The Jaguars did it again, losing a winnable must-win game to a bottom-feeder team. They fall to a dismal 4-8, buttressing something I read before the game:
According to a chart put out by Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com, Coach Bradley was (after “only” seven losses) the second most-likely coach in the NFL to get axed at the end of the year.
First most-likely? Chip Kelly, who has presided over the freefall of the Philadelphia Eagles.
After Sunday’s shootout, a 42 to 39 loss to a last-place team that hadn’t won at home in more than a year, Genial Gus might be in what Ludacris would call the Number One Spot.
On the list, at least.
Are the statistics folks right on this one? Hard to make an empirical argument for a team with a .333 winning percentage, especially since this season is the third one in the Three Year Plan.
If that plan were proceeding as one would have hoped, the Jags would be in the mix in the AFC South, which is set up as well as it’s been in a while for a flawed team like Jacksonville to make the leap.
Instead, mistakes and mismatches, as well as another brutal performance by Kicker Jason Myers, sealed loss No. 8, and gradually eroding the narrative The Jaguars Are Playing Meaningful Games After Halloween For a Change.
Mismatches came to the fore, predictably, in the first half. The Jaguars, vulnerable to the depredations of tight ends for years, got eaten up again like those poor bastards in the Donner Party who didn’t make the final cut [pun intended]. Two TE TDs put Bradley’s Bunch down by eight in the second quarter.
Same as it ever was. However, something magical happened.
The Jaguars twice handed the ball near the goal line to, of all people, TJ Yeldon. And danged if miracles, beyond those worked at The Church of Eleven22, didn’t come true. Yeldon made it into the end zone.
The two-point conversion failed, but the rare Yeldon score had Jags fans throughout the nation lurching to their windows to see if, perhaps, unicorns were flying through the sky.
The Jags actually had a lead in the fourth quarter, 32 to 28, but then Stuff Happened.
Stuff like an 87-yard quarterback draw, taking advantage of a Jags’ blitz and the expected issues on the back end of the defense for a highlight-reel run from Marcus Mariota.
At 35 to 32, the Jaguars had to answer back.
A pop fly of a shotgun snap went over Bortles’ head, rolling backwards into the end zone and, despite the best efforts of Marqise Lee, the Titans came up with it for the touchdown, and a 10 point lead, the biggest of the game.
Still, Jacksonville fired back, getting the ball back with 2:50 on the clock and 90 yards to go.
They hit fourth-and-game after three plays. Under the weight of a jailbreak blitz, Bortles crumpled to the sod, and the Jaguars’ dimming postseason hopes faded ever closer to a funereal black.
The Jaguars held on defense, with fourth-and-goal for the Titans with 23 ticks to go. A pass to the end zone went incomplete; however, an untimely DPI (another Jags mistake) sealed the game for the home squad.
The Jaguars, who looked competent on defense during a few games this season, got destroyed by Mariota and a no-name cast of skill players, led by the coach who went 2-14 in Jacksonville. Next week, the first-place Colts hit town, with whoever they choose to put under center waiting to pick this defense apart like the carcass of a Sunday dinner chicken.