Sam's Commentary

November 20, 2016 Commentary Archive

In A Game Of Inches, The Jaguars Are A Foot Behind

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted November 20, 2016 ===========================================================================

It might be only and inch here or an inch there, but in the precise world of the NFL, those inches can be the ones that get you beat. Watching the Jaguars play the Lions in Detroit showed the difference between a team that's making the routine play and one that's a couple of inches off and not winning. Detroit has trailed in every one of their games this year at halftime yet is 6-4. The Jaguars are 2-8, losers of five straight because they're having a tough time getting out of their own way.

For the tenth time in his career, Quarterback Blake Bortles threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. It happened with the game still up for grabs, in the second half when a good drive or even a score could set the tone for what might happen. Blake's throw to Marqise Lee wasn't terrible, but it was just off the mark enough for it to be tipped in the air and picked off. A more precise throw and Lee probably catches the ball for a first down. We're talking about a difference of six inches between where he threw it and where it needed to go. But that's the price you pay in the NFL for imprecise play.

In addition to the defensive touchdown, the Lions scored a special teams touchdown and took advantage of a busted coverage to score their only offensive touchdown of the game. A fumble by Chris Ivory (his 4thof the year, leading the NFL), a missed extra point, blown coverage down the sideline (twice) and an egregious offside penalty against Sen'Derrick Marks at exactly the wrong time are examples of what has the Jaguars at 2-8 and a team like the Lions still thinking playoffs.

Watching the Lions play should have been inspiring for the Jaguars. They're not great but they're making plays when they need them most. Good tackles on third down, hitting the open receiver in stride on offense and filling their lanes on special teams. The Jaguars on the other hand were doing just the opposite: missing receivers on third down, missing tackles on special teams and jumping offside.

Last week Marks loudly complained that it was a "slap in the face" to only be on the field for 23 plays against the Texans. It was a little out of character for Marks, an affable guy off the field and an intense competitor on it. He also one of only a handful of veterans on this club (although he's only 29) who are trying to be leaders in the locker room. But you can't call the team out one week and not back it up the next by being baited into jumping offside. It's only one play of probably about 40 Marks was on the field for in Detroit, but it's that one play where they needed him the most that cost the Jaguars a chance at winning.

And it's not always the same guy. One week it was Malik Jackson, another it was Blake Bortles. Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler, Bryan Walters and Rashad Greene have all had a hand in making plays, or rather not making plays, that have gotten the Jaguars beat.

A fix is not apparent but it is clear the Jaguars lack the core veterans at each position who know the nuance, precision, discipline and execution it takes to win at this level. Veterans who not only can play but also can lead, and are willing to be followed by those who want to learn. It's a hard lesson to learn in a league that shows no mercy to those who are unprepared to win.


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

11-15-2016 - Jaguars Stick With Bortles
11-13-2016 - Jaguars Lose: Same Song, Wrong Notes
11-12-2016 - Jaguars Vs. Texans: 4 To Watch 4
11-11-2016 - Jags' OC Hackett "Excited" About Offense
11-09-2016 - Sports And Politics: Not So Strange Bedfellows
11-08-2016 - Bradley Says Jaguars Character In Tact
11-07-2016 - Jaguars Beat Jaguars In KC
11-03-2016 - Babby's Idea Screams "Minor League"
11-02-2016 - Cryotherapy Jax: Recovery Is The Key To Peak Performance
10-31-2016 - Bradley, Bortles Say Hackett Brings "New Vision"
10-29-2016 - Bradley Says Jaguars Lacked Focus
10-28-2016 - Khan Says Bradley's Staying
10-28-2016 - Time's Up: Jaguars Should Move On
10-25-2016 - "Unacceptable" According To Bradley. Is It Really?
10-24-2016 - Jaguars, Bradley Wobbling On The Tracks
10-23-2016 - Jaguars Embarrassed By Raiders, 33-16
10-18-2016 - Jaguars Run Game Needs Help
10-17-2016 - Jaguars Win, Need Work
10-15-2016 - Jaguars Bye Week Approach Slightly Different
10-11-2016 - Bradley: "It feels different out there"
10-10-2016 - Historic Ponte Vedra Inn And Club Survives Matthew
10-10-2016 - PV Residents Say Beach Is Resilient
10-10-2016 - Sawgrass CC: No Issues
10-04-2016 - Jaguars: 2 Weeks To Clean Things Up
10-02-2016 - Jaguars Beat Colts
10-01-2016 - Plenty Of Jaguars Fans In London
10-01-2016 - Jaguars In London: Routine Is Key
10-01-2016 - Jaguars/Colts: 4 To Watch 4
09-29-2016 - Bortles: "Stupid things, easily correctable"
09-29-2016 - Jaguars Say London Is More Like A Home Game
09-28-2016 - Palmer's Local Friends: "You'd have loved him even if he wasn't a golfer"
09-28-2016 - Bradley Knows Now Is The Time
09-26-2016 - Arnold Palmer: No One Like Him
09-26-2016 - Jaguars Squander Chances, Lose To Ravens
09-24-2016 - Jaguars/Ravens: 4 To Watch 4
09-20-2016 - Bradley, Jaguars At A Crossroads
09-18-2016 - Jaguars vs. SD: Nothing To Like
09-18-2016 - Jaguars/San Diego: 4 To Watch 4
09-16-2016 - Graeme Mcdowell Owns Restaurants, Wants To Play Golf
09-12-2016 - After Further Review: I Feel A Little Better Because They Don't
09-11-2016 - Exciting, Encouraged: Jaguars Still 0-1
09-10-2016 - Jaguars: 4 To Watch 4
09-10-2016 - Will Gus Bradley's Coaching Experiment Work?
09-08-2016 - Jaguars And Packers, More Similar Than You Think
09-06-2016 - Jaguars Roster: Bigger, Faster, Stronger
08-31-2016 - Are The Jaguars 'Hoping" For Success
08-30-2016 - Jaguars Know Bengals Effort Won't Fly
08-29-2016 - Wake Up Call For Jaguars Vs. Bengals
08-28-2016 - Jaguars "Fact Finding" vs. Bengals
08-23-2016 - Arrow Up On Jaguars
08-20-2016 - South End Zone Project: Khan Wants To Get It Right
08-13-2016 - Jets Game, Training Camp, Jaguars Still Working
08-03-2016 - Bortles Better, Defense Better
07-31-2016 - Stadium Improvements March On
07-29-2016 - FSU/Boise St. To Play Here In 2019
07-28-2016 - Air2G2 Local Company Making Good
07-27-2016 - Smith "Grateful and excited" to be in The Pride
07-27-2016 - Time for Jimmy Smith in The Pride
07-22-2016 - Jaguars Ready To Win Says Malik Jackson
07-22-2016 - Khan On 2016 Roster: "Scary Good"
07-15-2016 - Cryotherapy: The latest in "Sam's Big Comeback"
06-16-2016 - MJD on Jaguars: "They can win the South"
06-15-2016 - Foley To Leave Florida In A Good Spot
06-11-2016 - Marks Returns Optimistic
06-03-2016 - Hurns Deal Good All Around
05-31-2016 - Jaguars TE Thomas: We can be better
05-25-2016 - Hale Irwin at WGV: Winners have the heart of a champion"
05-24-2016 - Jaguars Start OTA's "Good not great."
05-20-2016 - Ramsey Hurt: Jaguars Snake Bit?
05-15-2016 - Day Wins THE PLAYERS 2016
05-13-2016 - Play Suspended At THE PLAYERS in Rd. 2
05-13-2016 - Wilcox Hole In One At 17
05-13-2016 - THE PLAYERS Round 2: Low Scores Again
05-12-2016 - First Round Players Notes
05-12-2016 - Day Early Leader At THE PLAYERS
05-12-2016 - Spite A Favorite, And Not Just For Golf
05-10-2016 - Fowler Still "Likes the Vibe"
05-10-2016 - Formula To Win THE PLAYERS? None
05-09-2016 - More Players At THE PLAYERS On Monday
05-09-2016 - Furyk Returns Optimistic At PLAYERS
04-30-2016 - Caldwell Takes Jack: "Risk To Be Great"
04-29-2016 - Jaguars' Ramsey: Best Player In The Draft
04-27-2016 - Khan On Draft Day: "Don't Be Impulsive"
04-23-2016 - Raising Money, Always Funny, Bill Murray's In Town
04-20-2016 - Mcelwain: Gators Much Farther Along
04-16-2016 - Armada Get 1st Win 2-1 vs. Miami FC
04-14-2016 - Rashean Retires As A Jaguar
04-09-2016 - Masters Traditions Like No Other
04-01-2016 - NFL Contributes To HS Player Safety
03-28-2016 - USA Soccer To Play Here September 6
03-26-2016 - When Watching Tony Kornheiser, Buyer Beware
03-24-2016 - Khan Still Moving Forward
03-23-2016 - Dave Caldwell's Jaguars Vision
03-23-2016 - Bradley: Stay to the Plan
03-09-2016 - Mayor Curry To Run Gate River Run
02-27-2016 - "The Hayt" Tests College Players At Sawgrass CC
02-19-2016 - Earnhardt, Kyle Busch win Duels at Daytona
02-18-2016 - Jaguars Re-sign Chad Henne
02-18-2016 - Champions Ride for Safety
02-12-2016 - The Players Military Appreciation Day
02-08-2016 - Hall of Fame Voting: A Process
02-04-2016 - FSU Class Among The Best In The Nation
02-04-2016 - Gators Bolster Offense on Signing Day
01-29-2016 - Stadium Clubs "Reimagined"
01-25-2016 - Remembering Rex Morgan
01-21-2016 - "Krossover" Helping Hs Hoops Teams
01-13-2016 - Cyclists And Motorists Looking For Compromise
01-07-2016 - Jacksonville in the D-League?
01-07-2016 - Smith Fired in Tampa: Jax DC?
01-05-2016 - For Gus' Sake, I Hope He's Right
01-04-2016 - Coughlin Out At Giants HC
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Lose To Texans, Work To Do
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Playing Today, Thinking About Tomorrow

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