Different opponent, similar deficiencies, same result for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jacksonville (1-3) fell to the New Orleans Saints (3-1) 23-10 on Sunday afternoon in thanks to a horrendously inefficient passing attack and second half meltdown from the offense.
That seems to be the story of the season for the Jaguars, who are on a three-game losing streak and are off to the worst start of head coach Jack Del Rio’s nine years with the franchise.
Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert was 16-of-42 for 196 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He wasn’t sharp but was far from being the lone problem for an offense that sorely lacks top talent from its linemen and receivers. Gabbert was sacked three times, twice by Will Smith, and his wide outs again struggled to get separation from New Orleans defensive backs.
There was a brief time though where the Jaguars looked like they had enough in them to upset the Saints.
New Orleans was able to jump off to a 14-0 start by the early part of the second quarter. The Saints swiftly drove down the field on their first offensive possession and scored off of a one-yard run by fullback Jed Collins and then quarterback Drew Brees led the Saints on a 12-play, 96-yard drive that was capped off by a one-yard touchdown toss to tight end Jimmy Graham.
Jacksonville responded right back when Gabbert hit tight end Zach Miller for a 14-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead in half. Gabbert completed six of eight passes on an 80-yard drive.
Linebacker Darryl Smith then intercepted an errant throw by Brees right before halftime and returned it 25 yards to give the Jaguars the ball at New Orleans’ 13 yard-line. Gabbert threw three straight incompletions and the Jaguars had to settle on a 31-yard field goal from Josh Scobee, which put the game at 14-10 at the break.
Jacksonville’s comeback was short lived. Josh Kasay made two field goals -38 and 39 yards, respectively-to start the third quarter for New Orleans. Those scores sandwiched a drive for the Jaguars that started with a 41-yard run by Maurice Jones-Drew and ended with Patrick Robinson intercepting a Blaine Gabbert pass at New Orleans’ 26.
Down 20-10 in the third quarter, the Jaguars were unable to string anything together after Gabbert’s pick and logged two consecutive three-and-outs.
Jacksonville’s defense managed to hold a prolific New Orleans team that had scored more than 30 points in every game this season to just 23 points. Brees finished with 315 passing yards but had one touchdown to two interceptions and was sacked three times, which is a season high for Jacksonville.
However, the team’s offense was anemic yet again and continually put the defense in bad positions. The Jaguars managed just 274 yards of total offense and completed only 26 percent of their third down conversions. Jacksonville ran the ball 17 times for 104 yards, which follows a week where the Jaguars had 29 carries and attempted 21 passes in a 16-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
So whether the Jaguars rely on the pass or the run, it seems that the team’s offense doesn’t have the weapons to put up points, as the Jaguars are averaging 9.75 points per game a month into the season.Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Drew Brees, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jimmy Graham, Josh Scobee, Maurice-Jones Drew, New Orleans Saints, NFL