Instant analysis as Jags fall to Falcons to suffer third-straight loss

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  • Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
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  • Jacksonville Jaguars
    Jacksonville Jaguars
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  • James Robinson
    James Robinson
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Another weekend, another disappointing outing for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Sunday’s home matchup against an Atlanta Falcons team that had suffered back-to-back blowout losses, the Jags’ struggles under coach Urban Meyer continued.

Like the last three games, the Falcons jumped out to an early lead. The Jaguars trailed 14-3 at halftime and a touchdown in the third quarter for Atlanta made that deficit 18 points. Jacksonville came back to cut the lead to just seven, but its offense didn’t play well again, and a late drive came up short on fourth down.

Jacksonville is now 2-9 on the season and has entirely missed the opportunity to build momentum off the win over Buffalo three weeks ago. With another frustrating game in the books, here are the takeaways and notes.

Offensive mistakes prove costly

The Jags’ offense continued to play fairly poorly, but it looked a bit better against a Falcons defense that ranks just near the middle of the pack in the NFL. Running back James Robinson looked to be a lot closer to healthy this week, and he saw 17 carries for 86 yards, while quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Carlos Hyde combined for 55 yards on the ground.

Through the air, Lawrence was a bit better in this one than he’s been in previous games. He had a poor completion percentage again this week, connecting on just 54.8% of his attempts, but he still threw for 228 yards on 23 completions and found Tavon Austin for a touchdown, which was their only one of the game.

But Lawrence threw an interception in the second quarter on a promising drive. In actuality, the flag that was thrown at the snap was an illegal formation penalty, and the pick counted.

Turnovers cost the Jags a lot in this game. Robinson, who is usually pretty surehanded, lost the first fumble of his career, and Lawrence got strip-sacked as well, though Jacksonville got the ball back.

This team is still far from where it needs to be offensively, but it at least found some success moving the ball today and outgained the Falcons 357-332. But the mistakes were ultimately too much to overcome.

Defense sees a return to form

Jacksonville’s defense has looked much better during the second half of the season than it did during the first, but that progress was interrupted last week in the loss to San Francisco. The 49ers didn’t put up especially gaudy numbers, but they had a very efficient day. The same was true for the Falcons in this one to some degree, but their offense was a lot less explosive.

The clear standout was running back Cordarrelle Patterson, who has been one of the league’s bigger surprises this year. He broke 100 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns, but while he had a great day, offensive success outside of him was few and far between. Plus, he was limited in the passing game, making just two catches for 27 yards.

Outside of Russell Gage, who had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown, no Falcons receiver had a particularly good day. Tight end Kyle Pitts, who is having a fantastic rookie season, only had two catches, and quarterback Matt Ryan was just 19 of 29 for 190 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Patterson was always going to find at least some success in this game, but the Atlanta offense had very little to brag about beyond his play. It’s a shame the Jags’ offense once again wasn’t good enough to uphold its end of the bargain.

Other notes

  • Laquon Treadwell and Tavon Austin saw fairly big days in the absence of Jamal Agnew. Treadwell led the team in receiving with four catches for 53 yards (though he was targeted eight times) and Austin had two catches for 21 yards, but one of them was a touchdown. Marvin Jones Jr. (43 yards) and Laviska Shenault Jr. (33 yards) each had moderate contributions as well. This unit will continue to be an issue this year, but it was at least slightly better this week.

  • The Jags got tight end James O’Shaughnessy back from the injured reserve on Sunday, and he caught three of his five targets for 27 yards. However, they lost Dan Arnold, who has been a major part of the offense since being acquired in a trade. He left with a knee injury in the second quarter after a nine-yard reception, and he didn’t return.

  • Jacksonville didn’t get quite as much pressure in this one from its defensive front as it has in the last few games, but Roy Robertson-Harris did notch a sack. Meanwhile, Rudy Ford, Taven Bryan and DaVon Hamilton each had a hit on Ryan.

  • With Shaquill Griffin out, Tyson Campbell had a fantastic game. He’s coming along very nicely from a coverage perspective, and he had three pass deflections to go with an interception in this one. He had a tough task today as the team’s No. 1, and he handled it very well. That’s a good sign for the future of this secondary. Meanwhile, Nevin Lawson (who also started at corner) had six tackles and a pass deflection.