After a disappointing 2015 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars entered the 2016 season with high expectations and great NFL odds of sneaking into the playoffs because of the moves they made during the offseason. After losing the first three games of the season, the Jaguars find themselves in a familiar position, which means that head coach Gus Bradley’s seat is getting hotter as we speak.
During the offseason, the Jaguars shored up their defense through the draft and free agency, and since they play in weak AFC South, there was hope they could make a run for the division title. After three games, the team is at the bottom of the division, two games behind the Houston Texans, who lead the AFC South.
After a failed comeback against the Baltimore Ravens, which dropped them to 0-3, the Jaguars will be travelling to London this week to take on the Indianapolis Colts, who won their first game of the year on Sunday.
In two of their three games this season, the Jaguars defense has looked good and managed to keep games close, but their offense hasn’t been very helpful so far. The team has also shot itself in the foot on numerous occasions, preventing them from winning games.
Penalties are one of the biggest reasons the Jaguars are still winless, with the Jaguars being one of the most penalized teams in the league. While Bradley has a lot of young players on the team, it is not an excuse to be as undisciplined as they have been in the first three games of the season.
If the penalties weren’t bad enough, the Jags also tend to kill drives with bad turnovers. Against the Ravens, the Jaguars had a great chance of winning their first game of the season after taking a 17-16 lead with seven minutes left in the game. However, two interceptions and a couple of bad sacks ended any hopes of the team winning the game.
Since Bradley took over as head coach of the team in 2013, the Jaguars are 12-39, which is the worst four year record of any coach in franchise history. Last season, the Jags 5-11 record was their best under Bradley’s watch.
The biggest reason the Jaguars were unable to win two of their first three games is their offense, which remains one of the worst in the league. Jacksonville is currently 28th in total offense, their 18 points per game average is 26th in the league, and the 55 yards they average per rush is 31st in the league.
Even though the Jags are ranked 8th overall in total defense, the team is allowing opponents to score an average of 28 points per game, which is 26th in the league.
If Bradley and his team want to avoid a 0-4 start, the offense has to start playing better. Blake Bortles, who was expected to be much improved this season, has seven turnovers compared to five touchdowns. He has also been sacked nine times.
Defeating the 1-2 Colts this weekend can help Bradley hang on to his job a little longer, but there are no guarantees that will happen. One thing is for sure, if the Jaguars fall to 0-4 after all the preseason hype they had, Bradley might find himself joining Miami’s Joe Philbin and Oakland’s Dennis Allen as coaches who have been fired after 0-4 starts the past two seasons.
Featured image via Jaguars Media Department