JAG CITY: Smothered in CHEESE

“Here we are again; a bunch of losers.”

That was the sentiment of Jaguars fans sitting outside the stadium after a 27-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Many critics and fans anticipated a loss to one of the NFL’s most elite teams, lead by a two-time MVP-winning quarterback. Despite the projections, and lack of pass interference calls on the cheeseheads, a loss in the final seconds stings.

“You have a six-five, 240-[pound] quarterback and Gus calls a screen on fourth down? What a joke,” said Nick Case, a seven-year season ticket-holder, as he exited EverBank Field.

The Jaguars drove to the Packers’ 14-yard line with 23 seconds left to play. On a crucial fourth-and-one, a quick pass to Allen Hurns resulted in a one-yard loss, giving the ball back to Green Bay to seal the win.

“Once again, Gus’ play-calling costs us a game,” continued Case. “I guarantee you this won’t be the last time this season that happens. He needs to leave Jacksonville at this point.”

Understandable frustration, but aside from the potentially poor call and several missed penalties that prevented the Jaguars from converting first downs, the players looked more organized than they have in quite a while.

The Jaguars outgained the Packers in yardage, converted more first downs and controlled the ball for a majority of the game. Quarterback Blake Bortles also out-threw Aaron Rodgers by more than 100 yards.

“I think we played well. I think the refs screwed us, though,” said Brett Barley of the Teal Street Hooligans, a Jaguars fan support group. “But if a couple more plays went our way today, it’s a totally different game.”

However, last season’s lingering weaknesses continued to hinder the boys in teal. Bortles threw an interception on the team’s opening drive and was sacked three times. A weak pass rush also managed to bring down Rodgers for a sack just once, for no loss.

So where does this leave the Jags?

“If we can play like that, actually run the ball and get some of those missed calls, then I’m feeling pretty good on where [the Jaguars] stand,” said Roderick Pierce, a season ticket-holder for four years.

Running back Chris Ivory didn’t play due to injury and T.J. Yeldon moved the ball a lackluster 39 yards on 21 carries. Another major struggle during the game for the Jaguars’ offense.

“It’s scary going to San Diego, but you never know,” said Barley. “The offense looks better and the defense looks hungry.”

Next week, the Jaguars will once again face an elite quarterback in Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers. The Jaguars have consistently played poorly on the West Coast, but after a stronger than expected performance against the Packers, there might be hope for a Week Two victory.

While the Jaguars are traveling west, I’ll be traveling east. Come find me next week at The Brix Taphouse in Jax Beach and tell me how you think the team in teal is playing.


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