What We Learned Against the Bengals

A comedy of errors at the end of the game salvaged defeat from the jaws of victory for the Jaguars. Find out how our keys to victory played out in the team's 30-20 defeat.

Offensive Keys to a Jaguars Victory

1. Establish the run. Jacksonville tried to control the line of scrimmage, but eight and nine man fronts by Cincinnati made Maurice Jones-Drew work extra hard for his yards. 96 yards on 27 carries will not be enough for this team to win consistently.

2. Try some gadget plays. The Jaguars tried one reverse which resulted in a four-yard loss but aside from that there was no "trickeration." Would a trick play have loosened up the Bengals defense? We will never know.

3. Catch the forward pass. The Jaguars receivers were better on this day as the drops were limited to less than a handful, but Jason Hill dropped a big slant pattern which would've extended a drive and Marcedes Lewis mishandled a touchdown early on in which the Jaguars were forced to settle for three points.

Defensive Keys to a Jaguars Victory

1. Blanket A.J. Green. The dynamic rookie made his impact felt on the Bengals opening drive as he snagged a 37-yard touchdown pass. On the day, Green caught five passes for 90 yards and the score.

2. Force the ball to the edges. As expected, Andy Dalton did much of his damage over the middle of the football field and there were few plays made outside the hashes. Jacksonville did limit the Bengals rushing attack to just 77 yards on 31 carries.

3. Come down with the turnovers. Jacksonville had an opportunity for a few turnovers and came down with one Andy Dalton interception which led to just three points. To put it simply, not enough playmakers made plays.


-The Jaguars didn't make enough plays to win and some ultra-conservative playcalling when the team was up just four points led to additional opportunities for the Bengals to score and ultimately win the game. There's a severe lack of talent at the skill positions and that's why the team is finding itself on the short end every single week.

- Special teams needs a makeover. Matt Turk has been awful and was awful on Sunday, averaging just under 38 gross yards per boot which led to short fields for Cincinnati. The return game was terrible as Cecil Shorts looks unsure of his surroundings and the coverage units were also not good enough. For the Jaguars to overcome their talent deficiencies in other areas they will need special teams to be excellent and they've been very bad.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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