Jags Implode After Halftime In Loss To Eagles

It was a tale of two separate halves for the Jaguars as they played nearly perfect in the first, and simply couldn't do anything right in the second.

The Jacksonville Jaguars played inspiring football for one quarter. Really good football for one half. And were competitive for nearly three and a half quarters.

The longer you play the longer your true identity and talent level are displayed.

The Jaguars talent level simply isn’t high enough to sustain injuries and their starting quarterback against a team that was in the playoffs last season. Especially on the road.

Jacksonville started the game flying high in the nest of the defending NFC East champion Eagles. They turned Nick Foles over on Philadelphia’s first two possessions and cashed in with a pair of Chad Henne touchdown passes to undrafted rookie Allen Hurns.

Yes, the player who led the NFL in preseason receiving yards looked like the fantasy sleeper that some predicted as he finished with 4 catches for 110 yards and that pair of touchdowns. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, most of his and the team’s damage was done in the first half.

Everything was going Jacksonville’s way before intermission as the team led on the scoreboard 17-0, sacked Nick Foles a franchise record five times and forced a career high three Foles turnovers.

Then the gun sounded, both teams went into the locker room and seemingly new teams came out. The Eagles struck on their first possession of the second half as running back Darren Sproles busted through the center of the Jacksonville defense on a 4th-and-1 and went 49 yards untouched to the end zone.

The Jaguars answered offensively with a 3-and-out.

Philadelphia then took a short field set up by a Sproles punt return 40 yards to the end zone, cutting the Jacksonville lead to 17-14.

The Jaguars answered offensively with a 3-and-out.

It took Philadelphia just over three quarters to erase the hole that the Jaguars put them in and then capped the game by scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars 17-0 halftime lead seems like a distant memory as they were so thoroughly outplayed in the second half.

Injuries played a part as Toby Gerhart went down with an ankle injury and was mostly ineffective when he returned. His backups ran for just 14 yards on 6 carries. Jonathan Cyprien left the game with an apparent concussion and his backups, Josh Evans and Chris Prosinski missed tackles and blew coverages. Injuries are a part of the game but the Jaguars don’t have the depth to overcome them, at least not at this point in the rebuilding process.

We turn our focus to the quarterback position where Jaguars starter Chad Henne, like the rest of the team, looked efficient for one quarter, solid for a half, mediocre for three quarters and showed why the team spent their first pick on a quarterback by game’s end. Henne finished 24 of 43, for 266 yards, 2 touchdowns, no picks and one fumble which was returned for a touchdown against an Eagles defense that finished dead last in the NFL in pass defense last season. Henne missed open receivers throughout the game and continued to look like a backup quarterback masquerading as a starter.

Few gave the Jaguars a good chance to win the season opener on the road against a superior team. Although they were ultimately correct, the Jaguars do have a good half of football to build upon and plenty of mistakes to correct.

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