It is always ahrd to pass out game balls after a loss, but the Jaguars have seen more losses than wins for quite some time. As a result, it is fair to assess which players stand out for their efforts even during a losing affair.
So, which Jaguars deserve game balls for Sunday's 21-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons? Which Jaguars had impressive performances even during a frustrating and self-inflicted loss? From offense to defense to special teams, we break it down below.
This one is tough considering the Jaguars put up just 14 points and scored just one touchdown. There were certainly worse offensive displays in Week 12 (the Jaguars rank No. 15 in EPA/Play before Monday Night Football), but the Jaguars' offense had only one worthwhile drive in the entire first half and stalled out in the red-zone twice.
With that in mind, I am going to give a nod to James Robinson this week. Laquon Treadwell was a consideration, but Robinson was clearly the Jaguars' best offensive player yet again on Sunday, even if he still wasn't 100%. Robinson rushed for 86 yards on 17 carries (5.1 yards per carry) and rattled off a 26-yard gain on a catch-and-run. He was the offense's most consistent player and the primary reason the Jaguars had the No. 2 running game in terms of success rate.
Robinson looked much more explosive this week than the past two weeks, too. He did fumble once which indirectly led to the Falcons scoring a touchdown (it would have been a field goal if not for a penalty on fourth-down), but Robinson was also a big reason the Jaguars' most successful drives actually worked. It wasn't a perfect day for Robinson, but he was the offense's best player in a tough loss.
Treadwell deserves some consideration for making some terrific grabs down the stretch during a four-catch, 53-yard performance. He isn't an explosive playmaker but he was surehanded more times than not and did a good job of not making things harder on his quarterback than they needed to be.
This is one of the easiest game balls of the season. There weren't many standout performances from the Jaguars' defense as they allowed the Falcons to destroy them on the ground and pick up far too many easy third-downs. The Falcons scored just three points combined in the two previous games, but Sunday saw them score three touchdowns against a Jaguars' defense that has now taken a step back in back-to-back weeks.
With that said, there was one player on defense who made a big impact -- rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell. Campbell was all over the field for the Jaguars, making big stops on the perimeter as a tackler and also having a standout day in coverage. The Jaguars entrusted Campbell with the Kyle Pitts assignment more often times than not, and Campbell didn't disappoint.
"I think he's going to be a really good player. I really love his attitude. He had a bad shoulder, fought through it, and almost had a second one today. Stepped in front of one -- he's a really good worker. Glad we've got him," Urban Meyer said after the game.
The No. 33 overall pick limited Pitts to one catch for seven yards on two targets and also intercepted a pass intended for Pitts at the end of the first half. Campbell finished the game with three pass breakups and the interception, while allowing three catches for 33 yards on six targets per Pro Football Focus. He allowed a 12-yard touchdown to Russell Gage, but it was more of a solid design from the Falcons than a misplay from the rookie.
Overall, Campbell looked like the physical and disruptive cornerback the Jaguars were aiming for when they took him with the first selection of the second-round in this year's draft. Campbell had a tough start to the season, but the last month has shown legitimately terrific play, and Sunday was his best game yet.
"Like I said, it's just putting in the work, having faith in myself and my craft, not paying attention to the outside noise and keeping the main thing the main thing. I think that's part of this league," Campbell said on Sunday. "I'm learning that's going to be ups and downs but it's how you bounce back from it. That's what I've been doing."
This was an easy one this week. With Logan Cooke punting just three times and Jaydon Mickens fumbling his final kickoff return and giving the Falcons a chance to put the Jaguars away before their final drive began, there is no choice this week but to give Matthew Wright the nod.
Wright was 100% as a kicker on Sunday, making each of his attempts -- a 22- and 34-yard field goals -- and didn't give the Jaguars any reason to have doubts in his ability as their starting placekicker. Wright is now 3-of-3 on field goals since missing one against the Colts in Week 10.