With the Urban Meyer era in Jacksonville over after just 13 games, the Jaguars must turn their attention away from the coaching drama and focus on their Sunday home game against the Houston Texans.
Late Wednesday night, the Jaguars announced they were parting ways with Meyer, hours after a report in the Tampa Bay Times indicated that the first-year coach allegedly kicked Josh Lambo while the then-Jacksonville kicker was stretching before a practice during the final week of preseason.
In the past week, Meyer also had denied reports of strife within his coaching staff and the locker room.
Prior to Meyer’s ouster, Jacksonville rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence said Wednesday, “You’re always going to have some form of drama. I’ve learned that the NFL is just more drama in general than college, no matter where you’re at. But … there’s been a lot. … I do think that has to change and that’s something that we need to work on for sure.
“So you can’t always be in the headlines. You just got to go play football and that’s where we’re trying to get and I have no doubt we’ll get there.”
Even with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell taking over an interim basis as head coach, the problems plaguing the Jaguars (2-11) don’t appear near a solution.
The Jaguars have been particularly woeful on offense, ranking 31st in scoring with 13.8 points per game and 30th in total offense with 303.1 yards per game. Blanked by the Tennessee Titans last Sunday, the Jaguars have scored in single digits in four of seven games since their bye week.
Jacksonville, which rushed for 8 yards against Tennessee, is averaging 88.6 rushing yards during its current five-game losing streak. Ineffectiveness in the run game has heaped additional pressure on Lawrence, who tossed four interceptions against the Titans.
The Texans are struggling on offense, too. Houston hasn’t surpassed 100 yards rushing since Week 6 and ranks dead last in the league in rushing yards (1,008), rushing touchdowns (six) and yards per rushing attempt (3.3).
Houston (2-11) played with two running backs last week in a 33-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks after David Johnson was sidelined by COVID-19. The Texans lost one of those backs, Rex Burkhead, to a hip/quad injury and will be limited to two backs again vs. the Jaguars.
“Well, injuries happen and unfortunately for us, David having the COVID was a big setback simply because it wasn’t an injury more so than it was the situation with the COVID,” Texans coach David Culley said. “Playing those two and having three available is good enough for what we wanted to do moving forward after the break. Unfortunately, we’re losing Rex in that particular ballgame, and not having David was a tough deal for us.”
Rookie quarterback Davis Mills attempted 49 passes in the loss to Seattle, a direct result of the Texans’ inability to run the football. Culley named Mills the starter for the rest of the season, removing one obstacle in a series of them.
“I think the week of preparation (is) the same,” Mills said. “Obviously, the starter gets more reps in practice, so that helps with preparation a little bit, but the mentality is just going out there and playing my best.”
–Field Level Media