Jags Win One for the Gipson: Winners and Losers

“Don’t kick some senseless field goal,” I said to the television midway through my Sunday. The Browns, 8.5-point underdogs, had been covering throughout the entire game. The Jaguars were sitting comfortably with a six-point lead against a team that simply could not move the football. With two minutes remaining, my fear was that they would simply ride Leonard Fournette down into Browns territory and let Josh Lambo move their lead to nine—an absolute killer from a betting standpoint. The Browns, instead forced a three-and-out. The worst thing that could happen at this point would be another stalled drive that would wind down the clock and the team’s chances of winning a football game.


The worst thing that would happen, as is wont to do in Cleveland, happened. Kizer dropped back deep in Browns territory. Spencer Drango was obliterated off the edge. The ball ends up in the end zone for another touchdown, destroying the spread in the interim. The Browns, once again, found a way to Browns Cleveland and Las Vegas all in one six-second sequence.

It’s incredible. It really is.

LOSER: DeShone Kizer

If you thought DeShone Kizer would somehow use last week’s impressive performance as a building block, or that fans could take it as a sign of things to come, well do I have news for you. Kizer was dreadful on Sunday, being only outdone by Jay Cuter in Miami and Buffalo’s Nathan Peterman. While his offensive line and a handful of dropped passes did him little in the way of favors throughout, Kizer was a mess from beginning to end, failing to amass much in the way of NFL-caliber drives. Compounding his issues was the penchant to throw the football to players in Jacksonville uniforms rather than his own. The Jaguars’ lone offensive touchdown was set up by a horrible interception, and the team’s final four drives (four!) ended in turnovers. The Jags have a great defense, but DeShone Kizer was an embarrassment under center.

LOSER: Hue Jackson

Jackson is now 1-25 as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Again: The Jaguars’ defense is good, but there was a eight play stretch where the Browns had amassed -3 yards. Duke Johnson Jr. hauled in a beautiful 27-yard touchdown reception early in the contest and reeled in another 20-yard reception late in the fourth quarter. Somehow, Johnson, the team’s brightest play maker throughout the entire season carried the ball just twice for 10 yards and had just two other receptions. Six touches. Six. Jackson wants to sit there following games saying his team needs to play “near perfect” to contend week to week? How about designing a scheme that gets the ball in the hands of your best players rather than watching it bounce off the hands of Ricardo Freaking Louis?

WINNER: Duke Johnson

Get this kid more touches.

LOSER: Spencer Drango

Yeesh. While Drango did well during his first game in replacing Joe Thomas at left tackle, he was abused throughout Sunday afternoon. In the event his man didn’t get to DeShone Kizer, it was his man who would force Kizer back into the pocket where he would get crushed by another ready-and-waiting Jaguar. No play was more “Drango” than the one with a little less than two minutes remaining in the game where his man went untouched and produced a strip sack that would eventually turn into the touchdown described above. This is a game for Drango to forget.

WINNER: Jason McCourty

McCourty’s coverage was once again on point, drawing just three targets throughout the day, and breaking up a huge play from Blake Bortles to Marquise Lee late in the game. According to Pro Football Focus, since he returned to the field, McCourty has been targeted just six times allowing 15 yards and breaking up two passes. It’s tough to not deem him the defensive MVP thus far.

LOSER: Gregg Williams

Cover. The. Tight. End.

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