Sam's Commentary

December 14, 2014 Commentary Archive

Second Half Woes (again), Jaguars lose to Ravens

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted December 14, 2014 ===========================================================================

Sometimes things crystalize right in front of your eyes when you're watching the Jaguars play. In their opening drive against the Ravens, they drove the ball to midfield with a good blend of Toby Gerhart running and Blake Bortles passing. Gerhart's healthy and running hard while Bortles looks confident.

Then things fall apart.

A wide-open Marcedes Lewis drops a perfect pass for a first down to keep a drive going and former Jaguar Daryl Smith tips a pass on 3rd down to force a punt. Will Ta'ufo'ou misses a block on the punt team and it's blocked and returned for a TD. 7-0 Baltimore.

If Lewis catches the ball, the drive's still happening. If Will makes the block, the Ravens field position is not good. In the span of a couple plays, the whole Jaguars season just happened right before your eyes. That's why coming in to Baltimore, they're 2-11. Flashes of what they can do but mind-blowing inconsistency and not just by young players.

Although the special teams have allowed 5 blocked kicks this year (2 punts and 3 FG's) the one constant has been Josh Scobee. His two field goals in the first quarter from 53 and 45 yards kept the Jaguars in the game in the first quarter, 7-6.

More of the same in the second quarter. Mostly good defense, stuffing Justin Forsett and forcing him out of the game. They forced a fumble (18th of the year, tying a franchise record) and Scobee kicked another FG to make it 9-7.

It's OK for a 2-1 team to try a little trickery so an on-side kick followed with Jonathan Cyprien's recovery and the Jaguars were in business again. But this time, they squandered the opportunity with Scobee missing from 42 yards, still 9-7.

Joe Flacco is one of the premier QB's in the game (They introduce him here as the "MVP of Super Bowl XLIV") and he can find open guys. The middle of the field remains a problem for the Jaguars and Flacco exploited it, moving the ball inside the 10 with three minutes to play. But the D stiffened again and forced a FG, 10-9 Ravens.

But playing with a sense of confidence and moving the ball in big chunks, Bortles hit Alan Hurns across the middle for a 23 yard gain to give them a chance at the end zone. A better pass to Marqise Lee would have been a TD but instead, Scobee hit another FG to give the Jaguars a 12-10 lead.

Can they remember last week and not fall apart the same way they did against the Texans? Gus Bradley said he was partly responsible for that and promised he'll have the team more ready to play. But it felt like a half of missed opportunity. No points off the onside kick, no TD's and some good field position without a much to show for it. The Jaguars gave up four sacks for the 5th week in a row and held the ravens to 13 yards rushing but still only lead by two.

The third quarter looked like the third quarter from last week. Exchange of punts, not much offense for the Jaguars and a sustained, six play, 80-yard drive by the opposition to take a lead. Again the Jaguars didn't cover the middle of the field and missed tackles. The Ravens had Owen Daniels wide open a couple of times, including off play action in the end zone and lead 17-12.

There were a few opportunities for the Jaguars offense as they moved into the 4th quarter. A fake punt worked for a first down but no points. A couple of good stands by the defense gave them good field position, but no points. A Ravens missed field goal gave them the ball near midfield, but two sacks (61 given up this year) forced a punt. No points. A good defensive sequence forced the Ravens to punt from their end zone. Ace Sanders returned it 13 yards and a holding penalty put the ball at the 50. Turned it over on downs, still, no points.

Meanwhile the Ravens very professionally ground the clock, ran the ball and gained first downs. Flacco even ran for a 1st down on 3rd and 5 late in the 4th quarter on a designed running play for the QB.

That led to a FG and a 20-12 victory for the Ravens, somewhat reminiscent of last week's loss to Houston. Halftime lead, nothing in the second half.

Being in Baltimore reminded me of the years the Jaguars had the Ravens in their division and the great games the two teams played. The Jaguars ruled the series and looked like a regular playoff contender for years to come. But as they lost their way on the field, the operation of the franchise suffered as well. As I've noted before, Wayne Weaver was loyal to a fault to his friends when their time had been up in the front office for a while. The Ravens "do a lot of things right" as one Jaguars staffer told me, on the field and off.

While 30 years ago then-Mayor Jake Godbold pointed to Baltimore as a good model for Jacksonville to follow, (the city lost their way on that mission) perhaps a thorough inspection of the Raven is in order for the Jaguars as well. They've made great strides as an organization under Shad Khan but could still learn a few things from other teams around the league, the Ravens being one of them.

Let's hope those lessons are applied quickly, on and off the field and perhaps the days of 71,000 in the stands, as there were on this day in Baltimore, can return to Jacksonville.

Soon.


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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12-14-2014 - Jaguars Ravens Preview: Still Learning?
12-11-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Individual Performances
12-07-2014 - Jaguars Falter in 2nd Half, Lose to Texans
12-07-2014 - Jaguars/Texans preview: Keep the Momentum?
12-06-2014 - McElwain Introduced at Florida: Wins the Press Conference
12-03-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Comebacks
12-01-2014 - Defense Shines, Jaguars beat Giants
11-30-2014 - Jaguars Giants Preview: It's About Bortles
11-23-2014 - Jaguars Sputter vs Indy
11-23-2014 - Jagaurs vs. Colts Preview
11-22-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Teams
11-16-2014 - Muschamp Era Over: Where Now?
11-10-2014 - Jaguars Close to the Tipping Point
11-09-2014 - Jaguars Don't Get Better
11-09-2014 - Shad Khan: Making Jacksonville and the Jaguars a Winner
11-08-2014 - Jaguars Prep Cowboys on Saturday
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Arrive in London
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Make London Routine
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Focusing on Cowboys
11-05-2014 - Jaguars Road Trip: Play Anywhere, Anytime
11-02-2014 - Jaguars Mistakes Cost Them Again
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
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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
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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
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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?
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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
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