Jacksonville Sports Day

Moeller: Dramatic Win in London Helps Shape Jaguars Identity

Photo Courtesy of Jacksonville Jaguars

It took the Jacksonville nearly 4,330 miles to get their first win of the season Sunday. London has been a magical place for the Jaguars, where they have a 4-4 record in eight overall games since 2007.

Watch out, Jag’s fans! Those Brits across the pond may want to steal your team!

More importantly, though, their dramatic 23-20 win over Miami in what truly was a state slugfest finally gave the Jags a further sense of worth and identity.

Don’t dwell on the 20-game losing streak being broken. Instead, it should have been about the five-game slide of the Trevor Lawrence-Urban Meyer era. Those 15 previous games under the Doug Marrone-Gardner Minshew and friends segment lost some staying power after Sunday’s win.

Now, they desperately need a encore.

It began rough as expected, mainly focused on Lawrence’s adaptation to the NFL. Meyer was the afterthought, and he should stay that way. This should be about Lawrence.

Lawrence has proved his status over this last three games, as his quarterback rating has been over 92 in each of the three. Hi accuracy has steadily climbed, and he appears more poised and confident in the pocket.

Against Miami, he threw for 319 yards and had to fend off Miami’s countless blitzes, being a victim twice to sacks. He has been more receptive to taking off out of the pocket, and has proven he can be a weapon on the run. He ran for 36 yards against Cincinnati, a game they should have won.

Lawrence zipped two consecutive passes for developing favorite target Laviska Shenault Jr., the second that gave the Jags a first down and better field position for kicker Matthew Wriight’s winning 53-yarder (Do the Jags finally have their kicker?) Credit Lawrence and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for two brilliant, quick-response calls.

The Jag’s defense –notably their pass defense — still needs to be tightened. But they don’t quit, and they made a crucial fourth-and-one stop with just under two minutes left in the game. They surely bent, but they never broke in the end. A win like this one should give them a needed boost.

Jacksonville also has kept the ball in James Robinson’s hands, and that’s a good thing. The second-year back has gained more than 88 yards in each of the last four games, and has been the perfect complement to Lawrence.

This win also helps take the shadow off Meyer from his escapade in Ohio after the Bengals’ game. Meyer hopefully has leaned what the NFL is all about on and off the field from this win, and he can have his share in the spotlight.

We’ll find out what Meyer and his staff are further about with the Jags having a bye week this coming weekend. At this point, they certainly can’t afford to take a major step backwards. This will be Meyer’s first major test.

On Halloween –of all days — the Jags will take another long jaunt to Seattle to meet Geno Smith and the reeling Seahawks, who began Monday with a 2-4 record. Smith, playing for injured Russell Wilson, threw for 209 yards with a touchdown in their 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh Sunday, but he was sacked five times (Take note, Jags’ D-line)

With the sense of worth validated and Lawrence’s development over the past few weeks, the Jags should be smelling blood for this one. It’s there for their taking.

However, a sleepy Seattle showing can abruptly change the course of talk about new beginnings and fresh starts and shift the focus back to one of the league’s longest losing chapters for a team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *