Dumb penalties derail Jags' defense

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In defining the style of play coach Gus Bradley is trying to instill in the Jaguars, he mentioned four characteristics:

He wants the Jaguars to play with toughness, effort, enthusiasm and intelligence.

Until this past Sunday’s loss to San Diego the Jaguars hadn’t had any trouble accomplishing the first three. However, the players have certainly struggled with the last, especially on defense.

The latest was Sunday against the Chargers, when defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing a Chargers lineman in the helmet after the play. The penalty came after Ronnie Brown’s 1-yard run and turned what would have been third-and-33 into a first down.

The Chargers scored a touchdown seven plays later and took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter of a game they would go on to win 24-6.

Marks said he was angry because he was being held on the drive but that doesn’t excuse what he did.

"I just went over and I actually did push his helmet and was like, 'Dude, don’t hold me no more,' but the ref said I tried to poke him in the eye," Marks said. "It was all on me because I did turn and walk back to him. I accept all the blame for that. That whole penalty was my fault and that continuation of the drive was all my fault."

If Marks doesn’t commit that penalty, do the Jaguars win the game? Probably not because the defense had trouble stopping the Chargers' offense all day. But the Jaguars may have been able to take advantage of good field position for at least another field goal. They started their first six drives between their 20- and 31-yard lines.

The problem is that the penalty was committed in the first place. It’s the latest in a string of stupid penalties that have hurt the defense. The unit has committed 10 costly penalties that have either helped an opponent’s scoring drive or nullified an interception. With the exception of one pass interference call, the rest are discipline penalties -- meaning smart teams don’t make them.

Here’s a look at each one:

San Diego

Marks is penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing a Chargers lineman in the helmet. The penalty wiped out what would have been a third-and-33 play. San Diego eventually scored a touchdown for a 14-0 lead.


  • Defensive end Andre Branch is penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after getting into a shoving match following Peyton Manning’s 4-yard completion to Knowshon Moreno on third-and-14. The Broncos got 15 yards and a first down and went on to score a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead.

  • Safety Josh Evans was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting after Moreno was stopped 2 yards shy of the end zone on second-and-goal. Instead of third-and-goal from the 2, the Broncos had first-and-goal from the 1. They eventually scored a touchdown to take a 21-12 lead in the third quarter. Had Evans not been penalized, the Jaguars’ defense would have only had to hold for one more play to force a field goal and a more manageable 17-12 deficit.


  • Defensive end Jason Babin lined up offside and the penalty nullified Will Blackmon’s interception on the fourth offensive snap of the game. The Jaguars would have had the ball at the Indianapolis 43-yard line.

  • Defensive end Tyson Alualu lined up offside on Adam Vinatieri’ s 51-yard field goal attempt. Vinatieri took advantage of the extra 5 yards and made the kick from 46 yards for a 20-3 lead in the second quarter. A penalty, a negative-yardage pass play, a sack and a short pass play had moved the Colts from the 15 to the 33.


  • Cornerback Demetrius McCray was penalized 25 yards for pass interference to the Jaguars’ 5-yard line. Four plays later the Seahawks kicked a field goal to go ahead 17-3.

  • Babin jumped offside on third-and-5 from the Jacksonville 28. The Seahawks scored a touchdown on the next play for a 31-0 lead in the third quarter.


  • Babin is penalized 15 yards for a personal foul that turns a second-and-9 situation into a first down. The Raiders scored three plays later to take a 7-0 lead.

  • Tight end D.J. Williams lines up offside when Oakland is punting on fourth-and-4 from its own 46. That extended a drive that eventually ended with Sebastian Janikowski's 30-yard field goal for a 13-3 lead.

  • Babin is penalized 5 yards for illegal use of hands, which wipes out an incomplete pass on third-and-9 from the Jacksonville 24. The Raiders get a first down and eventually kick another field goal to go ahead 16-3.