The Jaguars were smacked around by the New England Patriots, 51-17. A combination of depth, talent and injuries all played a big part in the loss. We're going to look at how our keys to victory actually played out.
Keys to a Jaguars victory:
1. Play keep away. The Jaguars couldn't get much of a ground game going and they were bad on third down. This didn't allow them to control the football and then the paper-thin defense became winded early.
2. No turnovers whatsoever. Jacksonville was hanging around before Blake Bortles threw an interception right before halftime. The Pats scored off the turnover and that was the real ending of the game.
3. Catch the football. The Jaguars didn't have a lot of drops, but they also didn't have much separation.
4. Cover Gronk. The defense did a reasonably good job against the game's best tight end, but Gronk still finished with four catches for 101 yards.
5. Play the game of your life. With the injuries today, the game of their lives probably wouldn't have been enough. It was a major mismatch and the good guys had no chance whatsoever.
What to look for:
1. Look for a Gronk-spike. The Jaguars didn't keep Gronk under 100, but they kept him out of the end zone.
2. T.J. Yeldon will struggle. Yeldon led the Jaguars in rushing, but he had no real chance to get much going as the holes weren't there. He gained 33 yards on 11 carries.
3. Tom Brady goes over 300. Brady made playing quarterback at a Hall of Fame level look as easy as ever, as he completed 33 of 42 passes, for 358 yards with a pair of touchdowns, including the 400th and 401st
4. Bortles throws two interceptions. Bortles didn't have a good day as passes seemed to flutter off his hands, but he didn't throw two interceptions, he only threw one. The Jaguars quarterback finished 17 of 33, for 242 yards with two touchdowns and the lone interception. He finished with a quarterback rating of 83.1, but much of the damage came late when the outcome was already decided.
5. The Jaguars put up a good fight for a half. We mentioned that it could get ugly and it certainly did. The team played somewhat competitive football for about 27 minutes.