JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After one other dismal Sunday at TIAA Financial institution Area, one factor grew to become completely clear: The No. 1 general choose is certainly in play for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It didn’t look that method after the primary two weeks after beating Indianapolis within the season opener and enjoying Tennessee tight in Nashville, the place they’ve struggled to maintain video games shut. There was optimism the Jaguars had been going to be aggressive and higher than anticipated.

However that disappeared after the final three weeks and is extra pronounced after Sunday’s 34-16 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Jaguars are positively gamers within the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes.

The 1-3 Lions had been the Jaguars’ finest likelihood to choose up a victory. Have a look at the remainder of the schedule. On the Los Angeles Chargers? The Jaguars are 3-12 on the West Coast. House towards a Texans group whose solely victory is towards … the Jaguars? Perhaps.

However dwelling towards Pittsburgh? At Inexperienced Bay? At Baltimore? At Minnesota?

The Jaguars entered the weekend with the third-best likelihood of incomes the No. 1 general choose within the ESPN Soccer Energy Index behind each New York groups. Then they bought routed by a Lions group that had blown double-digit leads in three of its first 4 video games and led by a coach probably on the verge of getting fired.

It additionally has grow to be clear over the previous month that Gardner Minshew II just isn’t growing into the franchise quarterback the Jaguars had hoped. Since finishing 95% of his passes and throwing for 3 TDs and no interceptions within the season opener, Minshew has thrown eight TD passes and 5 interceptions — with 5 of the TD passes coming when the Jaguars had been trailing by double digits.

He’s nonetheless struggling within the pocket and hasn’t been as correct along with his downfield passes, which had been one in every of his strengths. In equity, there’s quite a lot of stress on him and the offense to maintain up with a protection that struggles to cease anybody, however franchise QBs are in a position to cope with that and, at instances, thrive.

Most anticipate Lawrence to be that man — and the Jaguars seem like they may find yourself in place to get him.

Troubling development: For the third week in a row the Jaguars confronted one of many NFL’s worst run defenses. And for the third week in a row they’d little success and ended up with lower than 100 yards dashing — and it bought worse every time.

The Lions had been giving up 170.3 yards per recreation dashing however the Jaguars managed 44 yards on 16 carries, together with 29 yards on 12 carries by James Robinson. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden mentioned he had given up on the run too quickly towards Cincinnati and Houston and pledged to keep it up however that didn’t occur towards the Lions. The sport did get out of hand halfway by way of the third quarter however earlier than then the Jaguars had been inside two scores.

Troubling development, half 2: The Jaguars have now given up no less than 30 factors in 5 consecutive video games in a single season for the primary time in franchise historical past. They’d twice earlier than given up no less than 30 factors in 4 consecutive video games in a single season: 2013 and 2014.

They’re now giving up 30.2 factors per recreation this season, which might break the earlier single-season file if it had been to face (28.1 factors per recreation in 2013).

Troubling development, Half 3: The Jaguars have missed no less than one kick — a area aim or PAT — in each recreation this season. On Sunday it was Jon Brown, who had by no means tried a area aim or PAT in a recreation at any degree. He hit a 31-yard area aim within the first quarter — which allowed the Jaguars to set an NFL file by having 5 totally different gamers try a area aim or PAT in 5 consecutive weeks — however missed a 32-yard try within the second quarter. Coach Doug Marrone mentioned earlier within the week he hoped Josh Lambo may come off injured reserve (hip) this week and play towards his former group, the Los Angeles Chargers.

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