Safeway scaffolding, scaffolding in Jacksonville Jaguars’ favor
The Jacksonville Jaguars have won their first three games in their new stadium, but it’s not the start that many are expecting.
The Jaguars are 8-7.
They are tied with the San Francisco 49ers for the worst record in the NFL.
And yet, they are in the playoff race, with three games left to play.
That’s because of some remarkable stuff that happened during a bye week in January.
Jaguars’ first two games of the season were against the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers.
Both teams were without injured stars including quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Leonard Fournette.
The Jaguars lost to the Jets, 37-20, with Bortes missing the game due to a concussion.
That was the first game in which he did not play.
He sat out the next two games.
The team then had to go to New England to face the Patriots.
After scoring six touchdowns on the ground and six on the run, the Jaguars trailed 17-0 at halftime.
They were down 27-14 at halftime when linebacker Jadeveon Clowney returned to the game.
He picked off a pass and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown.
The next time Clowney appeared in a game, he made a big play with a 38-yard touchdown run.
The next time he did, he was sacked three times and fumbled.
The first time Clowne was a full participant in a regular-season game was in the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He was replaced by rookie wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Clowney had four catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars’ 35-31 victory.
After Robinson went down with an ankle injury, Clowney picked up where he left off and ran for a season-high 109 yards in the third quarter to lead the Jaguars to a 31-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The first score was on a 3-yard pass to tight end Allen Hurns, who caught a 14-yard scoring pass from Robinson on the next play.
The Jacksonville offense responded with a 24-yard TD run by wide receiver Rishard Matthews, who had seven catches for 79 yards.
But that was it for Matthews, the only Jaguars player to catch more than two passes in a season.
The final score of the game was 26-24.
The Jacksonville offense was off, the defense was off and the offense was out.
The offense scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 24.
And in the final minute, Clowne threw for a career-high five touchdowns.
He also rushed for a team-high eight yards and ran his longest play of the night to score on a 19-yard run.
A lot of this is about how the Jaguars handled the bye week, according to general manager Dave Caldwell.
He said he was pleased with how the team responded to the bye.
He believes the team was able to come back with a big win.
The bye was the right time for them to get some rest, said Caldwell, who has spent his entire career in Jacksonville.
He had a chance to sit down with the team before the bye to see how the offense responded.
He saw a lot of improvement.
They came back strong in the second half, he said.
They came out and did a lot in the last two games and we were in a position where we were going to be able to compete.
He says the offense and defense showed a lot improvement and the defense showed big improvement.
There was some turnover, but we did a good job of getting back in the game, said general manager David Caldwell.
I think they showed some of the big things that we need to work on.
We got a chance for a week to go back and see if we can do that, said Jaguars coach Gus Bradley.
The bye week was good for us, especially in the first two weeks.
They got a week of rest and they got to do some work on the things that they have to work through.
They’ve got a lot to work with.
It was a lot more of the same.
We didn’t play with as much energy and urgency, but that’s how we came out of that bye week.
We’re just going to keep going.
The biggest difference for us going into the playoffs is that they had a bye and we didn’t, said Bradley, who won two Super Bowl titles as the Jaguars offensive coordinator from 1991-93.
We needed to get that in and we did.
The offensive line has been working hard this offseason.
Bradley said he felt like we were a lot better with the starters playing and the backups starting.
We got more consistency from our linemen and the coaches are a lot smarter about what they do.
They knew that we needed to do a better job of limiting pressure, which has been the most frustrating thing we’ve had to deal with.
The defense was very good, too.
I thought the defensive line had a good week, too, in terms of being consistent with how