Jacksonville Sports Day

Moeller: Jaguars are Trying to Accentuate the Positive After Loss to Denver

Photo by Nancy Beecher/Florida Sports Wire

Don’t place the entire blame on the Jaguars’ offense in their latest defeat Sunday.

Yes, I am serious.

We all saw what happened after a near textbook opening 11-play, 83-yard drive that culminated in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence to Marvin Jones.

The Jags looked sound and confident, a unit that would be a resemblance of a typical Urban Meyer offense.

There was a feeling that it was going to be a good day. The optics were positive. You know you had the same feeling.

That would last until late in the second quarter when you could see the training wheels coming off.

Jacksonville proved it still has a lot to learn on both sides of the ball, but they did take some small steps forward.

They did drop their 17th consecutive game, but it hasn’t been the emphasis this year.

Stay with the positives. It’s the new mindset.

Their offensive line did a relatively solid job as they allowed a main sack by Denver specialist Van Miller and gave Lawrence some credible time to find receivers on his 33 attempts. They certainly looked more cohesive than against Houston in the opener.

James Robinson did finish the game with 47 yards on 11 carries, but he had the majority of his carries after halftime. Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell need to get him more involved than his 75 yards in two games.

Even so, Meyer and Bevell had a decent plan in the opening half that kept their club right there. Kicker Josh Lambo missed two field goal attempts that would have given them a 13-10 halftime lead and would have certainly fueled them for the second half.

Lawrence’s inexperience and his receivers’ drops played a major part in the Jags having nearly a 12-minute differential in time of possession and a total of 189 yards over 50 plays.

That’s 106 yards over 39 plays from their opening drive. That’s under three yards a play and it is putrid.

The offense does have issues, but I still believe the little steps can eventually turn into big ones.
Lawrence isn’t a bust, and he will eventually get it right.

If Meyer and Bevell can unleash Robinson for a productive load, it will open up the offense.

A respectable running game will lessen the load for Lawrence, who has looked like the proverbial island of a man. He shouldn’t have to do it all alone.

Meyer gave a vote of confidence to Lambo Monday, but the Jags can’t afford an inconsistent kicker. His leash should be a short one.

Life for Lawrence won’t get any easier when undefeated Arizona (2-0) comes to TIAA Bank Field Sunday.

The Cardinals’ defense was picked apart for three touchdowns by Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins and running back Dalvin Cook darted his way for 131 yards.

This also is on the defense, which has allowed too many big plays. Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater combined for a line of 47-67-619-4 TDs over the first two games.

Sunday should focus on ball control and allow Lawrence just to manage the game, not try to win it.

At this stage, that likely sounds easier than it is.

Still, if the offensive line can reach another level, the overall offense has some consistent series, and gains some points from their kicker, the Jags will take another step forward.

Roster News: The Jaguars have signed cornerback Nevin Lawson. In addition, the team has placed tight end James O’Shaughnessy on injured reserve.

Lawson, 5-9, 192, was originally drafted by Detroit in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Lions, before joining the Raiders for the 2019 and 2020 campaigns. His career totals include 88 games with 68 starts, 290 total tackles, 34 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

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