The wheels continued to fall off for the Jacksonville Jaguars as they have lost their fifth-straight game by falling to the Detroit Lions by a score of 34-16. With the loss, the Jaguars fall to 1-5 and continue to have a firm grip on last place in the AFC South. The Jaguars have fallen apart on defense allowing thirty points per game in their five losses. The Jags last win came in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts where they won 27-20.
While things have continued to get ugly for the Jaguars, there were some positives mixed in with the negatives to take away from the game. Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly moments from Week 6’s matchup:
The good: Have a day, Keelan Cole
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While the offense has had some stagnant moments, one player that has stood out in the past few weeks is fourth-year wide receiver, Keelan Cole.
Cole finished Sunday’s game with a career-high of 143 receiving yards on six catches. He failed to score in the game but he has been a favorite target of quarterback Gardner Minshew II lately. The figures he was able to garner Sunday put him at three receiving touchdowns on the year, in addition to 362 yards and 27 receptions.
With star wide receiver D.J. Chark Sr. struggling to consistently stay on the field due to various injuries, Cole has done a tremendous job of stepping up and being a reliable source of offense.
The bad: Gashed on the ground…again
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While the offense has not fared great, the defense has been substantially worse especially on the ground.
The Jaguars came into Sunday’s matchup against the Lions with the No. 30 ranked run defense, which was allowing 136.6 yards per game while Detroit came into it with the league’s worst run defense allowing 170.3 yards per game. However, it was the Lions who got the better end of the ground game as they finished with 180 yards rushing. Lions rookie running back D’Andre Swift had a career game as he diced the Jags defense to the tune of 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Jaguars running back James Robinson could not take advantage of a great matchup as he finished with only 29 yards on the ground but he did manage to sneak in a receiving touchdown.
The Jaguars’ defense has allowed 100 yards rushing in every game except their Week 1 game against the Indianapolis Colts. It appears Todd Wash’s defense has not adapted to the struggles of the opponent’s rushing attack as the linebackers have continued to take poor angles and opposing running backs continue to find themselves in the second level of the defense.
The Jaguars’ defense is not trending on getting better anytime soon so it looks like this may be a long season on that side of the ball for Jags fans to endure.
The ugly: The slow departure of Minshew Mania
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Another game, another lackluster performance from Gardner Minshew II.
This was a game that was primed for Minshew to prove that he is the answer to the quarterback misery that Jacksonville has faced, however, he’s come up short as of late. Minshew finished Sunday’s game against the Lions with 25-of-44 passing for 243 yards, one touchdown, and an interception.
Minshew has not been what fans would call “awful,” but his play has not elevated the team into a competent offense. The Jaguars have failed to score 20 or more points in two straight games with Minshew averaging only 5.8 yards per attempt in those games. The Jags’ games against the Lions and the Houston Texans were premium matchups for Minshew to take advantage of, however, he and the Jags offense failed to do so.
The Jaguars have been a horrible first half team this season. When looking at their last three games, they’ve only been able to come away with touchdowns twice (once against both the Bengals and Texans). Their total average for those games is 7.7 points per game in the first half, which explains a lot. While the Jaguars have noticeably played better in the second half, it’s still not enough to translate into wins as they are always trailing for the season.
The jury is still out on if Minshew is a franchise quarterback, especially after he has not taken advantage of weaker defenses and key matchups. While all of the Jaguars’ struggles can’t be blamed on Minshew, he has not solidified his position as the future signal-caller for years to come in Duval.
If the losing continues, the Jaguars might be looking to the upcoming draft to search for their next quarterback.