold the conversion in the end zone and they were still down by 10. I know the card probably says go for 2 there but why not kick the PAT and be down by nine where a FG and a TD wins the game for you?

Still, a really nice play by JT Thomas called an interception on a Dalton fumble/pass led to a TD for the Jaguars and they're now down by 2, 26-23 with just over 8 minutes to play. It's the first game with two interceptions for the Jaguars in 2014. That's where with 10 minutes to play I think you kick the PAT and have a chance to win the game. I know if you had made the 2-pt conversion you'd be playing for a chance to tie, but that's hindsight.

No matter though because Josh Scobee kicked the ball out of bounds on the kickoff, giving the ball to the Bengals at the 40. On the first play, Jeremy Hill ripped off a 60-yard TD, breaking tackles along the way to give Cincy a 33-23 lead. Again, little things, like a kick out of bounds by a veteran player gave the Bengals a chance. And they cashed it in.

But again the Jaguars responded, marching down the field with a couple of nice catches by Hurns and a strong run by Gerhart on third down that showed what he can do when healthy. But again, Bortles threw into traffic in the end zone and the ball was intercepted ending the rally. Bad decision by Blake after looking at his first two reads and finding nobody open, in that situation, he needs to throw it into the stands and live to play another day. Instead, Cincinnati got the ball and ground the clock.

Again this week, it's the little things that look big that got the Jaguars beat. They fall to 1-8 and head to London to face the Cowboys. Fortunes can change in this league quickly, just look at Dallas. Riding high and getting accolades as potentially the best team in the league, the Cowboys have lost two straight and probably won't have Tony Romo in London to face the Jaguars.

If Gus wants a "take this show anywhere" philosophy, it'll be tested this week, that's for sure.


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

10-29-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Florida Connections
10-19-2014 - Jaguars 1st Win: Beat Browns
10-19-2014 - Jaguars Browns Preview: Winnable?
10-13-2014 - Jaguars Let One Slip Away
10-12-2014 - Jaguars vs. Titans Preview
10-11-2014 - Top 20 Jaguars Personalities
10-06-2014 - Steelers Beat Jaguars But More Respectable
10-03-2014 - Simple Jaguars Solution: Play Better
10-02-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Rivalry Moments
09-29-2014 - Jaguars Lose To Chargers: Still Learning
09-27-2014 - Jaguars prep Chargers in San Diego
09-25-2014 - Bortles First Week as Starter
09-24-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Impactful Rookies
09-20-2014 - Jaguars/Colts Preview: Race to Maturity Needs to be Fast
09-14-2014 - Jaguars Lose Game, Ground
09-09-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 'Moments
09-08-2014 - Jaguars Fall to Eagles, Learn Lessons
09-06-2014 - Jaguars/Eagles: It's What's Up Front That Counts
09-06-2014 - Hotel Domestique: (Almost) Cycling Paradise
08-16-2014 - Henne Takes Control, Jags Move Forward
08-15-2014 - Keep Improving and Jaguars Have A Chance
07-12-2014 - Chasing Greatness: The Right Way
07-01-2014 - Team USA Brings Us Together: Again
06-08-2014 - A Special Day in Town
06-06-2014 - Jaguars Week 2 OTA's: More Progress
05-28-2014 - Jaguars 1st OTA: Plenty of Questions
05-17-2014 - Jaguars Rookie Camp: A Look At The Future
05-15-2014 - Jaguars "Sustainability" Seems Upward
05-12-2014 - Kaymer Wins Players: Wins Fans Too
05-08-2014 - The Players: First Round Update
05-07-2014 - Players Preview 2014
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Who Can Win?
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Will The Greens Be Up To Par?
05-05-2014 - Players 2014: Some Greens Still Closed
05-05-2014 - The Players : Wide Open
05-03-2014 - The Players Field Almost Set
05-03-2014 - Pre Draft Jaguars Ramblings
04-11-2014 - Jaguars Buzz is Real
04-04-2014 - Final Four Bigger in Big 'D'
03-28-2014 - Gators in Elite Eight: Want More
03-27-2014 - Gators vs. UCLA: Toughest Test Yet
03-26-2014 - Bradley Looking To Upgrade Team, Self
03-23-2014 - Gators Change Mindset, Beat Pitt
03-21-2014 - Gators "Survive and Advance"
03-20-2014 - Gators Ranking Doesn't Matter
03-19-2014 - Gators in Orlando For NCAA's
03-14-2014 - Jaguars Free Agency: Impressed, Not Surprised
03-12-2014 - Gabbert Gone
03-08-2014 - Gators Still "Chasing Greatness"
02-27-2014 - "Personal Foul" on the Dutch
02-22-2014 - NASCAR: Looking To The Past To Find The Future
02-13-2014 - Jax: An Events Town"
02-05-2014 - National Signing Day: "Mark Your Calendar!"
01-07-2014 - As Good As It Gets: FSU Wins National Championship
01-06-2014 - FSU vs. Team of Destiny
01-05-2014 - Fisher/Malzahn, FSU/Auburn Contrast in Style
01-05-2014 - FSU A Close-Knit Group
01-02-2014 - Jaguars Talking Vs. Doing:
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2013 COMMENTARY
12-29-2013 - Decisions to Make: Jaguars Need A Lot
12-23-2013 - Meester's Day
12-22-2013 - Jaguars Don't Have Enough
12-20-2013 - Jaguars: Who Wants To Be Here?
12-19-2013 - Meeter Retires: The REAL Pride of the Jaguars
12-15-2013 - Jaguars: Three Forward One Back
12-06-2013 - Jaguars Beat Texans Again: Learning How to Win
12-01-2013 - Florida/FSU: Different Directions?
11-18-2013 - Jaguars 2nd Half: "Better But Not Good"
11-14-2013 - Locker Room Culture: Off Limits?
11-10-2013 - Jaguars Victory: A Lot More Than Just One Win
11-03-2013 - Do We Worry About Blackmon?
11-02-2013 - Florida/Georgia: It's Never Easy
10-27-2013 - Jaguars in London: Fun & Frustration:Equal Parts of Both
10-26-2013 - Jacksonville's on a Global Stage
10-25-2013 - Shad Khan "Living The Dream"
10-03-2013 - Jaguars Building for the "Distant" Future
09-30-2013 - Jaguars: Not Getting Better Soon
09-23-2013 - Jaguars Results Not Unexpected
09-17-2013 - Jaguars Ups and Downs
09-10-2013 - Not What They Were Expecting
09-07-2013 - Jaguars Give Reason For Hope
08-25-2013 - "Better and Improved": The Jaguars Buzzwords
08-21-2013 - Jaguars 2013: It's Not About Winning
08-12-2013 - Jaguars Assessment: Is "Not Terrible" Fair?
08-01-2013 - Jaguars Camp: No Surprises But Not Routine
07-26-2013 - Gus Bradley's First Camp: "Slow Down!"
07-20-2013 - Big Thinking Khan Style
06-20-2013 - Its Summer, It's Hot, No Kidding!
05-31-2013 - The Ever Expanding "Season"
05-15-2013 - The Players: One Of A Kind
05-01-2013 - Tiger At The Players
05-08-2013 - Jaguars Needs: Everything
04-03-2013 - Golf in North Florida: It is & isn't all about The Players
01-30-2013 - Players Win Games

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