Although the Jaguars had a new starting quarterback and new hope, the final result was the same. A blowout loss. The Jaguars took to the road as two-touchdown underdogs and lost to the San Diego Chargers….by more than two touchdowns, 33-14.
Although the story in Jacksonville was Blake Bortles first start, and by all accounts the rookie played very well, but the team around him simply isn’t good enough to travel across three time zones and beat a playoff team.
The biggest culprit in the Jaguars upset bid was the dynamic combination of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and wide receiver Keenan Allen. Rivers completed 29 of 39 throws for 377 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions, for a quarterback rating of 130.0. All Keenan Allen did was catch 10 passes for 135 yards. Almost lost in the San Diego air attack was veteran Eddie Royal, who caught five passes for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Jaguars defense couldn’t manufacture a lot of pressure on Rivers and the secondary left open men all over the football field. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, this isn’t a problem that can be fixed overnight, or in a week or probably not in a month. They are lacking talent at the free safety and cornerback positions and their linebackers have been routinely beaten in coverage.
There were certain improvements for the Jags. The offense moved the football, keeping their defense from being exposed as much as in recent weeks. Blake Bortles made some mistakes but was also efficient in an ultra-conservative game plan. The first quarterback taken in the draft completed 29 of 37 throws for 253 yards, with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Bortles had a respectable quarterback rating of 81.6.
Jacksonville didn’t do much on the ground as Toby Gerhart led the way with 10 carries for 32 yards and the first Jaguars rushing touchdown since last November. Gerhart also fumbled and showed a lack of explosiveness.
The Jaguars receivers were shut down in the second half following an injury to Cecil Shorts. Allen Hurns led all Jacksonville receivers with five catches for 68 yards, including a 44-yard reception which led to a Jaguars touchdown. Tight end Clay Harbor led all Jacksonville pass catchers with eight receptions for 69 yards.
The Jaguars find themselves with the Oakland Raiders as one of the last two winless teams in the NFL at 0-4. They will welcome the 2-2 Pittsburgh Steelers to Jacksonville next Sunday.
Secondary Play Costs Jaguars in 33-14 Loss
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