Overall, the team performed very well. The first and second teams were near dominant against the Bears, outscoring them 19-7 before the third team took the field.
The Jaguars’ offense performed well and utilized a fast-paced no-huddle offense at times. They were able to carve up the Bears’ defense, totaling 393 yards—301 of which were through the air en route to one touchdown pass. Quarterbacks Chad Henne and Blake Bortles both looked strong and in control of the offense when they were on the field.
While the passing game was crisp against the Bears, the Jaguars struggled to move the ball on the ground. Despite having starting running back Toby Gerhart back, the Jaguars managed only 3.3 yards per carry on 28 carries. For an offense that will rely on balance and ball control, this number is alarming.
On defense, the team picked up where it left off last week—in great form. The first-team defense was able to contain Matt Forte from gaining any positive yardage despite four carries. Moreover, the defense was playing as fast as I’ve ever seen. The Jaguars defense is far from perfect, but the speed and intensity they play with makes them extremely dangerous to opposing offenses.
Eventually, the Bears were able to get their offense going and were able to expose the Jaguars’ second-team defense. Jay Cutler was able to complete a four-yard touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Marshall—the lone blemish on a relatively successful day for the first- and second-team defenses.
Despite the loss, as the game grew to a conclusion it was hard to not be excited about this Jaguars team. With so many young players developing into impact players and a franchise-caliber rookie quarterback displaying his talent, things are definitely looking up for the Jaguars.
Now, that’s not to say there isn’t room to grow. Let’s check out which players need to step up for the Jaguars in my post-game grades.