LONDON Calling

October 5, 2016
2 mins read

The Jaguars flew across the pond for their annual game in London on Sunday. Perhaps just as difficult a journey, fans stumbled out of bed and made their way to the bars at 9:30 a.m. for kick-off.

The crowd at Intuition Ale Works was light, but the mimosas and beermosas were flowing. Most in attendance were strong supporters in the Bold City Brigade, who have stood by the Jags through darker days (cough, cough, Gabbert).

Going into the game against the Colts, fans were at a low point; calling for the firing of head coach Gus Bradley, questioning quarterback Blake Bortles and claiming the rebuild of the last four years had failed.

The Jaguars left London with a win and found themselves in second place in the AFC South.

The game was by no means a great showing against a lousy team, but a win’s a win in the NFL. Fans hoping for a better start than 1-3 going into the bye-week still found plenty to criticize and some were even disappointed with a win, as it delays the potential release of Bradley.

So, with a 30-27 divisional win, is it fair to bash the Jags? Yes and no.

Screams followed by swift gulps of beer will tell you penalties are still a huge problem. Sunday, the Jags committed 11 penalties for 145 yards, nearly 100 yards lost to those penalties in the first half. Giving up a field-and-a-half’s worth of penalties is no way to win games.

The Jags weren’t the only ones committing penalties, but the refs seemed to be under that impression. Bortles was hit in the helmet after a slide on several occasions and receiver Allen Robinson was tackled before a catch attempt, none of which drew flags. The Bold City Brigade took note that CBS failed to show the replay on the Robinson hit that should’ve been a pass interference call.

Beyond penalties, nearly blowing a late lead on back-to-back Colts touchdowns in the fourth and a garbage third down conversion rate, the Jags … dare I say it? … weren’t terrible.

They found a way to break for some big runs, sacked Colts quarterback Andrew Luck six times, forced an early interception and didn’t turn the ball over a single time.

Possibly due to the early morning — when many were reeling from a Seminole defeat and I was still in Clemson victory mode — the bar was more calm than most games. Perhaps it was because we were watching the Jags play as teams should (kind of) play. They took the lead first and never looked back, gave up zero turnovers, consistently ran the ball and balanced play calls, made long field goals and brought home a win.

There was little reason to scream at the TV, a lack of an emotional roller coaster, no anguish of losing leads and an absence of anger from missed scoring opportunities.

Do the Jags have a lot to work on? Sadly, yes, but let’s take every win we can get.

Folio is your guide to entertainment and culture around and near Jacksonville, Florida. We cover events, concerts, restaurants, theatre, sports, art, happenings, and all things about living and visiting Jax. Folio serves more than two million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, The Beaches, and Fernandina.

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