Penalties add to poor performance for Jags

OAKLAND, Calif. -- It’s hard to win when your offense struggles and the defense gives up more than 200 yards rushing.

Committing 10 penalties makes it nearly impossible.

That’s what the Jaguars did on Sunday in a 19-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Ten penalties for 70 yards, including two in the third quarter that extended Raiders drives that ended with field goals.

"To be a successful football team we cannot make the mistakes that we made today," linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "We are giving the opponent opportunities, and in this league everybody is so good you can’t do stuff like that. Mentally, we have to clean that up. Moving forward we have to get rid of that part of our game. We can’t have that."

The Jaguars committed several that robbed the offense of any chance to gain momentum, but it was penalties by tight end D.J. Williams and defensive end Jason Babin that really hurt.

Williams lined up offside when the Raiders were punting on fourth-and-4 in the third quarter. That kept a drive alive that ended with Sebastian Janikowski’s 30-yard field goal to give Oakland a 13-3 lead.

Later in the quarter, Babin was penalized 5 yards for illegal use of hands on a third-down play on which Terrelle Pryor threw incomplete. Four plays later, Janikowski hit a 29-yard field goal for a 16-6 lead.

"We had too many mental errors, too many penalties," receiver Cecil Shorts said. "To win in this league, you can’t have that. The less-penalized team wins games. We’re doing a good job of taking care of the ball, but we’re killing ourselves with mental errors, mistakes and penalties."

Being a heavily-penalized team does not necessarily keep you from winning games. It’s not being able to overcome penalties, especially on offense, that does. The Jaguars are having so much trouble moving the ball consistently that a 5-yard false start on first down pretty much means punter Bryan Anger needs to grab his helmet.

Jacksonville committed only five penalties in the opener, so it’ll be a few weeks before it's determined if Sunday’s performance is the anomaly or the average.

"To give us the best opportunity to come out on the victory end we’ve got to clean those things up and we have to hold everybody accountable, players, coaches, because it’s about execution and mindset," coach Gus Bradley said. "We’ll challenge our guys in that area and we’ll get those things taken care of."