Sunday, September 30, 2012
Jaguars' Britton, Mathis struggle against Bengals
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars benched guard Eben Britton at halftime. They probably could have done the same to cornerback Rashean Mathis later in the game.
Britton and Mathis had the most obvious issues in Jacksonville's 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Britton was beaten on what seemed like every offensive play in the first half, turned around early and often by defensive tackles Domata Peko and Geno Atkins. He was eventually benched in favor of undrafted rookie Mike Brewster.
"I didn't do a good enough job, that's about it," said Britton, who missed the last two weeks with an ankle injury. "Just disappointed that I wasn't able to get it done. You've got to do what's best for the team."
Mathis got the tough task of covering A.J. Green and failed to win many of the one-on-one matchups. Green finished with six catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.
"Just got to make plays when my number is called," Mathis said. "I definitely didn't do anything to help the team win today. Life as a corner."
Mathis also dropped a pass right in his hands on Cincinnati's first drive. The Bengals went on to kick a field goal and take an early lead.
"I had it my hands with nothing but green grass and opportunity to get it in," Mathis said. "They only got three points, but those are points. It changes the game. It changes the mentality of their offense. Those are plays we definitely have to make."
Britton and Mathis weren't the only ones in Jacksonville's locker room reeling after the team's 17th loss in the last 23 games.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, receiver Justin Blackmon, linebacker Kyle Bosworth and the entire offensive and defensive lines had reason to hang their heads.
Gabbert completed 23 of 34 passes for 186 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also was sacked six times and hurried even more often.
The Jaguars (1-3) entered the game wanting to take advantage of Cincinnati's beleaguered secondary. The Bengals (3-1) played without starting cornerbacks Nate Clements and Leon Hall as well as backups Jason Allen and Dre Kirkpatrick.
The plan backfired.
"Really we killed ourselves," Gabbert said. "We've got to perform better. We've got to execute better at a higher level. We can't have one great drive -- 13 plays for a touchdown -- and then come out and go three and out. So we've just got to get better there, get back to the drawing board, control what we can control and just get better from it."
Jones-Drew ducked questions about how little he got used. A week after running for 177 yards at Indianapolis, Jones-Drew ran 13 times for 38 yards.
"Whatever play they call, I run," he said. "They are not paying me to be the offense coordinator or head coach. We had a good game plan going in and executed it well throughout the week. They made plays and we had opportunities to make plays and we didn't. That is just was at the end of the day. I just run the plays that they call."
Blackmon caught six passes for 48 yards, but also dropped a key pass for the second time in as many weeks.
Bosworth's miscue may have been the biggest of the game. He intercepted Andy Dalton's first pass of the game and was headed toward the end zone when he fumbled without being touched. The Bengals recovered.
"At the start of the game we had some opportunities," coach Mike Mularkey said. "We failed to make some plays early and let the game get out of hand late. We have to learn how to make plays."
The offensive line allowed a season high in sacks, and the defensive line failed to record a sack for the third consecutive week.
"You have to be careful how much you try to create pressures," Mularkey said. "It may cost us somewhere else. We are trying to do whatever we can with our guys. We are getting to the quarterback, we are doing things with our linebackers and we are doing some things with the nickel and dime to get there. But again, that also exposes you in other areas. We all know we have to do a better job."
NOTES: Taylor became the fourth person inducted into the team's ring of honor, called the Pride of the Jaguars. Left tackle Tony Boselli and former owners Wayne and Delores Weaver also are in. ... Jaguars WR Laurent Robinson sustained his second concussion in as many weeks. "Definitely a concern," coach Mike Mularkey said. ... Jones-Drew ran 13 times for 38 yards. ... The Jaguars failed to get a sack for the third straight game. ... Cincy's Green leads the AFC in receiving.
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