Skip to main content

The Jacksonville Jaguars were hoping to get their mojo back this week. Instead, the Jaguars only got a fierce reminder of just how far away they are during a comeback bid that came up just short. 

The Jaguars' offensive woes continued as penalties piled up on both sides of the ball, with the Jaguars ultimately losing 21-14 to the Atlanta Falcons at home to drop to 2-9 during the Urban Meyer era. And for all four quarters, the Jaguars got constant cues that pointed to just how far down the pecking order the Jaguars are. 

"I mean, any loss is definitely just a bad feeling, especially -- it's not a good feeling right now, man," Josh Allen said following the game. 

"We're sick and tired of it. We're just trying to figure out what the hell (is happening) -- know what I mean? I can't really answer that one. Just tired of it."

Atlanta's first drive started all the way at the 32-yard line after Matthew Wright's kick went to the eight-yard line before Avery Williams returned it 24 yards. This would be followed by a key 3rd-and-9 conversion by Matt Ryan and Russell Gage on the first third-down of the game, with Jaguars' cornerback Rudy Ford pushing Gage out of bounds just after the first-down marker.

The Jaguars were able to push back and force their first opening-drive punt from an opponent since Week 5, however, as an Adam Gotsis tackle for loss helped fuel the Jaguars into a win on third-down and a Falcons punt.

Jacksonville managed to pick up two first downs to Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones through the air on their subsequent drive, with Jones catching a nicely-thrown out route from Trevor Lawrence on 3rd-and-4. Right after Jones' first-down, however, Cam Robinson was flagged for a false-start and the Jaguars faced 3rd-and-10. After looking smooth previously in the drive, Lawrence missed Shenault toward the left has and the Jaguars were forced to punt. 

Atlanta's offense didn't exactly start out on fire the next drive, but they still managed to move the ball. A Roy Robertson-Harris sack forced the Falcons into 3rd-and-13, but the Falcons then ripped off three explosive plays to get the ball into Jaguars territory: a 18-yard catch and run by Mike Davis on third down, a 19-yard Cordarrelle Patterson run, and then a 15-yard run by Davis. 

Patterson eventually punched it in from seven yards out to give the Falcons their first touchdown in weeks and put the Jaguars into a 7-0 hole. The Falcons rushed for 67 yards on 10 carries on their first two drives alone, with Patterson rushing for 41 yards on five carries (8.2 yards per carry) by himself. 

The Jaguars were able to put together several big first-down conversions on the next drive as James Robinson looked more and more like his hold self, but Lawrence threw his first interception in weeks as the Jaguars' offense operated under the assumption of a free play when a yellow flag came out at the snap. The flag was instead on the Jaguars, and Lawrence's bad throw into double coverage was ruled an interception.

"No, I saw him jump. I wasn't sure -- I wasn't positive that was a free play, so that wasn't the reason I threw it," Lawrence clarified after the game.

"I thought we had a little bit more separation on the guy for the deep ball, and we got kind of held up at the top of the route. Yeah, I mean, I think that -- I thought we were going to win over the top, so you've got to anticipate those throws, and that's one we didn't. Me and Marv already talked about that and kind of cleared all that up. We communicated. But no, I didn't think it was a free play."

"You know, I didn't grab him. We all did. We all thought it was a free play," Meyer said after the game.

"I even heard over my headset free play, and then it turned out we covered up a tight end on the play. You're down on the 1-yard line, have a chance to stop them and then we did stop them and then we gave them a 1st down."

While the Falcons' offense didn't do anything with the Jaguars' first gift, the Jaguars weren't so lucky after their second turnover. After the Jaguars forced a punt following Lawrence's interception, the Jaguars once again had disaster strike as James Robinson lost the first fumble of his career on 2nd-and-2, giving the Falcons the ball right at the Jaguars' 30-yard line just two offensive plays after Lawrence's interception. 

"James is a grown man and I just talked to him about locking the elbow and clamping -- that's our terminology that we use, lock the ball down," Meyer said. 

"Then he came back and ran -- had some decent runs in the second half. He still doesn't look like he's full speed to me, but yeah, that was just the conversation with him."

The Jaguars did hold the Falcons to a field goal, but more sloppy and undisciplined play erased the Falcons' three points and gave them an automatic first-down as Robertson-Harris was flagged for using leverage on the field goal. One play later, Patter run through a massive gap for a 12-yard touchdown to put the Falcons up 14-0. 

Read More

"Devastating. We had a couple drives extended -- I can think of three off the top of my head, and those are three turnovers when your defense jogs off the field but they've got to stay on," Meyer said after the contest.

Big plays from Marvin Jones (one-handed catch) and Shenault (24-yard gain on 3rd-and-22) on the following drive helped the Jaguars move the ball into Falcons' territory, but the Jaguars failed to do take advantage of their best drive of the game as passes short of the goal line and a Dare Ogunbowale drop forced the Jaguars into a 21-yard field goal.

The Jaguars got the ball right back thanks to a huge play from rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell, however. On second-down, Matt Ryan rocketed a pass into the middle of the field before Campbell left his spot on the boundary to undercut the angle of the ball and pick it off for his first NFL interception to send the Jaguars into halftime trailing 14-3. 

Jacksonville never got out of its own way, though. Even when the Jaguars were seemingly starting to stack solid plays on top of each other, like a decent-looking drive out of the half, they simply beat themselves. The Jaguars are hardly good enough to beat their opponent each week, but on Sunday it became clear they weren't good enough to beat their opponent and themselves on the same day. 

This became clear with each drive as well. The Falcons -- who scored just three combined points in the last two games -- took a 21-3 lead after a nine-play, 88-yard drive looked like they were running an offense against air as the Jaguars missed tackles throughout the drive and allowed a 12-yard touchdown from Gage. All of this followed a drop by the Jaguars on third-down on their opening drive, showing just how quickly things snowballed for the Jaguars every time something went wrong. 

Jacksonville tried to not go quietly into the night, however. Even with the Jaguars facing a 21-3 deficit and with the offense doing largely nothing for the first 2.5 quarters, the Jaguars didn't put their tails in between their legs. 

Instead, the Jaguars came out with their best offensive drive in weeks. Lawrence looked confident going through reads and making tight-window throws as he went 5-of-6 for 44 yards on a touchdown drive, ending with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin. Lawrence looked comfortable in the pocket and going through his progressions, finding Laquon Treadwell and James O'Shaughnessy for gains of 14 and 21 before the touchdown and eventual two-point conversion from O'Shaughnessy. J

Jacksonville kept swinging on the next drive. After forcing a punt following an incompletion from Ryan, the Jaguars' offense came out with an eventful drive, with Lawrence picking up gains of 11, 26, and 20 to Treadwell and Robinson as the Jaguars picked up key third-downs on the ground. 

"Yeah, they fought their tails off, and 84 [Cordarrelle Patterson] is a really good player for them, and he hurt us early, and then on offense we moved the ball a little bit, just no big plays. Just none," Meyer said after the game. 

"And then all of a sudden we started getting some. Offensive football is a big-play -- not many teams can drive the length of a field without a hit here and there, and we had some hits and scored a couple times. I was really proud of Tavon [Austin] who's been in this league a long time. I love who he is and what he stands for, and he competes. Same with [Laquon] Treadwell. These guys are starting for the Jaguars now and they're competing their tails off."

The Jaguars, however, didn't stop shooting themselves in the foot. After getting the ball to Atlanta's six-yard line, right tackle Jawaan Taylor was flagged for holding -- his second penalty of the drive -- moving the Jaguars all the way back to the Falcons' 16-yard line. 

Three incompletions later and the Jaguars were forced into a 34-yard field goal from Wright, making it a 21-14 game with 6:33 left to play. Jacksonville would now need a defensive stop to get the ball back in hopes of securing the comeback.

Things didn't get off to a great start, though. The Jaguars had the Falcons where they wanted them on 3rd-and-4, but Kyles Pitts made an incredible catch that was thrown behind him in double coverage. Three plays later, the Jaguars forced the Falcons into an incompletion on 3rd-and-2, but a holding call on Nevin Lawson kept the Falcons on the field. 

The third time was the charm, however. After once again forcing the Falcons into a third-down scenario on 3rd-and-4, the Jaguars finally made a winning play, with Campbell forcing an incompletion on a tightly-contested play, his third pass breakup of the game. 

Jacksonville didn't get the ball back without some scares, however. With the crowd letting out a hearty "Let's Go Jaguars" chant, punt returner Jaydon Mickens attempted to create an electrifying play and cut back across the field on the return before eventually fumbling it. Luck was on the Jaguars' side for the first time all day, though, with cornerback Chris Claybrooks scooping up the fumble before the Falcons could.

The Jaguars, however, did nothing with the extra chances. After a first-down completion to Marvin Jones, Lawrence threw incompletions to O'Shaughnessy and Treadwell, had a pass dropped by Carlos Hyde, and then Lawrence's fourth-down pass wasn't near Shenault as the two were again not on the same page.

The Jaguars swung until the very end, falling from a 21-3 deficit and seeing several rookies make big plays. But it once against was too little, too late, as the Jaguars' horrific start to the game put them in a hole that was too deep for them to climb out of.

Lawrence finished the game 23-of-42 (54.8%) for 228 yards (5.4 yards per attempt) with one touchdown and one interception, giving him a passer rating of 68.4. Overall, the Jaguars averaged just 5.0 yards per play, totaling 357 yards on the day after adding together their 141 rushing yards.

The Jaguars will now drop to 2-9. Next week, they will travel to Los Angeles to face off against the Rams and former cornerback Jalen Ramsay.