Sam's Commentary

October 17, 2016 Commentary Archive

Jaguars Win, Need Work

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted October 17, 2016 ===========================================================================

There's a lot of talk when you listen to the Jaguars about bouncing back when things don't go your way, starting fast and overcoming adversity. But in reality, the 2016 team hasn't been capable of any of that. Losing the opener to Green Bay, the team let that defeat linger for a week and they got blown out by San Diego. The opening drive against the Bears looked solid but ended with a turnover. And things fell apart. Instead of bouncing back from adversity, the Jaguars offense couldn't get untracked for the rest of the first half while the defense couldn't get off the field on third down, giving up 10-points, and they trailed 10-0 at halftime. The Bears were able to convert 3rd downs at will throughout the half while the Jaguars offense couldn't stay on the field.

Wanting to do something different, I watched the 3rd quarter with no tweeting and no sound. I've thought the Jags were a few "tweaks" away from being a pretty good team. But after watching like that, I'm losing confidence in some key elements; Leadership, O-Line, Bortles, Bradley's philosophy.

All along we've known that Gus' coaching philosophy is a grand experiment: empower the players with the accountability element of what drives a team, any team to success. That's worked in spurts but hasn't infused the Jaguars culture full-time. On defense, the Jaguars have talent and leadership but something's flawed either in execution or scheme because too often one thing cracks and the whole thing falls apart.

On offense they have the pieces, albeit young, but when things aren't going right, they don't have a leader that can right the ship and get things going in the right direction. That would most easily fall to the quarterback, Blake Bortles. But in 2016, Bortles hasn't found a rhythm or the form he had in 2015 when he threw 35 touchdowns. So maybe he's uncomfortable pumping up his teammates when he's not playing so well. Brandon Linder is a natural leader but it's tough for the center to motivate anybody except the guys across the offensive line.

Playing better certainly helps and winning solves everything. So in two possessions on offense and one on defense in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars went from a bad team to one that looked like it was fulfilling it's potential. With the defense being called on to give them a chance, the offense and Bortles found some openings with Allen Hurns making two big catches to get the ball inside the five. On second down (why not first?) Chris Ivory scored his first touchdown as a Jaguar to pull within 6 at 13-7.

Then two chances were squandered. Bortles was hit from behind and fumbled, giving the Bears three points to make it 16-7. He has to know, now in his third year in the league, that guys are going to be catching him from behind and to protect the football. That's basic stuff. 16-7 Bears. Then Kelvin Beachum was called for a late hit as the Jaguars were driving, moving the ball back to the 30 and forcing them to kick a field goal to make it 16-10. Beachum is smarter than that but it's that kind of lack of thinking and discipline that one of his teammates has to call out if Bradley's coaching philosophy is ever going to take hold.

Again the defense did their job, getting the ball back to Bortles and company with plenty of time. An unlikely hero, Aurileus Benn, caught a simple "in" route from his WR spot but when he went to the ground he wasn't touched. He jumped up and ran 52-yards for the go-ahead TD, 17-16 Jaguars.

That's when the talent on the Jaguars showed up in the form of rookie corner back Jalen Ramsey. On 4th down, Ramsey was singled up on Alshon Jefferies and broke on the ball to knock it down and preserve the victory for the Jaguars. Ramsey as schooled in the first half by Jefferies. In the second half, the roles were reversed. Even the final play was well designed and executed. With 47 seconds to play and third down, Blake Bortles ran some play action and rolled to his left, looking at the game clock to get under :40 and stay in bounds. He did both, ending the game.

From a miserable three quarters the Jaguars grabbed their second win of the year against a bad Bears team. No matter how bad the Bears are, you're supposed to beat bad teams and that's what the Jaguars have done two games in a row. Being able to use this as a springboard to next week's home game against Oakland will be key.

Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

10-15-2016 - Jaguars Bye Week Approach Slightly Different
10-11-2016 - Bradley: "It feels different out there"
10-10-2016 - Historic Ponte Vedra Inn And Club Survives Matthew
10-10-2016 - PV Residents Say Beach Is Resilient
10-10-2016 - Sawgrass CC: No Issues
10-04-2016 - Jaguars: 2 Weeks To Clean Things Up
10-02-2016 - Jaguars Beat Colts
10-01-2016 - Plenty Of Jaguars Fans In London
10-01-2016 - Jaguars In London: Routine Is Key
10-01-2016 - Jaguars/Colts: 4 To Watch 4
09-29-2016 - Bortles: "Stupid things, easily correctable"
09-29-2016 - Jaguars Say London Is More Like A Home Game
09-28-2016 - Palmer's Local Friends: "You'd have loved him even if he wasn't a golfer"
09-28-2016 - Bradley Knows Now Is The Time
09-26-2016 - Arnold Palmer: No One Like Him
09-26-2016 - Jaguars Squander Chances, Lose To Ravens
09-24-2016 - Jaguars/Ravens: 4 To Watch 4
09-20-2016 - Bradley, Jaguars At A Crossroads
09-18-2016 - Jaguars vs. SD: Nothing To Like
09-18-2016 - Jaguars/San Diego: 4 To Watch 4
09-16-2016 - Graeme Mcdowell Owns Restaurants, Wants To Play Golf
09-12-2016 - After Further Review: I Feel A Little Better Because They Don't
09-11-2016 - Exciting, Encouraged: Jaguars Still 0-1
09-10-2016 - Jaguars: 4 To Watch 4
09-10-2016 - Will Gus Bradley's Coaching Experiment Work?
09-08-2016 - Jaguars And Packers, More Similar Than You Think
09-06-2016 - Jaguars Roster: Bigger, Faster, Stronger
08-31-2016 - Are The Jaguars 'Hoping" For Success
08-30-2016 - Jaguars Know Bengals Effort Won't Fly
08-29-2016 - Wake Up Call For Jaguars Vs. Bengals
08-28-2016 - Jaguars "Fact Finding" vs. Bengals
08-23-2016 - Arrow Up On Jaguars
08-20-2016 - South End Zone Project: Khan Wants To Get It Right
08-13-2016 - Jets Game, Training Camp, Jaguars Still Working
08-03-2016 - Bortles Better, Defense Better
07-31-2016 - Stadium Improvements March On
07-29-2016 - FSU/Boise St. To Play Here In 2019
07-28-2016 - Air2G2 Local Company Making Good
07-27-2016 - Smith "Grateful and excited" to be in The Pride
07-27-2016 - Time for Jimmy Smith in The Pride
07-22-2016 - Jaguars Ready To Win Says Malik Jackson
07-22-2016 - Khan On 2016 Roster: "Scary Good"
07-15-2016 - Cryotherapy: The latest in "Sam's Big Comeback"
06-16-2016 - MJD on Jaguars: "They can win the South"
06-15-2016 - Foley To Leave Florida In A Good Spot
06-11-2016 - Marks Returns Optimistic
06-03-2016 - Hurns Deal Good All Around
05-31-2016 - Jaguars TE Thomas: We can be better
05-25-2016 - Hale Irwin at WGV: Winners have the heart of a champion"
05-24-2016 - Jaguars Start OTA's "Good not great."
05-20-2016 - Ramsey Hurt: Jaguars Snake Bit?
05-15-2016 - Day Wins THE PLAYERS 2016
05-13-2016 - Play Suspended At THE PLAYERS in Rd. 2
05-13-2016 - Wilcox Hole In One At 17
05-13-2016 - THE PLAYERS Round 2: Low Scores Again
05-12-2016 - First Round Players Notes
05-12-2016 - Day Early Leader At THE PLAYERS
05-12-2016 - Spite A Favorite, And Not Just For Golf
05-10-2016 - Fowler Still "Likes the Vibe"
05-10-2016 - Formula To Win THE PLAYERS? None
05-09-2016 - More Players At THE PLAYERS On Monday
05-09-2016 - Furyk Returns Optimistic At PLAYERS
04-30-2016 - Caldwell Takes Jack: "Risk To Be Great"
04-29-2016 - Jaguars' Ramsey: Best Player In The Draft
04-27-2016 - Khan On Draft Day: "Don't Be Impulsive"
04-23-2016 - Raising Money, Always Funny, Bill Murray's In Town
04-20-2016 - Mcelwain: Gators Much Farther Along
04-16-2016 - Armada Get 1st Win 2-1 vs. Miami FC
04-14-2016 - Rashean Retires As A Jaguar
04-09-2016 - Masters Traditions Like No Other
04-01-2016 - NFL Contributes To HS Player Safety
03-28-2016 - USA Soccer To Play Here September 6
03-26-2016 - When Watching Tony Kornheiser, Buyer Beware
03-24-2016 - Khan Still Moving Forward
03-23-2016 - Dave Caldwell's Jaguars Vision
03-23-2016 - Bradley: Stay to the Plan
03-09-2016 - Mayor Curry To Run Gate River Run
02-27-2016 - "The Hayt" Tests College Players At Sawgrass CC
02-19-2016 - Earnhardt, Kyle Busch win Duels at Daytona
02-18-2016 - Jaguars Re-sign Chad Henne
02-18-2016 - Champions Ride for Safety
02-12-2016 - The Players Military Appreciation Day
02-08-2016 - Hall of Fame Voting: A Process
02-04-2016 - FSU Class Among The Best In The Nation
02-04-2016 - Gators Bolster Offense on Signing Day
01-29-2016 - Stadium Clubs "Reimagined"
01-25-2016 - Remembering Rex Morgan
01-21-2016 - "Krossover" Helping Hs Hoops Teams
01-13-2016 - Cyclists And Motorists Looking For Compromise
01-07-2016 - Jacksonville in the D-League?
01-07-2016 - Smith Fired in Tampa: Jax DC?
01-05-2016 - For Gus' Sake, I Hope He's Right
01-04-2016 - Coughlin Out At Giants HC
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Lose To Texans, Work To Do
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Playing Today, Thinking About Tomorrow

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