It’s once again time to talk about What Went Right, What Went Wrong and WTF for the Jacksonville Jaguars, this time in their 33-25 Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. I’ve got to be honest, I’m not even going to attempt to sugarcoat this performance. It was bad. Remember how I previously mentioned that this game was critical to the rest of the season? Well….
What Went Right
The star power of DJ Chark and his chemistry with Gardner Minshew. Chark makes a night and day difference for this offseason. Minshew’s trust in him is clear, as is their chemistry. After missing the Dolphins game Chark returned to haul in eight passes and two touchdowns against the Bengals. Not a lot is going right for this team right now, but the future of Chark is bright.
Myles Jack is playing as good as any linebacker in the league. Jack receives his fair share of criticism from the fanbase and rightfully so. He never looked comfortable at Mike despite the team’s insistence on playing him there. The off-season addition of Joe Schobert allowed Jack to move to WIll and it has paid dividends. Jack is playing lights out right now, and is one of the VERY few bright spots on this team’s defense. Did you see that end zone interception?!
James Robinson, again, proves that he has a chance to be a key part of the offense long term. The undrafted running back just continues to produce. Despite having a big gain called back due to a holding call, he once again surpassed 100 yards from scrimmage, marking the third straight week he has done so. Through four contests Robinson is on pace for 1152 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in addition to 56 receptions for 644 yards. Leonard Who?
What Went Wrong
The depth of this team is simply too weak to survive injuries. Similar to last week with the offense appearing out of sync due in large to part to DJ Charks’s absence, the defense fell apart after losing both CJ Henderson and Myles Jack. A young secondary already missing safety Jarrod Wilson looked dreadful following Henderson’s injury, and then saw veteran DJ Hayden leave on a cart late. The defense is bad. It’s going to stay bad. It might get historically bad if the injuries begin to mount.
The whole idea of getting off to a fast start and letting the defense play with a lead didn’t really pan out. Gardner Minshew saw a ball deflected by a Bengals defender get picked off and the tone was pretty much set. I like the decision to take the ball and trying a new approach. The turnover was really just a great defensive play.
Gardner Minshew isn’t the reason the Jaguars lost, but damn if he didn’t go ice cold at the worst possible time. Coming out of the half the score was 13-10 Jaguars. A stretch of just one completion across two drives, a huge run negated by penalty, and the defense surrendering 17 points in the quarter turned this game upside down. Minshew played well for the most part, but the third quarter was brutal and the game got out of hand at least in part due to his ineffectiveness. Soft zones are still giving him fits, and his offensive coordinator didn’t do him any favors by once again not relying on the ground game despite the success Robinson was having.
Todd Wash still having a job as a defensive coordinator is not only baffling, but damning for other individuals. Weekly rant. Todd Wash is blindly loyal to a scheme that these players cannot execute. Once again the defense offered little to no resistance against the passing game, allowing Joe Burrow to have his third straight 300 yard performance. The run defense has been just okay early this season, but was awful Sunday giving up more than 200 yards for the first time in 2020. It’s simple things like players not containing the edge, filling the proper gaps, you know, things coaches should seemingly be responsible for.
A week after giving up eight sacks, the Bengals offensive line kept Burrow clean against a toothless Jaguars pass rush. If there was any hope of a “Sacksonville” reemergence this season, it was likely extinguished Sunday. Josh Allen continues to play well and affect opposing quarterbacks, but that’s about it. Rookie K’Lavon Chaisson is still struggling to make an every down impact and the defense still isn’t dialing up very many blitzes. This was an area the Jaguars expected to struggle, but not to this degree. It has reached a point that the results are unacceptable. Point blank, someone has got to step up and make a play.
For a team that claims it expects to compete and win football games, it hasn’t shown. Good teams beat teams they are supposed to. For the second consecutive week, the Jaguars lost to an inferior opponent. My season outlook article was clear that this team needed a fast start to be successful. The fact is they should be 3-1 right now. Hell, one could argue that the Tennessee game would have been a win with more consistent officiating. To be 1-3 right now is just unacceptable. The loss to the Bengals likely sends this season completely off of the rails. It’s up to this coaching staff, and these players, to keep that from happening.