The Jacksonville Jaguars ended Sunday's first half the same way they ended last week's -- trailing by over a touchdown. Even with the Jaguars forcing the Rams to kick three field goals in red-zone possessions, the Jaguars' offense failed to find much footing, and thus the Jaguars will enter the half down 16-7.
Where did things go wrong for the Jaguars and where did they go right? From the big plays to the positives to the maddening negatives, we break it all down below.
Plays of the half
The very first play from regulation set the tone for the game. With a special teams unit that has taken steps back over recent weeks, the Jaguars' kickoff unit once again failed in spectacular fashion on Sunday, allowing Brandon Powell to take the opening kickoff 65 yards to the Jaguars' 39-yard line. The Jaguars have had an issue with getting kicks into the end zone and this was once again the case against the Rams, and Los Angeles took massive advantage of it, going up 3-0 following the return.
Just a few plays later, James Robinson had another lowlight after his first career fumble a week ago. With the Jaguars' offense badly needing to create a spark, Robinson lost the ball for the second time in two weeks as Aaron Donald made a superhuman play to wrap him up, toss him to the ground, and strip the ball from his hands all in a singular motion. Jalen Ramsey recovered the ball at the Jaguars' 27-yard line and just a few plays later the game became 10-0.
The Jaguars were able to put themselves into the game in the second quarter, though. The offense finally got off the ground, in large part due to a 28-yard catch and run from Laquon Treadwell to put the ball past the 50-yard line on third-down toward the end of the first quarter. Treadwell got physical with a defensive back during his route and was lucky to not be called for a flag, but the veteran wideout turned the first-down catch into even more yardage after delivering a terrific stiff arm. A few big conversions later and the Jaguars found the end zone with a two-yard Carlos Hyde touchdown.
Where are the Jaguars winning?
On third-down, which feels extremely bizarre to say considering the Jaguars' offense and defense have each struggled in major ways on third-downs this season. Even with the Jaguars missing No. 1 cornerback Shaquill Griffin, the Jaguars were able to force the Rams to turn two of their red zone possessions into field goals instead of touchdowns, limiting the Rams to 0-for-6 on third-downs to start the game. Surprisingly enough, the Jaguars' offense found massive success on the money downs on their scoring drive, with Lawrence picking up a third down apiece with his arms and his legs while also converting on fourth-down through the air.
The Jaguars were also the more composed team compared to the Rams in the first-half. The Rams committed critical special teams and defensive penalties to help put the Jaguars into optimal field position on two different occasions, while the Jaguars likely don't score their second-quarter touchdown without two penalties in the red-zone from Rams defenders.
Where are the Jaguars losing?
Bad coaching. The Jaguars pulled James Robinson from the game following his fumble for the second week in a row, with Carlos Hyde taking almost all of the snaps at running back for the rest of the first-half. Considering the Jaguars twice failed to turn prime field goal position into any points, this is a glaring mistake from Urban Meyer and his staff.
Robinson is the Jaguars' best player and gives them their only real chance to extend drives and consistently convert first-downs, while Carlos Hyde clearly is a below-average runner at this stage of his career. Despite this, the Jaguars once again punished Robinson for making a mistake and thus hurt the rest of the team ... even though Robinson is far from the only player to make a mistake, which doesn't even factor in the pure fact that Robinson's fumble was more so a byproduct of Aaron Donald doing Aaron Donald things.