Winners and Losers From Chargers' Dismantling of Jaguars

John Shipley

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) are in maybe the worst stretch in franchise history. In the last five games, all losses by 17 points or more, the Jaguars have gone 0-3 in the division, lost to a 4-8 team and a 4-7 team by multiple scores, and have been outscored 174-57. 

The last five weeks have been bad, but Week 14's 45-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers may have been the ultimate low point. A season that has been trending down for weeks may have finally hit rock bottom.

So when doing this week's winners and losers from the game, it is obvious that there will not be a lot of positives. Let's get to it anyway: 

Loser: Todd Wash

This is the most obvious one. Jacksonville's defense lacks talent but the scheme is also extremely vanilla and easy for a veteran quarterback like Phillip Rivers to pick apart, even in the worst season of his career. Austin Ekeler had 213 yards in only *12* touches, which doesn't seem possible. 

Jacksonville allowed its highest point total of the season, highest yardage total (525) of the season and allowed a staggering 12.6 yards per pass attempt. When Rivers exited the game at the start of the fourth quarter, he was averaging 14.3 yards per attempt and threw only six incompletions, with a few of those being intentional throwaways. The Chargers' offense hasn't produced all season but it cut through Wash's unit like a knife through hot butter.

Winner: Leonard Fournette

Leonard Fournette didn't have a big day vs. the Chargers because the Chargers were up by 21 at halftime and Jacksonville had to air the ball out all game, but he was able to hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season on his third carry of the game. Fournette said after the game that this meant nothing to him since the team is losing, but it is nice to see him hit a milestone like this after the terrible 2018 he had. Fournette is one of the few positives of this Jacksonville team each week and despite their record, he keeps playing harder than maybe anybody.

Loser: Front Office

The Jaguars' defense has lost a few starters, such as Marcell Dareus, Myles Jack, Ronnie Harrison and, obviously, Jalen Ramsey. The depth behind those players is filled with undrafted rookie free agents, career special teams players and veterans signed off of the street a few weeks ago. The coaching on defense is poor due to a bland scheme, but the talent is a major issue. Jacksonville had a stacked defensive roster in 2017, but that has evaporated in only two years and it is hard to blame anyone but the Jaguars' front office. On Sunday, those mistakes came to full fruition.

Loser: Quincy Williams

For the second time this season, rookie linebacker Quincy Williams was benched in favor of a career backup at weakside linebacker. It happened during the Week 5 loss vs. the Carolina Panthers when Najee Goode replaced him, and it happened again Sunday when Austin Calitro took his spot after halftime. Williams, the Jaguars' third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, has a ton of physical talent but has had a rough rookie season due to issues in pass coverage and taking on blocks. 

Loser: Gardner Minshew II

It isn't all Garder Minshew's fault that the Jaguars' offense was so inept on Sunday. The wide receivers, particularly Chris Conley, let him down on more than one occasion and the playcalling was pretty bad on third downs. But at the end of the day, there is no masking the fact that Minshew was merely average and at many times was worse than that on Sunday. He missed some open receivers, didn't test the intermediate portion of the field, and only totaled 162 yards in 37 attempts. That is 4.4 yards per attempt, the worst of any Jaguars quarterback this season. Minshew had a few positive plays, but not nearly enough.

Winner: Logan Cooke

Picking a punter as the only other winner outside of Leonard Fournette is indicative of how Sunday went for Jacksonville, but this fake punt was legitimately the most exciting play from the Jaguars in the second half.

Loser: Cam Robinson

Robinson didn't have a poor day in terms of pass blocking. The early sack his defender racked up in the first half was due to Minshew having to move in the pocket after Will Richardson got beat at right guard, so it wasn't really on Robinson. But Robinson had two massive holding calls in the game, including one when he was the backside blocker on a 3rd-and-1 Leonard Fournette run. Fournette got the conversion, but Robinson's pointless penalty wiped it out and led to a punt. Robinson now has nine penalties this season, tied for second-most on the team with center Brandon Linder.

Comments (2)
No. 1-1
Frank Saunders
Frank Saunders

Need to see a lot more from Minshew....