The Jacksonville Jaguars opened their 2015 regular season with a loss last Sunday to the Carolina Panthers by a score of 20-9. The team struggled on offense throughout beginning with a dropped pass on a third down in the first series which resulted in a punt. That dropped pass by wide receiver Allen Robinson would end up setting the tone for a Jags offense that had shown potential throughout the preseason. The game marked the first home season opener for second year quarterback Blake Bortles and it was evident early that the stage was a little too big for him. Passes he was completing with ease in the preseason floated on him in and his starting receivers Robinson and Allen Hurns did little to bail him out. The offense was able to run the football with rookie tailback T.J. Yeldon taking the brunt of the carries and ending with 51 yards on 12 carries for a 4.3 yd average which is very good, but it didn’t amount to much as the Jags could only muster a single touchdown on a 3yd rec from rookie standout Rashad Greene who managed to haul in six additional catches for 28 yards. Greene would not finish the game due to a ferocious hit he sustained in the fourth quarter. Luke Joeckel the much embattled left tackle would also not finish after he sustained a high ankle sprain in the third quarter.
The defense on the other hand played well against both the run and the pass until they just ran out of steam in the fourth quarter. The Panthers offense was on the field for more than half the game and with the offense in neutral the defense just couldn’t keep panthers Pro-bowl Quarterback Cam Newton off the field in the fourth quarter and so it was, the Jags start 0-1 and have a tough opponent coming to the Bank this Sunday in the 1-0 Miami Dolphins. I asked newly acquired starting center Stefan Wisniewski for assessment of the team following the loss, “the defense played great and if they keep playing like that they are going to win a lot of games, but the offense has to execute on things that we have had success doing in the preseason and in practice and we will get those things corrected.” For the sake of our ever enduring fan base, I hope he is correct. Kickoff is this Sunday at 4:05!