Jaguars Beat Former Coach At Home: 3 Things We Learned
Are you kidding me? The Jacksonville Jaguars not only won their second game of the season, they came from 18 points down to do so, then kicked a 43-yard field goal in the final minute to beat the New York Giants.
At home, I might add for their second home win of the season. With their 52-0 loss to the St. Louis Rams today, the Oakland Raiders are now back on the clock for the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Enough of the gloating, mainly because this was a game that was won with defense – where the unit scored two touchdowns in the game as the Giants, a team that has now lost seven games in a row, turned the ball over three times, which seriously aided the win.
The offense for the Jaguars looked sluggish all game, as Blake Bortles was harassed most of the contest. He was sacked seven times by the Giants during the contest.
The Giants dominated the first half, scoring 21 points in the second quarter and looking like they would notch their first victory since early October.
But Jacksonville played like a different team after the break, especially on defense. Veteran defensive end Chris Clemons may have ignited the turnaround with a fiery tirade on the sideline.
His teammates certainly responded. Geno Hayes forced Eli Manning to fumble early in the third, and teammate J.T. Thomas recovered in the end zone.
Rookie Aaron Colvin returned Larry Donnell's fumble 41 yards for a touchdown in the fourth. It was the first time in franchise history that Jacksonville scored two defensive touchdowns in the same game.
Here are three things we learned from this game.
OFFENSIVE LINE WOES
Although the team won, there was little offense to be had because the Giants defensive front played well. Luke Joeckel will have nightmares all week of Jason Pierre-Paul in face for four quarters. Joeckel was called for two costly holding penalties that did not need to happen. Blake Bortles was rushed around the pocket all game. Although he completed 21 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown, he was ineffective for the entire first half of the game.
ON THE HOT SEAT
The loss did nothing to help Giants current and former Jaguars head coach, Tom Coughlin. After a 3-2 start to the season, the Giants have lost seven games in a row.
The loss to the Jaguars may have been the final nail in the coffin for Coughlin who has helped coach New York to two Super Bowl titles in the last seven years. Of course, this is a “What have you done for me lately” league and the loss to one of the worst teams in the league did not help his cause.
The Giants have 3 wins this season against teams with a combined win percentage of .364 (12-21) and their 8 losses are against teams with a .701 (54-23) win percentage Their 0-8 record vs teams with a .500 win percentage or better is the worst in NFL.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE LOSS
The Giants had one final chance to win, but Manning fumbled on first down. New York managed just 75 yards in the second half, this according to ESPN.com.
Injuries were a factor. Right tackle Geoff Schwartz, playing in place of starter Justin Pugh, injured his left ankle and left on a cart. His replacement, James Brewer, also left the game with a concussion. Running back Rashad Jennings also left with an ankle injury.
Jennings, returning to the place where he spent his first four NFL seasons, ran 26 times for 91 yards.
Manning completed 24 of 34 passes for 247 yards, with a touchdown. He was sacked four times. Odell Beckham Jr., a week after his spectacular, one-handed catch against Dallas, caught seven passes for 90 yards.
New York's defense played its best game in weeks, allowing 258 yards and sacking Bortles seven times.
But the unit faltered down the stretch -- a recurring theme for Coughlin this season.