Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Jaguars come from a broken home
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- EverBank Field has been anything but "home, sweet home" for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season.
They’ve been outscored 89-11 and haven’t scored a touchdown in three games: losses to Kansas City, Indianapolis and San Diego.
In fact, they haven’t scored a touchdown at EverBank Field since the first quarter of the 2012 home finale against New England on Dec. 23.
The Jaguars haven't scored a touchdown in EverBank Field since Dec. 23, 2012.
"Damn near a year," receiver Cecil Shorts said. "We’ve got to change that ASAP. Sheesh."
To be more accurate, on Sunday it will be 329 days since that last touchdown, a 3-yard pass from Chad Henne to Justin Blackmon with 9:34 remaining in the first quarter against the Patriots. That’s a streak of 230 minutes and 26 seconds without a touchdown heading into kickoff against the Arizona Cardinals.
"That’s not good," Henne said. "Not good at all."
Why so many poor performances at EverBank Field? Actually, why so many poor performances overall? Several reasons, beginning with the decision to completely rebuild the team. The roster purge that general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley undertook as part of the rebuilding process left the Jaguars’ overall talent level at the bottom of the league.
Injuries to Jones-Drew (foot, ankle) and Lewis (calf) and the four-game suspension of receiver Justin Blackmon to start the season, the team’s best player, limited their production early in the season.
As for the struggles at EverBank Field, part of the issue has been the teams the Jaguars have played: Kansas City (9-0), Indianapolis (6-3) and San Diego (4-5). Two are division leaders and the third is still in the hunt for a wild-card playoff berth.
Blackmon was suspended for the Kansas City and Indianapolis game, Lewis played just two snaps against Indianapolis, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw five interceptions in starts against the Chiefs and Colts. The Jaguars’ defense gave up 437 and 434 yards, respectively, against the Colts and Chargers.
"We have to execute," Jones-Drew said. "Offensively, when we played the Chargers, we felt like we had a great game plan but we just didn’t execute very well in the red zone. It’s easy to play on the road together. It’s here where we have to continue to execute our game plan."
The Jaguars won their first game of the season last week in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans and Shorts said he’s hoping the team can use that to generate some much-needed momentum at EverBank Field.
"This is our town, so we should come here and play excellent each week," he said. "It should be to our advantage. We got a win last week and we’ll try to build off that this week and really play well at home."