The Jaguars are back, baby. The 2017 Jacksonville team that ended up in the AFC title game looks like an anomaly, with Jacksonville struggling to put together any kind of impressive performance at a consistent level this year.
Jacksonville really paid the price for sloppy play on Sunday in a dogfight against the Bills in Buffalo, with dumb decisions costing the Jaguars a touchdown while a massive brawl broke out that resulted in Leonard Fournette and Bills defender Shaq Lawson getting ejected.
The Jaguars were tied up with Buffalo 14-14 when Blake Bortles went up top to Donte Moncrief for a touchdown. Moncrief won a jump ball for the score and spent like 20 minutes wrestling to try and maintain possession.
While he and Levi Wallace were on the ground cuddling, Fournette and Lawson got involved in a massive brawl.
Both guys were ejected for throwing punches, which became extremely important because the Jaguars needed Fournette to be the backbone of their offense. Fournette, at that point, had 95 rushing yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. He was having a really nice game.
Also, Fournette would have been really nice to have on the next play, because the touchdown was actually reviewed and reversed and the ball was placed on the 1-yard line.
Backup running back Carlos Hyde promptly lost a yard. Then the Jaguars were called for a false start. Then Blake Bortles threw another touchdown but it was called back for holding. Then Blake Bortles rushed for minus-1 yards. Then Blake Bortles got sacked. THEN Josh Lambo missed a field goal, and the game was still tied at 14.
The Bills would promptly roll down the field, score a touchdown and later tack on a field goal to take a 24-14 lead, and a late Jaguars TD wasn't enough to get them back in the game. The Jaguars season was probably already over, but it was completely snuffed out on Sunday with the loss to Buffalo.
Jacksonville is a mess again, reminding us all that success is fleeting in the NFL. Not just season to season, but play to play. The Jaguars looked like they might manage to at least go on the road and pick up a big win against a team they would have slaughtered last year. Instead, they lost that shot with some questionable execution and head back to Jacksonville 3-8 and closer to the first overall pick than the playoffs.