La Canfora: Jaguars Were Negligent; Should Have Addressed Quarterback

The Jaguars willingly entered the season with Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler as their quarterbacks

The DA Show
November 01, 2018 - 10:15 am

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The Jacksonville Jaguars lost their fourth straight game Sunday, this time to the Eagles in London. In fact, the Jaguars (3-5) have lost five of six since their 0-2 start.

What is their biggest problem?

“They don’t have a quarterback,” CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora said on The DA Show. “And they passed on an immeasurable number of opportunities to address that very flaw over the span of multiple drafts. Blake Bortles, he’s been showing you who he is his entire career. There’s been, okay, a blip where – his third year in garbage time when trailing by two scores or more – yeah, there were moments when he was unencumbered and he made some plays. But he has more interceptions than anybody in the NFL since he’s come into the league.”

Bortles, the third overall pick in 2014, had 72 interceptions in 70 regular-season games. Nevertheless, Jacksonville reached the AFC Championship last season.

Don’t expect a repeat of that in 2018.

“Their biggest problem is this is a team that thought it was going to a Super Bowl without a quarterback – and then it become real clear, ‘Wow, that’s probably not happening,’ and then all the other fissures came to light,” La Canfora said. “The defense lacked any pretense of trying to pretend that we’re historically significant enough to overcome the fact that if we fall behind 6-0, it’s literally lights out. So all these other things manifest themselves and come to the fore in large part because of the negligence it took on a systematic level over multiple offseasons to reach (this) point.”

Think about it.

“At a time when the Saints are trading for Bridgewater and the Jets are signing three quarterbacks hoping they have one and Garoppolo is getting a record deal – all of these teams are doing these big things,” La Canfora sad. “It was the most significant quarterback offseason in the history of the NFL when you factor in five first-rounders, three or four teams trading for playoff quarterbacks, and teams walking away from guys they franchised twice – and they come out of that with Kessler and Bortles. That’s where it starts.”

Bortles aside, Jacksonville’s once-dominant defense has been anything but this season. That unit has allowed 114 points in its last four games – an average of 28.5 points per game.

“I just think they realized we’re not who we thought we are,” La Canfora said. “We’re not the ’85 Bears. We’re not the 2000 Ravens. This thing is a house of cards. We’re not even who we were last year. And that coupled with this guy being what he always is and no power running game – because they drafted a running back who was hurt in college and who has been really nothing but hurt since they drafted him and go look at how high they drafted him – I think all those decisions now have reached a point where whatever sort of fragile little balance they had there between offense and defense is gone. Who’s the leader of that offense? Who could say anything to anybody on that defense?”

Bortles? T.J. Yeldon? Dede Westbrook?

“When it’s being thrown in your face during the week in practice and then you see what it looks like against other teams – and you literally feel like if we give up a first-quarter touchdown, we’re not going to win the game today – and then it keeps happening, I think that is (a huge problem),” La Canfora said. “A quarterback means a whole lot more than just the box score, and you have none of that, either. You have some alpha dogs on defense who came in talking a lot of smack this summer and setting the bar super high, and now they got nothing to say to the media after games. They’re all turning inward. 

“That’s why you see fighting in the locker room after the game,” La Canfora continued. “That’s why you see discord. It’s a bad look to be arrested in London before a game. That’s not why they lost that game. They lost that game because they’re not as good as the Eagles. But they’re sitting there looking at all these other teams that made all these other moves at the quarterback position, and they’ve got Bortles and Kessler.”

The Jaguars, who have a bye this week, will face the Colts (3-5) in Indianapolis on Nov. 11. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.