FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Jaguars were actually hanging around in the first half and could have made Sunday's game against the New England Patriots interesting with a late score, but a costly turnover by quarterback Blake Bortles led to a vintage Tom Brady two-minute drill that resulted in a touchdown -- effectively ending the game.
Bortles was trying to hit tight end Marcedes Lewis down the field, but he threw the ball outside the numbers while Lewis went inside. Safety Devin McCourty picked off the pass, and Brady found Danny Amendola for a 1-yard touchdcown with 18 seconds remaining for a 20-3 lead. The Patriots went on to secure a 51-17 win at Gillette Stadium.
What it means: Jaguars players talked last week of this being a measuring-stick game. What happened Sunday shows that they've got a long way to go. They're still short of playmakers on both sides of the ball, Bortles continues to play up-and-down, and they continually make mistakes that cost them points. It doesn't help that they were down five starters (TE Julius Thomas, LT Luke Joeckel, DE Andre Branch, DT Sen'Derrick Marks and SS Johnathan Cyprien) and suffered more injuries during the game. Would that have made a difference? A little, but it wasn't realistic to expect the Jaguars to upset the defending Super Bowl champions. Keeping it respectable would have shown signs of progress.
What were they thinking? Coach Gus Bradley called for a fake punt down by 27 points late in the third quarter. RB Corey Grant was stopped for a 2-yard gain by Matthew Slater, the Patriots’ best special teams player. It was a curious time to take that gamble – and it turns out that the Jaguars actually weren’t supposed to. Bradley said the Jaguars were hoping for a certain look from the Patriots and when they didn’t show it he called the fake off, but that decision wasn’t effectively communicated. “The defense at that time had a lot of plays on the field,” Bradley said. “We had some injuries back [in the secondary] and we wanted to try to regroup a little bit, give them some time. It was based on a certain look. We had it on a couple times during the game [but] we didn’t get the look so we punted it. It’s just that time it was a communication [error]. We took the fake off. The look wasn’t there, but we ran it anyway.”
Fantasy watch: It's apparently all or nothing with wide receiver Allen Robinson. One week after catching six passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, the second-year player from Penn State managed just four catches for 68 yards against the Patriots, with most of that coming late in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars trailing 51-10. Robinson had one catch for 27 yards in the season opener.
Ouch: Wide receiver Marqise Lee left in the second quarter with hamstring tightness and did not return. He was listed on Friday's injury report as probable with a hamstring injury but was downgraded to questionable Saturday with left knee soreness. Lee missed all of camp and the preseason with a hamstring injury and played only 22 snaps in his debut last week.
Time to panic: The Jaguars may start making calls to free-agent defensive backs on the charter flight home because they lost two safeties during the game and ended up with rookie James Sample and cornerback Peyton Thompson in those spots for nearly the entire second half. Josh Evans went down with a knee injury in the first half, and Sergio Brown left with a calf injury on the second play of the second half. Cyprien (calf) was inactive. It went about as well for the Jaguars as you'd think. Thompson and Sample committed pass interference penalties that accounted for 76 yards on back-to-back plays on the Patriots' second scoring drive of the second half.