Sam's Commentary

December 18, 2014 Commentary Archive

Jaguars beat Titans, Show 2nd Half Spark

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted December 18, 2014 ===========================================================================

Sometimes I'm perplexed by the Jaguars play calling and lack of offense. When you see them prepare, they seem to get it. But in games, it becomes a different story. Opening the game down 7-0 after giving up an game starting drive of 84 yards (to Charlie Whitehurst) the Jaguars ran the ball a couple of times with Toby Gerhart for a first down. Then, perhaps going on a script, a throw to Cecil Shorts wasn't perfect, and he dropped it. So Gerhart gets three on the stretch play (that I hate) and it brings up third and 7. As we know, the 3-yard pass is always open on 3rd and 7, so Blake Bortles throws it to Jordan Todman in the flat, covered, for a loss of 4 and the Jaguars punt. Not only did they stop executing, it seemed that the play selection was doomed to fail as well. Not a lot of movement, not a lot of play action or anything else. Just basic plays that either work or they don't. And when they don't, which is more often than not these days, there aren't a lot of options.

More of the same followed for the Jaguars offense, mustering 16 yards on 4 possessions. If you're a fan of punting, Bryan Anger put on a display, especially a 61-yarder that was up there forever.

On defense, it was a different unit than the one that played against Baltimore on Sunday. Big chunks of yardage were given up, especially over the middle to wide-open receivers, especially the tight end. Head Coach Gus Bradley has said if guys are running wide open, then it's a blown assignment. Somebody back there clearly has a problem with that assignment because it's always open and teams know it. The Titans took advantage of holes in the secondary to get inside the Jaguars 40 and kick a field goal to make it 10-0.

Right before the 2-minute warning, the Jaguars offense finally got untracked, sort of. Gerhart was getting the ball going at the line of scrimmage and finding creases, running people over and doubled the Jaguars offensive production in two carries. A nice roll out throw by Bortles to Marqise Lee put the ball in Titans territory. But for some reason, Gerhart came out of the game and the Jaguars went backwards. Lee made another nice catch, Marcedes Lewis fell down on the 23 and Bortles bailed himself out by scrambling for a 1st down. There was a Cecil Shorts sighting and he fought to the 4-yard line.

This is where the Jaguars have struggled for most of the season. Again, some of it execution and some of it play selection. But finding Lewis singled up against a cornerback, Bortles fired a bullet that Lewis snatched out of the air and fought to hold on to for a TD. It might be the single best play of his entire career and should have been a staple of the offense every time he's healthy. Nonetheless, TD Jaguars and they went to the half down 10-7. After mustering only 16 yards of offense through most of the first half, they gobbled up 80 on that drive alone. Part execution, part play selection.

Since Tennessee won the toss and took the ball to start the game, the Jaguars had the ball to start the second half and took advantage of it right away. One of the reasons the team has so much hope for the future is how things sometimes click so perfectly. Bortles hit Lee over the middle for 34 yards and then twice to Hurns for 8 and 15 yards to threaten for some points. A little trick throwback from Shorts to Jordan Todman made it first and goal and after a defensive holding call, the Jaguars actually gave the ball to Gerhart from the 1 for a TD and a 14-10 lead.

Then it went back to a punt-fest.

The defense stiffened with 6 minutes to go in the game and stopped the Titans on 4th and 2. Jordan Todman followed that with a 62-yard TD run to give the Jaguars a 21-10 lead. Three offensive TD's in this game vs. none in the past two combined.

They gave up a FG and then it was only a matter of whether the offense could control the ball for the rest of the game and secure the victory. They couldn't and Bradley eschewed a FG attempt in favor of a punt with a minute to play that went into the end zone for a touchback and the Titans took over on the 20.

They moved it to midfield pretty easily but were running out of time. Whitehurst was looking around for a chance to throw a Hail Mary into the end zone when Sen'Derrick Marks sacked him to end the game. Not only did that secure the win but it also gave marks 8.5 sacks this year, earning him a $600,000 bonus.

With three wins the Jaguars have a chance to equal last years record in the final game at Houston. Once they opened up the offense, they moved the ball but not with the consistency they'd like to have.

You'd rather be a Jaguar fan than a Titan fan at this point. While the Jaguars are hoping their young players emerge, the Titans will be searching for a quarterback and other young players for a few years.

Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

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ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

12-18-2014 - Jaguars/Titans Preview: Worth it?
12-17-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Road Trips
12-14-2014 - Second Half Woes (again), Jaguars lose to Ravens
12-14-2014 - Jaguars Ravens Preview: Still Learning?
12-11-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Individual Performances
12-07-2014 - Jaguars Falter in 2nd Half, Lose to Texans
12-07-2014 - Jaguars/Texans preview: Keep the Momentum?
12-06-2014 - McElwain Introduced at Florida: Wins the Press Conference
12-03-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Comebacks
12-01-2014 - Defense Shines, Jaguars beat Giants
11-30-2014 - Jaguars Giants Preview: It's About Bortles
11-23-2014 - Jaguars Sputter vs Indy
11-23-2014 - Jagaurs vs. Colts Preview
11-22-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Teams
11-16-2014 - Muschamp Era Over: Where Now?
11-10-2014 - Jaguars Close to the Tipping Point
11-09-2014 - Jaguars Don't Get Better
11-09-2014 - Shad Khan: Making Jacksonville and the Jaguars a Winner
11-08-2014 - Jaguars Prep Cowboys on Saturday
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Arrive in London
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Make London Routine
11-06-2014 - Jaguars Focusing on Cowboys
11-05-2014 - Jaguars Road Trip: Play Anywhere, Anytime
11-02-2014 - Jaguars Mistakes Cost Them Again
10-29-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Florida Connections
10-19-2014 - Jaguars 1st Win: Beat Browns
10-19-2014 - Jaguars Browns Preview: Winnable?
10-13-2014 - Jaguars Let One Slip Away
10-12-2014 - Jaguars vs. Titans Preview
10-11-2014 - Top 20 Jaguars Personalities
10-06-2014 - Steelers Beat Jaguars But More Respectable
10-03-2014 - Simple Jaguars Solution: Play Better
10-02-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Rivalry Moments
09-29-2014 - Jaguars Lose To Chargers: Still Learning
09-27-2014 - Jaguars prep Chargers in San Diego
09-25-2014 - Bortles First Week as Starter
09-24-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 Impactful Rookies
09-20-2014 - Jaguars/Colts Preview: Race to Maturity Needs to be Fast
09-14-2014 - Jaguars Lose Game, Ground
09-09-2014 - Jaguars Top 20 'Moments
09-08-2014 - Jaguars Fall to Eagles, Learn Lessons
09-06-2014 - Jaguars/Eagles: It's What's Up Front That Counts
09-06-2014 - Hotel Domestique: (Almost) Cycling Paradise
08-16-2014 - Henne Takes Control, Jags Move Forward
08-15-2014 - Keep Improving and Jaguars Have A Chance
07-12-2014 - Chasing Greatness: The Right Way
07-01-2014 - Team USA Brings Us Together: Again
06-08-2014 - A Special Day in Town
06-06-2014 - Jaguars Week 2 OTA's: More Progress
05-28-2014 - Jaguars 1st OTA: Plenty of Questions
05-17-2014 - Jaguars Rookie Camp: A Look At The Future
05-15-2014 - Jaguars "Sustainability" Seems Upward
05-12-2014 - Kaymer Wins Players: Wins Fans Too
05-08-2014 - The Players: First Round Update
05-07-2014 - Players Preview 2014
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Who Can Win?
05-07-2014 - Players 2014: Will The Greens Be Up To Par?
05-05-2014 - Players 2014: Some Greens Still Closed
05-05-2014 - The Players : Wide Open
05-03-2014 - The Players Field Almost Set
05-03-2014 - Pre Draft Jaguars Ramblings
04-11-2014 - Jaguars Buzz is Real
04-04-2014 - Final Four Bigger in Big 'D'
03-28-2014 - Gators in Elite Eight: Want More
03-27-2014 - Gators vs. UCLA: Toughest Test Yet
03-26-2014 - Bradley Looking To Upgrade Team, Self
03-23-2014 - Gators Change Mindset, Beat Pitt
03-21-2014 - Gators "Survive and Advance"
03-20-2014 - Gators Ranking Doesn't Matter
03-19-2014 - Gators in Orlando For NCAA's
03-14-2014 - Jaguars Free Agency: Impressed, Not Surprised
03-12-2014 - Gabbert Gone
03-08-2014 - Gators Still "Chasing Greatness"
02-27-2014 - "Personal Foul" on the Dutch
02-22-2014 - NASCAR: Looking To The Past To Find The Future
02-13-2014 - Jax: An Events Town"
02-05-2014 - National Signing Day: "Mark Your Calendar!"
01-07-2014 - As Good As It Gets: FSU Wins National Championship
01-06-2014 - FSU vs. Team of Destiny
01-05-2014 - Fisher/Malzahn, FSU/Auburn Contrast in Style
01-05-2014 - FSU A Close-Knit Group
01-02-2014 - Jaguars Talking Vs. Doing:
Does Bradley's "Conviction" Mean Jaguars Wins Are On The Way?
12-29-2013 - Decisions to Make: Jaguars Need A Lot
12-23-2013 - Meester's Day
12-22-2013 - Jaguars Don't Have Enough
12-20-2013 - Jaguars: Who Wants To Be Here?
12-19-2013 - Meeter Retires: The REAL Pride of the Jaguars
12-15-2013 - Jaguars: Three Forward One Back
12-06-2013 - Jaguars Beat Texans Again: Learning How to Win
12-01-2013 - Florida/FSU: Different Directions?
11-18-2013 - Jaguars 2nd Half: "Better But Not Good"
11-14-2013 - Locker Room Culture: Off Limits?
11-10-2013 - Jaguars Victory: A Lot More Than Just One Win
11-03-2013 - Do We Worry About Blackmon?
11-02-2013 - Florida/Georgia: It's Never Easy
10-27-2013 - Jaguars in London: Fun & Frustration:Equal Parts of Both
10-26-2013 - Jacksonville's on a Global Stage
10-25-2013 - Shad Khan "Living The Dream"
10-03-2013 - Jaguars Building for the "Distant" Future
09-30-2013 - Jaguars: Not Getting Better Soon
09-23-2013 - Jaguars Results Not Unexpected
09-17-2013 - Jaguars Ups and Downs
09-10-2013 - Not What They Were Expecting
09-07-2013 - Jaguars Give Reason For Hope
08-25-2013 - "Better and Improved": The Jaguars Buzzwords
08-21-2013 - Jaguars 2013: It's Not About Winning
08-12-2013 - Jaguars Assessment: Is "Not Terrible" Fair?
08-01-2013 - Jaguars Camp: No Surprises But Not Routine
07-26-2013 - Gus Bradley's First Camp: "Slow Down!"
07-20-2013 - Big Thinking Khan Style
06-20-2013 - Its Summer, It's Hot, No Kidding!
05-31-2013 - The Ever Expanding "Season"
05-15-2013 - The Players: One Of A Kind
05-01-2013 - Tiger At The Players
05-08-2013 - Jaguars Needs: Everything
04-03-2013 - Golf in North Florida: It is & isn't all about The Players
01-30-2013 - Players Win Games

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