The Blame Game

The Jaguars failed in several areas in the second half of Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. We're going to assign proper blame for each of those areas as we move forward toward next week.

When you’re a double-digit underdog, it really isn’t a great surprise when you lose your opener on the road. Still, the Jaguars gave their fans hope as they took a 17-0 lead into the locker room for halftime. We’re going to assign blame where it rightfully belongs in the Jaguars loss.

The first thing we’re going to do is absolve the defense as a whole from blame. Yes, they gave up 27 points in the second half, but Philadelphia has one of the most explosive offenses in the game and they had five sacks and forced three turnovers. That should be enough to win.

Chad Henne- The Jaguars quarterback played well for about one quarter. Everyone wants to remember the good throw to Allen Hurns for the team’s first touchdown, but that’s what an NFL quarterback is supposed to do. Unfortunately, Henne didn’t do much else and they only touchdown drives he led the team on began in Philadelphia territory. The Eagles had the worst pass defense in football last season and Henne went 2-14 on 3rd down. You simply have to be better than that if you’re a starting quarterback. Henne was the victim of three drops but he misfired on far more throws than that, especially on 3rd down (the money down).

Dave Caldwell- The team’s lack of depth became very evident during Sunday’s game. We have to assign a certain amount of blame to the general manager as Chris Prosinski was forced to play safety when Jonathan Cyprien and Josh Evans were both nicked up. Prosinski is limited as a football player and he routinely makes mental errors in coverage, one of which led to the Eagles taking the lead for good. To put it simply, Prosinski shouldn’t be on the roster of a decent NFL team.

Gus Bradley- We’re not going to blame the Jaguars head coach for going for a questionable 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter. That was out of desperation and the team was certainly desperate. We do have to blame him for not playing Denard Robinson more when Toby Gerhart was hobbled. Robinson is the only running back the Jaguars have with any kind of explosive ability and he was barely used, as the head coach opted for Jordan Todman who hasn’t shown much.

Jacques McClendon- The Jaguars center was making his first start in the NFL and he showed why he hasn’t started a game up to this point. We knew that the team lacked depth and talent at center and that was again evident during the game. McClendon had several poor snaps and was dominated along with the rest of the team’s interior line. We know that “help is not on the way,” but unless he improves it’s going to be a long season.

Jaguars interior line- We don’t want to harp on these guys too much as it’s tough to run-block in this league. That job becomes more difficult when team stack the box due to lack of respect for the quarterback. The Jaguars ran for just 64 yards on 25 attempts, and that won’t be good enough to win a lot of games this season.

Special teams- The Jaguars special teams had an off day as kicker Josh Scobee missed as many field goal attempts as he did all of last season (2). Although punter Bryan Anger had a nice 46.5 yard average on his punts, he often outkicked the coverage as they allowed 15.5 yards per punt return to Darren Sproles, which is simply unacceptable.

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