Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 Week 5 Report

By Liam Wirsansky on October 16, 2020

The Jacksonville Jaguars were on the wrong side of history this past weekend becoming the first team in NFL history to lose to winless teams in three consecutive weeks, after notching their 4th straight loss against the Texans in week 5. With that loss, the Jaguars have once again fallen to the basement of the AFC South standings and have raised speculation on the future of the current front office and coaching staffs, especially after the recent firings of HCs Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons, and HC Bill O’Brien of the Houston Texans. HC Doug Marrone appears to be one of the coaches with the hottest seats and built no confidence with his recent comments this past week, stating “There’s a pit in my stomach. A feeling that I have that I can’t find a way to figure out how to get these guys to (be consistent). I don’t want to make it sound like I’m frustrated from a standpoint of I’m mad or (ticked) off or anything like that. That’s not how I feel. I feel hurt that I’m not able to do my job and bring them all together to be consistent.” Jacksonville Jaguars fans know this feeling all too well and have to be frustrated with the level of play being put out onto the field and with the ownership’s extended vote of confidence in leadership that continues to lose.

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Defense Forces Turnovers

Going into Sunday, the Jaguars were without their three best players and top contributors on defense due to injury, with many expecting them to be blown out in a similar fashion to the weeks prior, yet standout performances from lesser known players like CB Sidney Jones, or DE Dawuane Smoot, helped propel the defense to some of its more solid play since the start of the season. Speaking of Jones, The Jaguars may have found themselves a play maker in the secondary, after recording an INT and 4 passes defended, with one of those also leading to an interception. While still allowing 30 points to be scored by the opposing offense, the Jaguars’ offense often put the defense in a difficult position with turnovers of their own and poor field position, as well as failing to turn the two Deshaun Watson INTs into any points on the board. With a plethora of injuries, expect some more playing time from some of this past weekend’s standout performers like Jones.

Offense has Slow Start

This past weekend marked the 13th consecutive game that the Jaguars failed to score on their opening drive, which is one of the longest active streaks in the NFL. Even after switching their approach to take the ball first, the past two games the Jaguars have still struggled out of the gates and failed to score on their opening drives. Their second half starts really have not been any better, and many times momentum on drives are stalled by costly errors or penalties. The Jaguars’ kicking situation certainly has not made it easier, as recently released K Stephen Hauschka missed two field goals this past Sunday. Simply put, the offense must start finishing drives and scoring TDs rather than settling for field goals that have become all but certain without the Jaguars top talent Kicker in Josh Lambo. The offense knows that the defense will allow points onto the board, so they must establish a lead early on to generate success and more comfort in a continued utilization of the run game.

Poor Coaching and Decision Making

The play calling for much of this season has been abysmal and can directly connect to all of the Jaguars losses, specifically on Offense. Well the play calling on defense has been less than spectacular to say the least, the defense does not boast as many talented players that can change the dynamic of the game with the right call. Surprisingly, one of the most underused players on the team is there a new undrafted rookie RB James Robinson, who despite being in the top ten leaders in rushing yards currently, continues to see low rushing totals in the second half of games, even when the Jaguars are not in a massive hole having to play from behind. For a team supposedly designated to be run first, the offense has had struggles balancing their attack. While Minshew’s throwing statistics have warranted some recognition, the Jaguars are winless when he throws for over 300 yards on the season. While this is no surprise coming from a Jay Gruden led squad, it should be a priority for him to add in some more rushing wrinkles to open up the field and playbook in the second half. What I do not mean by wrinkles our place like that horrendous fourth down call, where Robinson was given the ball as a Wildcat Quarterback, which would later turn into a fumble. Head scratching moves like this have been a staple of the Jaguars and are also confidence killers in close such contentious games.

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The Jaguars have an opportunity to piece together a strong showing against another weaker team also looking to win at second game. Much like the Jaguars, the coaching staff of the Detroit Lions are also on the hot seat and will look to maneuver any pressure away from themselves with a victory over the Jaguars. Look for Jacksonville to exploit the Lion’s porous run defense, which ranks 30th in the league and averages 170.3 yards rushing given up per game. The result of this game could be the final curtain for one of these Head Coaches, so the stakes will be high come Sunday.

Liam Wirsansky is a Senior at Florida State University, pursuing a double major in Theatre and Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT). He serves as the President and Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions at FSU and is also the playwright of the plays, Moonchildren and Finding a New Year.

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