Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

HAYS BLOG: Plenty of positives for Jaguars despite taking another loss

todaySeptember 27, 2021


By Hays Carlyon


This is professional football.

The NFL.

Wins and losses are the only thing that matters.

Unless you’re the Jaguars – losers of now 18 straight games (tied for fifth in NFL futility history).

The Jaguars fell again on Sunday, as Arizona rallied from a nine-point deficit in the third quarter to win 31-19 at TIAA Bank Field.

I’m finished lamenting the negatives.

I’m changing how I view the Jaguars. You are Vanderbilt.

You are lowly. If there is a mistake that can be made, you will make it.

You are competing in a league in which you have no chance of winning consistently.

At least, not this season and probably not for a while.

Therefore, it is unfair for me to ask much out of you.

You have to grow under first-year coach Urban Meyer and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

It feels cruel to criticize you. You haven’t earned anger.

Therefore, I’m going to point out the positives from Sunday’s loss.

*You are getting better

The bar was low after the humbling loss in the opener at Houston. Still, the Jaguars have gone from being routed to fairly competitive in last week’s loss to Denver to really having thrown this game away.

The Jaguars led what appears to be a good Cardinals team 19-10 with 3:33 to play in the third quarter. The meltdown was quick from there, highlighted by a doomed flea flicker that was returned for an Arizona touchdown. Left guard Andrew Norwell inexplicably spun away from the defense, which led to pressure in Lawrence’s face. The rookie made a major mistake throwing the ball and his underthrown pass was easily picked off.

However, a nine-point lead in the second half is progress. That can’t be denied.

*The defense is improving

Arizona’s high-octane offense was held in check for a large chunk of the game. The Cardinals first eight possessions ended in the following: punt, touchdown, punt, punt, punt, missed field goal, interception and field goal. That’s 10 points with a turnover. The Jaguars would take that start every game.

Arizona was also held to a 1 for 9 effort on third down. Finally, the defense got a turnover when safety Andrew Wingard picked off Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in the third quarter.

Th Cardinals didn’t get much going on the ground, gaining 91 yards on 30 carries.

*The Jaguars rushing attack woke up

Jaguars running back James Robinson was finally able to get in a rhythm by being featured in the plan. The second-year veteran carried 15 times for 88 yards, a splendid 5.9-yard average, and scored a touchdown. The Jaguars ran it 29 times for 159 yards, a 5.5-yard clip.

That’s outstanding.

The Jaguars through three games are averaging 5.1 yards a carry. It’s hard to do that and be 0-3.

*Jamal Agnew is a gamechanger

The Cardinals attempted what would’ve been an NFL record 68-yard field goal on the final play of the first half. Matt Prater’s attempt was short. Agnew fielded it and electrified the crowd with a spectacular 109-yard touchdown return. Agnew broke a kickoff return 102 yards for a score against Denver last week.

Meyer said he wants to see Agnew break a punt now. It feels like he won’t have to wait long.

Feel better?


(You can email Hays at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).

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