Sam's Commentary

January 21, 2018 Commentary Archive

Heartbreaking Loss In AFC Championship Ends Jaguars Season

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted January 21, 2018 ===========================================================================

If there was an early indication of how the AFC Championship game against the Patriots would go it was how the Jaguars would survive the original onslaught from New England. Gillette Stadium can be a tough place to play when the Patriots are rolling and the noise meter is rising.

Giving New England the ball after winning the toss, the Patriots zipped downfield, using mismatches putting wide receivers on linebackers in four- and five-wide formations. Tom Brady found the open receivers to drive it inside the ten.

But the defense came up with a big stop and forced a field goal and a 3-0 Patriots lead.

Right away the Jaguars offense responded behind Blake Bortles. On their second possession, mixing the pass to receivers and running backs and using Leonard Fournette in the middle of the line, the Jaguars scored to make it 7-3. Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was mixing up the calls and using Corey Grant going wide for big chunks of yardage. The Jaguars clearly knew the Patriots couldn't keep up with Grant on the edge and he burned them. A nice play call for Marcedes Lewis who blocked then released to the end zone gave the 12-year veteran the first post-season touchdown catch of his career.

On the next possession the Jaguars did a lot of the same, this time Grant catching a pass in the flat and taking it to the four. Fournette bulled it in from there to give the Jaguars a 14-3 lead.

They are the Patriots so you knew they'd get something going. After not targeting Rob Gronkowski for the entire game, Tom Brady threw it to him 4 of the next five plays. A couple of incompletions and nice catch then a vicious hit by Barry Church on a ball up the seam was called for unnecessary roughness. Church probably needed to go lower there but Gronkowski left the game and didn't return after halftime. Brady threw a ball down the left sideline to Brandin Cooks that was out of bounds but A.J. Bouye was called for pass interference. A really questionable call, the ball was probably uncatchable and Cooks ran himself out of bound as the ball was in the air.

A couple of more completions and James White scored from the one to make it 14-0.

On the Pats scoring drive the Jaguars defense was called for 47 yards of penalties. Seemed rather conspicuous.

Although there were 55 seconds on the clock, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone chose to kneel on it and go to halftime with a four-point lead.

The pass interference play as well as a delay of game on a critical third down catch that was negated by the penalty were two of the key plays in the half.

Getting the ball to start the second half, the Jaguars moved it; converting some third downs leading to a 54-yard Josh Lambo field goal and a 17-10 Jaguars lead. Marrone showed a lot of confidence in Lambo there. He sure didn't want to give the Patriots the ball at midfield.

The rest of the third quarter was a lot of give and take but the Jaguars defense found a way to keep the Patriots from crossing midfield.

With the ball inside their own ten a couple of times, the Jaguars did just enough to keep New England at bay before driving the ball to the Patriots 25 yard line and getting another Lambo field goal to make it 20-10.

Just when it looked like New England had found a rhythm, including a trick, throwback play, Myles Jack stole the ball and forced a turnover keeping the Patriots off the board.

But the offense couldn't do anything with it and punted it back to the Patriots.

That's when Tom Brady started doing his thing. Without any blitz pressure from the Jaguars, Brady threw it all over the field, including another throwback play and scored on a nine-yard TD Pass to make it 20-17.

In the 4th quarter the Jaguars running game disappeared. It was obvious the Patriots weren't going to let Fournette get going. They swarmed Bortles on passing downs and the Patriots switched the field. A very mediocre punt by Brad Nortman was returned by Danny Amendola to the Jaguars 30.

From there a methodical Brady led offense moved it to the 5 yard line where Amendola caught a TD pass in the back of the end zone for a 24-20 lead.

With the ball, three timeouts and the 2 minute warning, the Jaguars had a chance to win the game but came up short despite a good effort. Bortles 4th down pass to Dede Westbrook was a little short after a scramble and it was deflected away.

With their three timeouts, the Jaguars were able to keep over a minute and a half on the clock but on third down they lost the edge and James White ran for a first down.

Sitting in the second row of the press box, Jaguars VP of Football Operations said, loudly, "Are you serious," and packed his stuff, loudly, and stomped out, loudly.

Heartbreaking stuff, but classic Patriots and Tom Brady, doing just enough to send the Jaguars home and return to the Super Bowl as defending champions.

While heartbreaking, not completely discouraging. These opportunities don't come around all the time, but without much change on the roster, the Jaguars could be good for a while.


Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

e-mail Sam


Sam's Commentary

Black Creek Outfitters

ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

01-21-2018 - Jaguars In NE: "We're Ready To Go"
01-21-2018 - Respect For The Jaguars? We Don't Care, We Live Here
01-19-2018 - Telvin Smith Brings Talent, Heart
01-18-2018 - Tom Mcmanus Says The Jaguars Will Win
01-18-2018 - Hard Work No Stranger To Marrone
01-18-2018 - Marrone: Right Guy, Right Place, Right Time
01-17-2018 - Blake, Teammate, And That's How He Likes It
01-14-2018 - Jaguars Come Alive, Upset Steelers, Head To AFC Title Game
01-13-2018 - Jaguars In Pittsburgh, All Business
01-11-2018 - Jaguars To Play Eagles In London
01-07-2018 - Jaguars Beat Buffalo With Defense,"Grit"
01-05-2018 - Khan, "I'm very, very bullish on Jacksonville."
01-03-2018 - Boselli, Dawkins Finalists For 2018 Hall Of Fame
01-01-2018 - Marrone's Routine Stays The Same
01-01-2018 - Jaguars Home, Have Already Moved On
12-31-2017 - Jaguars Look Ahead To Playoffs
12-31-2017 - Jaguars Limp Into Playoffs
12-31-2017 - Jaguars Win AFC South, Lose Game, Poise In SF
12-17-2017 - Jaguars Dominate Texans 45-7, Qualify For Post-season
12-10-2017 - Jaguars Make Big Statement Beating Seattle, 30-24
12-03-2017 - Jaguars Sweep Colts, Eye Post-season
11-28-2017 - Mullen Is The New Gators Head Coach
11-26-2017 - Jaguars Falter, Lose To AZ, 27-21
11-24-2017 - Boselli's Chances For The Hall? Pretty Good
11-22-2017 - Boselli, Dawkins, Butler Among Hall Of Fame Semifinalists
11-20-2017 - Jaguars Do Just Enough, Beat Browns 19-7
11-12-2017 - Unlike Previous Years, Jaguars Find A Way To Win 20-17 In OT
11-05-2017 - Back To Back And At Home, The Jaguars Look Legit
10-30-2017 - McElwain Departure "It's Never Pretty"
10-26-2017 - Telvin Smith New Deal: Worth Every Penny
10-18-2017 - NFL, Khan, Players and Protest
10-16-2017 - Inconsistent Again, Jaguars Lose To Rams
10-08-2017 - Jaguars Real Selves? Dominate Steelers 30-9
10-01-2017 - Jaguars Models Of Inconsistency, Fall To Jets In OT
09-24-2017 - Jaguars Kneel, Lock Arms With Khan In Show Of "Solidarity"
09-24-2017 - Jaguars Rout Ravens in London
09-24-2017 - Jaguars To Use "Home" Field Advantage vs. Ravens
09-22-2017 - Jaguars Say London Trip Is Pretty Routine
09-17-2017 - Jaguars 2017 Look Like Jaguars 2016 vs. Titans
09-13-2017 - Fournette Works In Relief Effort
09-13-2017 - Jaguars, Khan Help In Relief Effort
09-12-2017 - Jaguars Workout In Houston, Thinking Of Home
09-11-2017 - Jaguars Notes From Houston
09-10-2017 - Jaguars Don't Just Win, They Dominate Texans
09-01-2017 - Jaguars Decisions: Not Just "The 53"
08-23-2017 - Quarterback Decision Can Wait
08-18-2017 - Jaguars Step Backwards vs. Bucs
08-17-2017 - Jaguars Need A Big Step Forward vs. Bucs
08-10-2017 - Jaguars Better 1st Impression vs. Patriots
08-09-2017 - Bortles Better But Not Close To Brady
08-08-2017 - The PLAYERS In March Is The Right Fit
08-08-2017 - Jaguars/Patriots Practice: What It's Supposed To Look Like
08-07-2017 - Gipson Now Knows Tom Brady Is The Goat
08-05-2017 - Marrone's Jaguars Camp: Old Is New Again
07-28-2017 - Jaguars 2017: All About Blake
07-13-2017 - Kingfish Tournament Still Fishing
07-12-2017 - TPC Performance Center Will Make You Better
07-07-2017 - Players Is Big And Getting Bigger
06-29-2017 - Gators Baseball Win National Title
06-28-2017 - Gators Baseball National Champs
06-17-2017 - Bortles Knows This Is It
06-17-2017 - Marrone, Albert Lynchpins To Jaguars Success
06-10-2017 - Marrone Unimpressed In OTA's
05-24-2017 - Bortles On Being Bad, Better
05-15-2017 - Sunday Stroll For Si Woo Kim
05-12-2017 - Still Anybody's Tournament
05-11-2017 - Malik Jackson At The Players: "It's Pretty Dope"
05-10-2017 - Winning Score? TPC Stadium Is Firm And Fast
05-10-2017 - Sergio: Everybody's New Favorite
05-09b-2017 - THE PLAYERS In May Or March Is Still Huge
05-09-2017 - GJO To The Players Is A Long Trip
04-29-2017 - Jaguars Take "Bama OL In 2nd Round
04-28-2017 - Jaguars Take Fournette: "Physical"
04-27-2017 - Past Is Prologue For The Jaguars Draft
04-22-2017 - Jaguars Draft 2017: Take The Best Player
04-21-2017 - Nothing Good In The Jags 2017 Schedule
03-31-2017 - Mt. Acosta Classic Is Something Special
03-29-2017 - Marrone Looking For Competition, Consistency
03-28-2017 - Khan "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
03-28-2017 - Coughlin "We Need A Culture Change"
03-26-2017 - NFL Owners Talk Player Safety, Shorter Games In Phoenix
03-19-2017 - Gators Swamp Virginia, Head To New York
03-19-2017 - FSU Can't Shoot, Loses To Xavier
03-14-2017 - DL3 In The HOF, Still Wants To Play
03-08-2017 - Jaguars Free-agency Preview: Plugging Holes
02-24-2017 - Shorter SpeedWeeks, Better Racing?
02-22-2017 - One Stop Sports Recovery (Now available to everybody)
02-07-2017 - The Case For Boselli In The Hall, And The Process It Entails
02-01-2017 - Coughlin Says Boselli "Should Be In The Hall Of Fame"
01-19-2017 - Hackett Stays As Jaguars OC
01-12-2017 - Coughlin, "Winning Is What It's All About"
01-11-2017 - Marrone Starts To Change The Staff
01-09-2017 - Marrone, Coughlin, Caldwell Try To "Fix" Jaguars
01-03-2017 - Boselli Makes Hall Of Fame Final 15
01-02-2017 - Jaguars To Compete For A Head Coach

All content at this site is subject to
© Copyright by Sam Kouvaris / All Rights Reserved
Designed and Created by Charlie Logan
A ® Ruffsounds Production
Website Hosting by KTEK International Inc.