By Michael Jennings
In Sunday’s 40-7 lost to Dallas Cowboys, I don’t know what was worse, watching UFC’s biggest star Conor McGregor (who was chilling on the sideline pregame at AT&T Stadium with the Cowboys) throw a horrible, weird looking football pass during pregame warm ups or the Jacksonville Jaguars critically acclaimed best defense in the NFL.
Dallas Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Scott Linehan had the Jags defense heads turning in circles, even though coming into the game ranked 25th offensively and averaging 16 points per game. For the second week in a row, the Jags found themselves out of the game before halftime as Dak Prescott seemed to finally find his swagger this season.
Jacksonville’s defense is just not the same since last season – ranking 28th in takeaways. Last year they were 2nd. They rank 18th in sacks this year compared to last years second.
This is in addition to now coming in dead last in turnover differential. The Cowboys’ offensive line dominated the Jags’ defensive line in the trenches. Prescott’s career high 11 runs for 82 yards lead the NFL this Sunday, including a 17 yard touchdown run off of a zone read play. Led by Blake Bortles, the Jags’ offense seemed to be playing in concrete cleats. Why? Because the Cowboys ran 40 plays offensively to the Jags 19 plays in the first half.
The injury bugs have been attacking like yellow flies with defensive lineman Calais Campbell (knee) and Malik Jackson (back). Both came out of the game this week. The offensive line is down to 3rd string left tackle Josh Walker, running back Leonard Fournette (is still sitting because of a hamstring) and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will be out until December. With no threat of the running game, it leaves the offense on life support and in the hands as well as all on the arm of Blake Bortles. If you follow me on Facebook, one of my favorite quotes is, “In Bortles We Trust”. Well, right now the Jags’ quarterback is playing horribly. To be quite frank and honest, Mr Blake Bortles, we now have trust issues in this relationship.
The 3-3 Jags is coming home next week for an AFC showdown with the Houston Texans. This regular season conference game has turned into an important must-win game if the Jags want to make the playoffs.
— Sports Photo Journalist Michael Jennings is also a former NFL Superbowl champion from Jacksonville, Florida
This article originally appeared in The Florida Star.