For better or worse, the Jaguars are the 2016 team of On The 50 Yard Line. I gave my readers the option to pick the team out of a pool of four teams that I selected which also included Tennessee, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay as well. Comparative to the expectations, the Jaguars have easily been the most disappointing team not only out of the four but arguably in the entire league.
With their 38-14 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, Gus Bradley holds the worst head coaching record through 50 games in modern NFL history. He currently sits at 12-38 and he’s only won 1 game in September thus far in his career.
Unfortunately for Bradley, the Jaguars next two opponents will be Baltimore (at home) and Indianapolis in London. And we all know NFL head coaches are quick to get fired after that London game because of the bye week that follows right afterwards. If the Jaguars are 0-4, you better believe Bradley is out of here.
By all accounts, Gus Bradley is a great guy. He’s a good coach. His players love him. His staff loves him. But being a nice guy doesn’t mean anything if you can’t win games.
His calling card was defense but this defense still looks putrid. I’m starting to notice Pete Carroll’s NFL coaching tree is looking similar to his college coaching tree. Basically, his coaches are nothing without him (in this case, replicating defensive success that his assistant coaches achieved while in Seattle with him).
GM Dave Caldwell spent money in the offseason to help improve the defense yet they still aren’t there. At least Malik Jackson is still a very damn good player. He was by far their best player against the Chargers. Of course, he isn’t enough. The Jaguars still have pass rush issues among other things. Despite the fact he threw for 220 yards and 4 touchdowns, most of Rivers passes were short throws and the receivers did all the work. The defense was often out of place to make a play, and when they had the opportunity to make a play, they didn’t.
Most people were expecting the Jaguars to have an explosive offense this year and it just hasn’t happened yet. The Allen brothers haven’t lived up to their expectations yet and Bortles still has his jackass moments. Bortles committed 3 turnovers in the first half against the Chargers and the Jags never recovered. Hell, Bortles dropped back I’m not placing the blame solely on Bortles but this team can only go as far as he takes them.
It’s his third season and it’s time to take that next step. We’re in an era now where we expect these QB’s, especially the high first round draft picks to come out and perform immediately. Bortles was a very raw prospect when he was drafted. He still has a lot to learn physically and mentally, but damn man. When are you going to start showing us some things?
It’s deeper than numbers at this point. He’s going to put up high passing yardage numbers. Last year he threw a shit ton of touchdowns. But Bortles has to cut down on the turnovers. He’s already thrown an equal amount of touchdowns and interceptions in 2016. And this is a following a year where he threw for 35 touchdowns and 18 picks. But these general statistics never tell the entire story with Bortles unfortunately.
The offensive line is vastly improved from a year ago and he’s surrounded by a ton of weapons. Maybe when Chris Ivory finally suits up, the offense might look different.Maybe running the ball and taking it out of Bortles hands might help. Who knows. Bortles did drop back over 50 times on Sunday and they never got the run game going. Had no choice but to abandon once the game started getting out of hand.
Regardless, Bortles will be here next season. Gus Bradley might not. The clock is ticking.