HACKETT to Pieces and End It

November 9, 2016
by
2 mins read

The Jaguars won every major category against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, but flew home with a big, fat “L” in the win-loss column.

Under new offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett, the Jaguars found a run game; a focus of Hackett’s when he held the same role with the Bills. Ultimately, the same problems plagued the AFC South’s last-place franchise — poor passing, turnovers and the inability to convert in important situations.

Quarterback Blake Bortles was cringe-worthy at best. I’m not sure if his mechanics have digressed dramatically this year, or if this is the first year I paid attention to the ball wobbling through the air to a defensive back’s hands like it’s a game of backyard pick-up.

The argument can be made that a possible touchdown run by Chris Ivory was (wrongfully) negated in instant replay, but the Jaguars shouldn’t have been in such a situation to begin with.

Playing against a mostly second-string Chiefs squad, the Jaguars defense provided endless opportunities for the offense to win the game. Huge stops on third down and in the redzone, coupled with low yardage and few first downs, should make any game winnable.

But the Jaguars proved once again they are incapable of grinding away to victory. Improvements were evident, however. Playcall under Hackett was mostly improved, although some questionable decisions were made on short-yardage situations. The Jags also ran for over 200-yards for the first time this season. Penalties were also sharply decreased.

Ultimately, they lost the turnover battle…horribly. And not only did that potentially cost the game, but it further raises questions about Bortles’ ability.

Bortles’ pair of interceptions were laughable, literally, the Jags fans next to me were laughing. He seems unable to read coverage and misses defenders who are positioned to make a break on the ball for a turnover.

Thanks to a subpar offensive line, he often has to scramble before a throw; which is fine because he is a mobile quarterback. However, after he scrambles, he doesn’t reposition his feet properly, which leads to inaccurate or weak passes.

Finally…that wobble. Watch a side-by-side of a pass from Tom Brady and a pass from Bortles and it’s tough to miss. Rather than a nice spiral, Bortles’ passes wobble as though he’s throwing with the wrong arm. This results in balls that are underthrown, outside the route and slow enough for the defense to make a swat at it.

I want Bortles to be the guy; I’m sure a lot of people did before this year. But halfway through the year, based on what we’ve seen, it might be time to look at who else is available.

Barring the most unlikely turnaround in NFL history, the Jaguars will be facing the offseason on the hunt for a new coach, a new quarterback and a general manager perhaps moving into his final year.

Hopefully, in the second half of the season Hackett can continue to build on the strong rush game we saw in Kansas City and the defense can remain as dominant as possible. But at day’s end, the offseason needs to move through the air, score points and keep the defense rested.

The worst fears might be true…the rebuild is failing.

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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