Is Jaguars' Week 1 Loss A Sign Of Bigger Urban Meyer Problem?

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars entered their Week 1 road game against the Houston Texans as three-point favorites. They didn’t play like it at all in the 37-21 loss. Houston never trailed after jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and it never felt Jacksonville were truly in the game. They were completely outmatched from start to finish.

The Texans beat up on the Jaguars in every phase of this contest. They won the turnover battle by three and possessed the ball for more than 35 minutes on offense. Not bad for a team that’s been the target of everyone’s jokes for the last four months.

With all due respect to the Texans, Jacksonville’s lackluster performance against a team many expect to be the worst squad in the league is incredibly worrying for head coach Urban Meyer. It’s been a rocky start for Meyer. His antics have made headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent months, and Sunday’s debut performance did nothing to ease those early concerns.

We’re not even worried about rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the three interceptions he threw—Lawrence finished 28-of-51 with 332 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. He looked like a rookie gunslinger that’s going to take his bumps and bruises. It’s par for the course. He made some great throws on Sunday. He also made some bad decisions while turning over the ball and ultimately lost the first regular-season game of his career. All in all, I thought Lawrence showed a lot of promise.

The real concern here is how the Jaguars encompassed all of the qualities of a poorly-coached team. Those signs often include poor communication, discipline, and execution on third down on both sides of the ball. Let’s check in with the Week 1 facts. The Jaguars were penalized 10 times for 82 yards. As an offense, they were just 3-of-11 on third down. It was somehow even worse as a defense, where they allowed the Texans’ offense to convert an astounding 12-of-21 third-down opportunities. 

We covered Meyer’s rocky start back in August, and CBS’ Jason La Canfora released a concerning report on Sunday morning, just hours before Meyer and the Jaguars embarrassed themselves in Houston.

“He has everyone looking over their shoulders already,” La Canfora’s source said. “He becomes unhinged way too easily, and he doesn’t know how to handle losing, even in the preseason. He loses it and wants to take over the drills himself. It’s not good.”

The Jaguars are a young team, but you have to wonder how quickly the wheels could fall off for Meyer if things don’t get better fast.

Written By:

Justin Melo

Writer, Interviewer

Justin Melo is an NFL draft analyst that cut his teeth at The Draft Breakdown and USA Today's Draft Wire. He specializes in interviewing prospects, but also produces big boards, mock drafts, and scouting reports. He also covers the Tennessee Titans nationally for Broadway Sports Media and SB Nation.