Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jaguars Fall a Yard Short to Giants in Fourth Straight Loss

todayOctober 23, 2022


By Hays Carlyon

I still believe the Jaguars have improved.

But I can’t defend them anymore.

Not until we see wins.

I still see something positive building, despite a 23-17 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.

But this isn’t Pop Warner football.

You are measured by wins and losses in the NFL.

There just aren’t enough through seven games to merit anything other than disappointment.

I’m stunned that after outscoring Indianapolis and the Los Angeles Chargers 62-10 to get to 2-1, they’ve lost their last four games.

Sunday’s loss was perhaps the most gut wrenching.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence connected on a 16-yard pass to receiver Christian Kirk on the game’s final play. Kirk was tackled at the Giants 1-yard line.

A yard short of a potentially magical, season-saving moment.

Now, at 2-5, there is no hope of contending for a playoff spot. The Jaguars are well back of Tennessee (4-2).

The Jaguars would need to play 7-3 football the rest of the way to salvage a 9-8 record.

There’s no chance of that.

Sunday’s loss is so upsetting because a two-game win streak looked probable with next week’s game against Denver in London. The Broncos have been dreadful on offense and could be without quarterback Russell Wilson.

Now, it doesn’t matter. The Jaguars will need to go on a significant winning streak to get back into the mix. That isn’t going to happen with two games remaining against the Titans, a road trip to Kansas City and home dates with Baltimore and Dallas.

The Jaguars had to win Sunday.

I will never fall into the “at least they’re competitive” trap. That’s a refrain that exists really only in Jacksonville because the football has been so putrid over the previous four years.

Being competitive is no saving grace. Jaguars owner Shad Khan is spending $231 million in salary this season.

The Jaguars have $2 million in salary-cap space. They aren’t built to be competitive. They are built to win now.

Unfortunately, a young roster is falling just short with first-year coach Doug Pederson.

The Jaguars might be losing closer games this season.

But they are still losing.

Nothing else really matters.

The Jaguars are still plus-18 in point differential. Yes, a 2-5 team has scored 18 more points than it has allowed this season. That’s the best mark in the AFC South.

But it’s meaningless. Because they can’t make the plays that win games and they can’t avoid the plays that lose games.

The Jaguars burned up their last mulligan with Sunday’s loss.

There might be 10 games left, but the meaning is gone.

The Jaguars are just playing out the string before we even get to Halloween. Again.

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

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