One half is in the books, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are two quarters closer to either extending one of the longest losing streaks in NFL history, or breaking it.
Through two quarters, the Jaguars now lead 13-7. Each team has made their fair share of plays, and now the two are looking for ways to pull ahead following the half.
So, what did we make of the first half? What did the Jaguars do well, and where will they have to improve? We break it all down below.
Plays of the half
The Jaguars had a terrific showing near their own end zone at the end of the first quarter. On 2nd-and-8, the Cardinals threw an outside pass to Maxx Williams for seven yards, but Williams couldn't get the first down or any additional yardage after the catch due to a terrific tackle by Tyson Campbell. The Jaguars' defensive line then knocked back the Cardinals' offensive line on 3rd-and-1, with Damien Wilson tackling James Conner at the line of scrimmage to force a punt, which gave the Jaguars the ball at the 50-yard line.
And how can we forget Jamal Agnew's 109-yard return? Good lord. That was an amazing play on all levels, with Agnew weaving in and out of traffic on the Cardinals' awful 68-yard field goal attempt to give the Jaguars a spark. Agnew has been electric the last two weeks, now having two return touchdowns in the last three quarters.
Where are the Jaguars winning?
Credit to the Jaguars' defense. They are playing their hearts out against maybe the best offense they will see all season. The Jaguars forced the Cardinals to punt the ball on four of their first five possessions, holding the Cardinals to 0-for-4 on third-down. The Jaguars have done an excellent job of owning the line of scrimmage and tackling in space, allowing limited yards after catch when receivers do get the ball from Murray. The Jaguars haven't contested many passes, but the defense has done their part to not allow many fatal mistakes. And on the lone scoring drive the Cardinals had, Arizona got the ball at their own 44 following a 27-yard Rondale Moore punt return, so even that drive wasn't completely inexcusable.
Where are the Jaguars losing?
Everywhere else? The Jaguars offense went three-and-out on the first two drives, and their only offensive possession of their first five that didn't end in a punt ended in a horrible red-zone turnover, with tight end Jacob Hollister having one of the worst drops you will ever see near the goal line. The drop led to a tip drill, which led to Trevor Lawrence's sixth interception of the season. The Jaguars' offense did the defense no favors to start the game until the final drive of the half, which ended in a terrific 12-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to DJ Chark. The Jaguars ended the first half in a big way, but the offensive effort was still mostly disastrous up until that point.
- Keep testing Marco Wilson. The rookie cornerback was beaten badly by DJ Chark to start the third drive of the game, but Lawrence just barely missed the deep ball. If they connected, it would have been a long score. Keep going at the rookie cornerback with that matchup.
- The Jaguars simply need a turnover. The defense has done a great job of limiting the Cardinals and what they have been able to do with their possessions, but they Jaguars need to do more to actually get the ball into the offense's hands more.
- Get the running game going. Do anything. The Cardinals entered the game with one of the worst run defenses in the entire NFL, but the Jaguars were mostly putrid on the ground outside of Carlos Hyde's 18-yard carry.