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Why the Jaguars have much to look forward to after Sunday’s loss

John Watson, Sports Editor

Featured Image: AP Photo/Matt Stamey

In a season that has been filled with so many negatives, tough losses and disappointments, the Jacksonville Jaguars have reached as close to rock bottom as possible without being that one football team with the green logo from New York. As Jake Luton and his injury-ridden teammates lost a lopsided game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, we are here to say that rocky roads lead to beautiful places and there will be better days for the Jaguars as things start to look up.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson, left, leaps over Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson (22) as linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (92) comes in to help during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey) (AP)

For once with Jake Luton at the helm, it was thought that the Jaguars might be able to pull off the upset. Things were looking good as the Jaguars caught the Steelers sleeping early and were able to drive down the field on their first possession and score their first (and only) three points of the game. As I was glued to the TV screen, I witnessed something that hasn’t happened much this season… a Jacksonville lead.

That’s about it for scoring for the Jaguars as empty possessions and four interceptions thrown by Luton caused the Jaguars to not score another field goal, safety or extra point the rest of the game. The Steelers on the other hand were strong on some plays and very disappointing on others. Like a lot of Fleetwood Mac songs, they were up and down the entire day.

In fact, the Jags outscored the boys from Pittsburgh in the first quarter. While the Jaguars scored no points in the third quarter, they held the Steelers to an empty quarter as well and the Jaguars pass defense showed up on crucial third downs at various points.

Now, I know what you are thinking. This guy who wrote this article is a nutcase and they lost the game by 24 points… how can you bring anything positive out of a loss? Well, for one it’s been a disappointing season and these articles are almost like a broken record. The broken record plays the same three notes its entire lifespan. 

The first note is that not a single coach has been fired. Doug Marrone is looking to be the coach until the end of the season and there are no current plans to fix that. The bright side of that is the Jaguars will be able start fresh next season, but for right now it is truly painful to watch.

The second note is the Jaguars defensive struggles. Ever since Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey departed the team, the intimidation factor has not been there and consistency has looked rough — it is what used to be known as “Sacksonville.” With a grand total of nine sacks on the year, Jacksonville is dead last in total sacks this season. The bright side for this one is that the Jaguars are seeing production from players who usually wouldn’t be in the spotlight. Joe Schobert is leading the team in tackles and Sidney Jones leads the team in interceptions.

Lastly, the third note is the injuries of course. On Sunday, there were 23 Jaguars players who were out of the game due to injuries. Notable ones included Gardner Minshew, Josh Allen, Laviska Shenault, CJ Henderson and even Josh Lambo. With losses starting to pile up and no end in sight, there is no urgency to get these players back to the gridiron as it seems like the Jaguars would rather let the younger guys get experience while the stars rest up and get ready for next season. While this does lead to a bunch of losses and disappointment, a top three draft pick doesn’t sound half bad.

With those three notes continuing to play and Shad Khan refusing to make changes this season, I am looking forward to next season and the future as optimism goes a long way. So, Jaguars fans, I challenge you to look at the positives next game and if they win, then that is great, but if they lose, I hope you see that there is a little light at the end of the tunnel.

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Why the Jaguars have much to look forward to after Sunday’s loss