UP 17-0, WHEN DID SUNDAY’S GAME START TO SLIP AWAY?

 

End of the second quarter and beginning of the third. Up 17-3 in the final minute of the first half, the Jaguars drove to the Colts’ 12 before Blake Bortles basically threw it away on third-and-7. Smart play to at least get three points … but they didn’t. Jason Myers missed a 30-yard attempt. The Jaguars got the ball first to start the third quarter and should have put the hammer down. They converted a third-and-4 and then gained eight yards on first-and-10 to their 45. But Bortles threw two incompletions and the Jaguars punted. Indianapolis started its comeback on the ensuing drive. Bad teams do what the Jaguars did – fail to put the home team away.

FOR NEXT YEAR’S GAME AT INDIANAPOLIS, CAN THE JAGUARS LEAVE JASON MYERS AT HOME?

Yes. Last year, Myers misfired on field goals at the end of regulation and beginning of overtime that would have given the Jaguars a 2-2 record; instead they lost as a part of a 1-5 start. Sunday, Myers missed a chip-shot 30 yarder late in the first half (his first miss of inside 41 yards this year) and then shanked a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter of a tie game (way wide right). Create an injury – groin/hamstring/quad – and have Myers skip the Jaguars’ next trip to Lucas Oil Stadium.

THE JAGUARS HAVE MONEY TO SPEND. HOW ATTRACTIVE OF A FREE AGENT DESTINATION WILL THEY BE?

Players will go where the most money is (usually) so if the Jaguars are willing to go above their ceiling (which they haven’t been apt to do), then they should land some talent. But the Jaguars were 3-13 this year. We thought last year’s limp to the finish line – three straight losses to end 5-11 – would be costly because players would think, “That team isn’t close.” That had to have played a part in Olivier Vernon choosing the Giants over the Jaguars. When this March rolls around, the Jaguars will have to over-spend to secure required reinforcements because the record again suggests they’re not close to competing for a playoff spot.

MARQISE LEE WAS THE TEAM’S OFFENSIVE MVP. GIVE HIM A CONTRACT EXTENSION BEFORE CAMP NEXT SUMMER?

Lee was the only bright spot among the Jaguars’ skill position players – he finished the year with 63 catches for 851 yards and three touchdowns in addition to a passing score and a kick return score. But the Jaguars should – and probably will – pump the brakes on any Lee extension talk. His first two years were a wash because of injuries and the emergence of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. That makes Lee a one-year producer and that shouldn’t be enough to earn him an extension. The Jaguars should want to see how Lee trains this off-season and if he starts camp in good order. And then maybe in October or November, they can extend him so he won’t hit the open market in March 2018.

PREDICTION: WHO IS THE JAGUARS NEXT COACH?

If the Jaguars and Tom Coughlin were going to have a reunion, wouldn’t there be more concrete information out there? To us, hiring a search firm means the odds of Coughlin joining the Jaguars as coach are not good. We’ll stick with our original prediction of a first-time head coach who is currently an offensive coordinator. That narrows the field significantly so, we’ll predict Atlanta’s Kyle Shanahan accepts the Jaguars’ offer, deciding he doesn’t want to follow his father’s footsteps and coach the Denver Broncos.

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