Orlando Sentinel

Jaguars score 1st before losing 17th straight game

- By Mark Long

JACKSONVIL­LE — In a clear sign of how bad things are in Jacksonvil­le after just two games, coach Urban Meyer opened his postgame news conference by thanking fans “for being there” Sunday.

“Don’t give up on us. Hang in there with us,” Meyer added. “We’re going to get better . ... Go to sleep knowing there’s not going to be any group work harder to get this thing flipped.”

It’s unlikely to be a quick turnaround.

The Jaguars managed just 189 yards in a 23-13 loss to Denver, the franchise’s 17th straight loss. They didn’t look nearly as dysfunctio­nal as they did in the season opener, a 37-21 debacle at Houston, but they also didn’t provide much hope that improvemen­t is around the corner.

No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence completed 14 of 33 passes for 118 yards with a touchdown and two intercepti­ons. He now has thrown five picks in two games.

Lawrence connected with Marvin Jones for a 25-yard score on the game’s opening possession, capping an 83-yard drive, but Jacksonvil­le mustered a measly 106 yards the rest of the way. It was the 19th time in team history that the Jags failed to top 200 yards in a game and the first since the 2018 finale.

“I hate losing,” Lawrence said. “It’s not fun, obviously. But at the same time, you’ve got to realize we’re getting better. It’s a long season. We’ve still got 15 more games . ... That’s the mindset in the locker room, too.

“Everyone is frustrated. Everybody is disappoint­ed. Obviously we worked our tails off to win this game, and we felt like we were prepared. Just got to keep getting better, though. We’ve got to make the play when our number is called and didn’t do that well enough today.”

The Jaguars (0-2) were considerab­ly more functional this week than last. They didn’t have as many pre-snap issues, penalties or turnovers.

They did, however, endure something else.

“We just had a lull,” Jones said. “We just had lulls. I think it was a common theme after that drive in the second and third quarters. It’s just something that we need to figure out and we have to find that energy and that spark and keep it.” There were a few bright spots:

The defense sacked Teddy Bridgewate­r three times, including once when Josh Allen got him for a 16-yard loss that forced a field goal. The unit also allowed 3.2 yards a carry and held Denver to 2-for-11 on third down.

Jacksonvil­le averaged 4.7 yards a carry although James Robinson ran just 11 times after getting just

five carries in the opener.

Lawrence was sacked just once for the second straight week.

Cornerback Shaquill Griffin nearly had a pick for the second consecutiv­e game, this one slipping off his hands after he bobbled the ball.

Jamal Agnew returned a kickoff 102 yards in the fourth quarter. It was the first big-time specialtea­ms play for a coach who specialize­s in special teams.

But the negatives outweighed the positives.

Courtland Sutton had his way with Jacksonvil­le’s secondary, finishing with nine catches for 159 yards — both career highs.

And Josh Lambo missed two field goals — a 52-yarder wide right and a 48-yarder wide left. Those were the first ones he’s ever missed at TIAA Bank Field. He had made all 41 previous attempts since signing with the team in 2017.

Lambo is 0-for-3 on the season, raising speculatio­n that Jacksonvil­le might at least bring in competitio­n.

“First of all, he’s had a very good career and he works his tail off,” Meyer said. “I’m not giving up on Josh Lambo. If he didn’t work hard, wasn’t a profession­al about everything he does, yeah, I’d have a problem with him. But he’s missing some kicks, and as a profession­al, he’s got to make those kicks. I have confidence he will.”

The Jaguars have confidence they will end the longest skid in franchise history, too.

“I think we’re close,” Lawrence said. “Obviously it’s not what anybody wants to see and it’s frustratin­g and disappoint­ing, but we’re going to stick together, and I really feel like we’re close. We’ve got good enough players to win these games. We’ve just got to keep going to work.”

 ?? MORTON/AP ?? After his first regular-season home game as Jaguars coach and the team’s 17th straight defeat, Urban Meyer conveyed to the Jaguars fans: “Don’t give up on us. Hang in there with us. We’re going to get better.” Stephen B.
MORTON/AP After his first regular-season home game as Jaguars coach and the team’s 17th straight defeat, Urban Meyer conveyed to the Jaguars fans: “Don’t give up on us. Hang in there with us. We’re going to get better.” Stephen B.

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