Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  By KEN HORNACK  |  Last updated 9/29/13
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Fortunately for Gus Bradley, he was in Seattle as defensive coordinator of the Seahawks when the Jacksonville Jaguars were drubbed 41-3 by the Chicago Bears at EverBank Field a year ago. But Sunday's debacle against the Indianapolis Colts had an air of unpleasant similarity to the game which laid the foundation for what wound up being a 2-14 season. For those fans with shorter memories, it was almost like the 28-2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs times two. And while the Jaguars still havent scored a touchdown with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, to say hes the main problem would be an oversimplification. This is a bad team that doesnt seem to be getting any better. Here are five observations from the 37-3 loss to the Colts: 1. With so many areas of deficiency, it's awfully tough to single out one. But the continued inability of the Jaguars to accomplish much on first down sticks out like a sore thumb. Through their first 14 snaps on first down against the Colts, they amassed a total of 14 yards. The Baltimore Ravens were the only team faring worse on first downs during the first three weeks of the season, but without taking a look at the statistics from their game at Buffalo, they might have moved out of the basement simply by default. The Jaguars weren't much better on other downs either. Except for Gabbert's11-yard completion to Cecil Shorts III just over five minutes into the game, they did not convert a third down in their first 10 tries. 2. Maurice Jones-Drew went into the afternoon having topped 100 yards in five of his six most recent games against the Colts. That was then, this is now. Aside from a 6-yard pickup around left end, there was nothing for fans to shout "Drewwwwwww " about. He was held to 23 yards on 13 carries to see his paltry 2.6-yard average per rushing attempt plummet even further. This isn't a result of any lingering effects from the foot injury that limited him to six games a year ago. Teams are loading up to stop him, especially after the Jaguars fall behind. The clearest sign of that came in the series after the Colts took a 10-3 lead. On third and a yard to go, Jones-Drew ran into a brick wall up the middle. 3. Tight end Marcedes Lewis lasted just one series in his season debut before his calf acted up again. That has been the extent of his involvement after the Jaguars' first preseason game. This has all the appearances of being an injury which will linger all year long. None of Lewis' backups had a catch until Clay Harbors 31-yard reception to begin the fourth quarter. Given the current state of the offense, it will be small consolation to be getting wide receiver Justin Blackmon back this week after a four-game suspension by the NFL. Then again, the Jaguars were so depleted at the position that they had to sign Jeremy Ebert and Tobais Palmer off the practice squad Saturday. 4. The score would suggest otherwise, but the Jaguars did not catch Andrew Luck at his sharpest. If not for defensive end Jason Babin being penalized for lining up in the neutral zone, the Colts' first drive would have ended with an interception by cornerback Will Blackmon. Luck wasnt so fortunate on their next series as Blackmon's pick -- the first of the season by the Jaguars' secondary -- set up Josh Scobees 53-yard field goal. And cornerback Alan Ball almost came up with a deflection in the end zone early in the second quarter. Luck's best move in the first half was scrambling for 17 yards on a third-and-9 play to end the opening quarter. Thats longer than any run by the Jaguars through four weeks. 5. The excitement which rookies Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson were supposed to add has been, to say the least, sorely lacking. Sanders finally got to return his first punt after the defense stopped the Colts on the opening drive, but he was blanked as a receiver until turning a short toss from Gabbert early in the fourth quarter into a 27-yard gain. With Justin Blackmon's return, he figures to become even less of a factor on offense in the weeks to come. Robinson, who no longer carries the odd position title of "offensive weapon," strained a hamstring in the first half. The one time Gabbert threw the ball to him before the injury, he juggled a simple-looking dumpoff pass on a play the Colts thought was a fumble. Next up: at St. Louis. The Rams will have the advantage of a longer week to prepare, although they hardly endeared themselves to their fans Thursday night in getting thumped 35-11 at home by the San Francisco 49ers to fall to 1-3. You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.
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