Jaguars Report Card: Second-half collapse vs. Bears sends grades plummeting

Gene Frenette
Florida Times-Union
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Times-Union sports columnist Gene Frenette grades the Jaguars' performance against the Chicago Bears based on execution, effort and game circumstances.

Offense – F

With the exception of a horrific late first-half interception, where a forced pass for DJ Chark was easily intercepted by linebacker Roquan Smith, the Jaguars did a nice job of moving the chains and eating up clock for the first 30 minutes. Veteran quarterback Mike Glennon (24 of 37, 211 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), who replaced Gardner Minshew, managed the game efficiently until gifting three points to the Bears on that interception. He completed 14 of his first 17 passes for 106 yards. His best moments came on a perfect rainbow pass for DJ Chark for a 20-yard touchdown, which tied the game 10-10, and a garbage-time, 34-yard TD strike to Laviska Shenault with 4:29 remaining. But the Bears had already ended it with 31 consecutive points by then. Smith picked off another pass in the third quarter, leading to an easy 22-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. Glennon also had a short throw in the flat that was dropped by tackle Bilal Nichols, which would have been a pick-6. One pleasant surprise was RB Dare Ogunbowale, making his first NFL start, showing good vision and making some nifty cuts on his way to 64 first-half rushing yards. He finished with 71 yards on 14 carries.

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Defense – F

Todd Wash’s unit held up reasonably well for one half, but it all fell apart in a dreadful third quarter. A depleted secondary couldn’t contain former Jaguar Allen Robinson, who consistently moved the chains and finished with 10 catches for 103 yards. He was often up against cornerback Greg Mabin and took advantage of that mismatch. Bears’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky was under little or no pressure all day. He was able to find tight end Jimmy Graham (4 catches, 69 yards) being uncovered on a couple occasions. Running back David Montgomery, who had 434 rushing yards the last four games, finished with 95 yards on 23 carries.  

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Special teams – C-minus

On fourth-and-3 late in the second quarter, the Jaguars executed a nicely designed fake punt on a direct snap to Andrew Wingard for a first down, but his 9-yard run was nullified by a Dakota Allen holding penalty. Replacement punter Dustin Colquitt, filling in for COVID-19 impaired Logan Cooke, had six punts for a respectable net average of 41.2 yards. Aldrick Rosas knocked two kicks out of the end zone and also made a 26-yard field goal. The fake punt wasn’t the only trickery that didn’t pay dividends. On a third quarter kickoff, the Jaguars tried a poorly disguised reverse to Ogunbowale from Nathan Cottrell, which ended up only getting to the Jaguars’ 15. Anthony Miller applied a monster hit to Bears’ punt returner Anthony Miller, knocking the ball loose, but he was flagged for lowering his head on a helmet-to-helmet personal foul.

Coaching – F

Given the tough circumstances of not having bell-cow running back James Robinson and the attrition at cornerback, the Jaguars put up a much better performance for one half than in the previous two outings against Baltimore and Tennessee. But once the Bears scored on the opening possession of the second half, the Jaguars seemed to lose their energy and fight. It didn’t help that the ball-control offense they had in the first half completely lost all its rhythm. The Jaguars have now lost three consecutive games by a combined margin of 71 points, the most since Gus Bradley’s second season (2014) when they dropped the first three games to Philadelphia, Washington and Indianapolis by a combined 75 points. It’s not much consolation for head coach Doug Marrone, but he likely has only one more week of this anguish.

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