The Jacksonville Jaguars picked up their second win of the season, and second consecutive, against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but Jacksonville erased a 13-point deficit in the second half to pull out a victory in the final three minutes. Here’s what we learned:
1. Jacksonville needs to execute on third down
Not only on the offensive side of the ball, but the defensive side as well. Offensively, the team converted only 2 of 10 attempts on third down, including a straight in the second/third quarter where they went three-and-out on three consecutive drives. Defensively, they couldn’t seem to get off the field. Chicago dominated time of possession, totaling over 35 minutes of offense compared to Jacksonville’s 24:13, and a big reason for that was because of Jacksonville’s inability to hold on third down. Chicago went 7/17 on third downs, which is over 40%.
However, the defense made big stops on third and fourth downs in the fourth quarter when it mattered most, something they were not doing up until this week.
2. Jalen Ramsey has a penchant for theatrics
Ramsey did not play well in the first half. Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery caught six passes for 90 yards in the first half, all against Ramsey. However, he turned it around in the second half. He held Jeffery to only one catch for three yards for the final 30 minutes, and made an incredibly athletic game-winning deflection over Jeffery on 4th-and-10 with less than one minute remaining. For Ramsey to recover after the beating he took in the first half to play so well in the second half says a lot about his character. Ramsey is going to be a star for this defense for many years to come.
3. Blake Bortles continues to struggle
The final stat-line is a bit deceiving, but Bortles struggled for the majority of this game. Not until the 4th quarter, when the team was down by two possessions, did Blake Bortles accrue the majority of his 271 passing yards. He routinely missed receivers with poor accuracy, and failed to move the ball for most of the game. The interception was not his fault, but you could also make the case that the final touchdown was simply luck. Arrelious Benn caught a slant pass over the middle, fell to the ground, and got up before getting touched and ran 51 yards for a touchdown. I still have faith in Bortles quarterbacking this team, but consistency remains a serious issue.