Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unfortunately, Jaguars' Show Has Four More Episodes Left

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Unfortunately, Jaguars' Show Has Four More Episodes Left

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. | Jeremy Mincey was slipping on the jacket to his three-piece suit and shaking his head at the same time. He didn't care to get into a lot of deep analysis about how the Jaguars followed their second win of the year by throwing up a stink bomb.

"What can you do?" said Mincey. "We gotta keep pushing. The show must go on."

That's actually the discouraging part in all this mess for Jacksonville's NFL franchise. It still has four performances remaining in this season from Hades. And whatever promise of late-season redemption there might have been, it seemed to vanish Sunday in wet, windy conditions near the banks of Lake Erie.

The Jaguars, contrary to what coach Mike Mularkey and many of his players believe, are not that close to being a good football team. Besides being too injury-riddled at the moment, they lack the talent, depth in critical spots, and discipline to be competitive on a weekly basis.

About the only thing the Jaguars are consistent about this season is discussing flawed execution, self-inflicted mistakes and using tape review to fix it all. In the wake of a 34-18 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the truth is the Jaguars are fresh out of alibis. And maybe too beat up to avoid their worst season in history.

Here's what Montell Owens, forced into primary running back duty after Rashad Jennings (concussion) became the third player at the position to be sidelined, said about the injury situation: "We've shown resiliency. We don't blink."

Really, then why did the Jaguars go from a 10-7 lead to a 27-10 deficit in a matter of 16:28? All it took was a long kickoff return, a late hit out of bounds, a Mario Williams strip fumble/recovery and a roughing-the passer penalty to set up an easy Ryan Fitzpatrick TD pass to Stevie Johnson.

Just like that, the Jaguars were done. If that's not blinking, then what is? In fact, a team that loses half of its games by 16 points or more is a prime candidate to become "King of Blinking."

One week after Mularkey thought his team had turned a corner by defeating the Tennessee Titans, it reverted back to bottom-feeder form. Chad Henne, the quarterback who sparked the Jaguars the past two games, just looked like an older version of Blaine Gabbert against Buffalo.

Granted, the throwing conditions were less than ideal, but it's not like the former Miami Dolphin has never dealt with the tricky winds at this venue before. Henne not only missed some open receivers, but Jordan Shipley and Justin Blackmon complemented the quarterback's erratic play (18 of 41, 203 yards) by dropping passes.

"We got to make plays, no matter what the conditions are," Blackmon said. "That's our job."

The Jaguars did a poor job in just about every facet imaginable. …

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