What it means: The Jaguars were the surprise of the NFL for about 90 minutes -- and deservedly so. They sacked Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles five times and forced three turnovers, Chad Henne was firing touchdown passes to rookie receiver Allen Hurns, and they led 17-0.
Then the issues we expected to arise finally did. The offensive line couldn’t create much space in the running game, Henne wasn’t able to generate anything else once the team went off script, and the Eagles’ up-tempo attack wore the defense down.
When Jeremy Maclin was ridiculously wide open for a 68-yard touchdown catch that put the Eagles ahead for good, the message was clear: The Jaguars may be better in 2014, but they still have a ways to go before they can compete with the league’s better teams.
After compiling 102 yards and 14 points in the first quarter, the Jaguars managed just 204 yards over the next 45 minutes. The offense converted just 2 of 14 third downs the entire day. The defense couldn’t generate much pressure on Foles in the second half and at one point committed penalties that gave the Eagles first downs on back-to-back third downs.
Stock watch: The more we see of Hurns, the harder it is to believe that he went undrafted. The former University of Miami standout followed up his outstanding preseason with a historic performance Sunday. His first two catches went for touchdowns -- a 34-yarder and a 21-yarder -- to make him just the second player in NFL history to score TDs on his first two career receptions. Detroit’s Charles Rogers did it in 2003. Hurns wasn’t bad on his third catch either, a 46-yarder down the left sideline when the Jaguars were backed up on their 1-yard line. Hurns got the start because Cecil Shorts, who has more career catches than any other receiver on the roster (123), did not make the trip to Philly because of tightness in his left hamstring.
Cyprien goes out: The Jaguars lost their best player in the secondary late in the first half when safety Johnathan Cyprien left the game with a head injury. Cyprien’s head struck the ground when he was trying to break up a pass from Foles to Maclin. He did not play in the second half, and his status for the upcoming week is unclear.
Game ball: Hurns cooled off after his hot start, but it was still an impressive day for the rookie. He caught four passes for 110 yards and the two touchdowns. He is the first player in NFL history to have two receiving touchdowns in the first quarter of his NFL debut.
What’s next: The Jaguars play on the road for the second week in a row, going to Washington to face the Redskins at 1 p.m. ET next Sunday.