5 Reasons Jacksonville Jaguars Lost To Cincinnati Bengals
5 Reasons Jaguars Lost To Bengals
The loss dropped the Jaguars to 1-3, and despite the fact that the coaches and players are saying all the right things after the game about getting better, their on the field performance is starting to suggest that this football team is not making any progress towards getting better.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the Jaguars slow start, but there is still 12 games left for them this season and more than plenty of time for this team to show fans that they are moving in the right direction under general manager Gene Smith.
The Jaguars have major issues on both sides of the ball, and those issues have showed themselves in the two blowout losses at home this season.
The offense only managed to pick up 212 yards against a Bengals defense that has struggled tremendously this season and came into the game with a secondary that was extremely banged up and primed to be exploited.
The defense struggled again in surrendering 382 yards against a Bengals offense that looked both explosive and well balanced. The Jaguars defense was clearly outmatched from the outset.
Nobody can claim that they played particularly well, but there were some signs of minor hope in the blowout loss.
Most notably the reappearance of tight end Marcedes Lewis and wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the Jaguars passing offense was a welcome sight for Jaguars fans.
However, their contributions were not enough to overcome these five issues that doomed the Jaguars for failure on Sunday.
Poor Offensive Line Play
Everybody thought that getting healthy would solve the pass protection failures along the Jaguars offensive line, but that was not the case on Sunday.
Despite having their entire starting five offensive lineman on the field, the Jaguars offensive line surrendered six sacks and failed to give quarterback Blaine Gabbert any time to look downfield against a banged up Bengals secondary.
Gabbert played well enough to move the Jaguars offense on Sunday, but he was let down by his offensive line again. Starting left guard Eben Britton played so poorly that he was benched at halftime in favor of undrafted rookie Mike Brewster.
Poor Rushing Attack
The Jaguars are not going to win any football games in which they only run the football for 69 yards.
The Bengals came into this game ranked as the second worst rushing defense in the NFL, yet the Jaguars got behind so often in the down and distance that they had to abandon the run. Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball only 13 times for 38 yards which is by far his worst game in recent memory.
It is clear that if the Jaguars are going to have any success on offense this year, they are going to have to have more success running the football.
The Jaguars defense failed to sack the quarterback for the third straight game on Sunday, and paid for it dearly as Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton picked them apart.
The Jaguars gave a big free agent contract to Jeremy Mincey and used a second-round draft pick on Andre Branch this offseason to help boost their pass rush, but the Jaguars once again look completely inept when it comes to sacking the opposing quarterback.
Poor Run Defense
Not only can’t the Jaguars defense sack the quarterback, but they are struggling to stop the other team’s running backs as well.
What has typically been a strength of the Jaguars defense, has turned into yet another glaring weakness as the Jaguars surrendered 138 yards on the ground and allowed the Bengals to get an average of 4.1 yards per carry.
Running up the middle is no longer impossible against this Jaguars defense.
The Jaguars had a chance to take momentum early in the game when Kyle Bosworth intercepted Andy Dalton on the Bengals first drive, but he promptly fumbled the ball on the return. If Bosworth does not fumble, the Jaguars have the ball inside the Bengals 10-yard line and likely take an early lead and get the crowd in the game.
Instead the Bengals drove down after recovering Bosworth’s fumble and turned it into a field goal.
Then in the second half after recovering a Bengals fumble on the goal line and down by 10 points, the Jaguars failed to take back momentum and get back into the game by settling for a chip shot field goal instead of trying to convert a 4th and 1 inside the Bengals five-yard line.