The end zone at Everbank Field might as well be a forbidden place for the Jaguars offense. Jacksonville failed to score a touchdown for the third straight home game in a 24-6 loss to the Chargers. And if there is such a thing as home field advantage, why are the Jaguars so abysmal in the apparently not-so-comfy confines of Jacksonville?
You would have to go back to December 23, 2012, a week 16 loss to New England, to find the last time the Jaguars scored a touchdown at home. (And no, the preseason does not count.) Chad Henne found Justin Blackmon for a 3-yard TD with 9:34 in the first quarter. That’s 301 days of misery. 301 days of mistakes. 301 days of disappointment.
But Sunday was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be a turning point. Jacksonville scored 39 points in its last two games in road games against the Rams and Broncos.
Justin Blackmon was back in full swing after a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He totaled 326 receiving yards in weeks 5 and 6. But against the Chargers, the Jaguars failed to get Blackmon the football until garbage. He totaled 6 catches for 58 yards.
Some may blame it on hamstring and groin injuries that limited Blackmon in practice this week. But keep in mind, Cecil Shorts missed practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury (sprained SC joint). The Jaguars targeted Shorts 13 times on Sunday.
I was reminded that the Jaguars' offense progressed over the last three home games. This is true. The team scored 2 points in week 1 against the Chiefs (a safety from special teams), 3 points week 4 against the Colts and 6 points on Sunday against the Chargers. That means Jacksonville doubled its highest point total at EverBank Field.
I'm all for optimism, but 11 points in three games is unacceptable.
And this problem is not new. It dates back to last season when the Jags averaged 15.9 points per game, good enough for 30th in the NFL. Shad Khan knows this is a process and it will take time to turn the Jaguars into winners. He trusts Dave Caldwell and Dave Caldwell trusts Gus Bradley. 2013 is an evaluation year. Find out what guys work in this organization and which ones are better suited suiting up for another team.
In the meantime, it’s a good thing the Jaguars’ next game is in London, a place where field goals are celebrated. Because at this point, it’s the only way the Jaguars will put points on the board.