Whether it’s a quartet of players getting arrested for failing to pay a tab at a British nightclub or a locker-room spat or a four-game losing streak, things couldn’t get much worse for the Jacksonville Jaguars at the moment — on the field or off it.
A club that reached the AFC championship game last season and seemed to cement its status as a contender by beating the New England Patriots in Week 2 last month is now in total disarray.
“It’s a good week for a bye,” was the way coach Doug Marrone put it Sunday after the Jaguars dropped to 3-5 and tied for last in the AFC South with a 24-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Wembley Stadium.
Yes, a break now gives him a chance to try to save the season.
But there’s little reason to think that’s even possible at this point.
Quarterback Blake Bortles’ playoff competence sure now seems as if it were the mirage many suspected, and while he got off to start again after being yanked midgame a week ago, he led Jacksonville’s offense to only one touchdown and four field goals against Philadelphia.
The defense is dealing with injuries and inconsistencies and a sudden inability to tackle.
A week ago, after a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans, Calais Campbell was seen holding back fellow defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in the locker room, fallout from some postgame shouting and finger-pointing.
The Jaguars are averaging just 11.5 points per game during the current slide.
Their opponents? More than twice that, 28.5.
“We’ve got a lot to do,” Marrone acknowledged, “in a lot of different areas.”
That includes out-on-the-town discipline and internal team harmony.
Out into the wee hours of Saturday morning in London, safety Barry Church and three teammates were detained, although not charged, by the Metropolitan Police over their bar bill.
Church called the whole thing “a misunderstanding.”
Bortles said it had no effect on the team’s showing Sunday.
Marrone, though, conceded: “A lot of things that you do during the week have an impact.”
In case you missed it, here are other top topics after the NFL season’s eighth Sunday:
If the recent moves are any indication, Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline could more closely resemble what happens in baseball than the usual football humdrum. Some of the very worst clubs, such as the Arizona Cardinals (2-6 after edging San Francisco 18-15), should consider the example set by the New York Giants (1-7 after losing to Washington 20-13). The Giants sent away two defenders last week and could do something else, even if Eli Manning declared Sunday he wants to stay. What could Patrick Peterson bring in return for the Cards? Maybe Tampa Bay (3-4 after a 37-34 loss to Cincinnati) should think about getting something for Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick or DeSean Jackson. We already know Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders (1-7 after being beaten 42-28 by the Colts) are willing to deal, so perhaps benched safety Karl Joseph will follow the same path already taken by Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.
HALFWAY TO 16-0
Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles Rams are halfway to 16-0 after a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers. Gurley accounted for 195 yards — 114 on 25 carries, and another 81 on six catches — and a TD, but he also was smart enough to know when not to tack on another score. On his way to the end zone, Gurley let himself get tackled, so the Rams could run out the clock as they improved to 8-0 by beating Aaron Rodgers and Co. 29-27 after trailing 10-0. But what about all those folks out there who could have used the fantasy points? “Man, forget fantasy. Forget Vegas,” Gurley said. “We got the win, so that’s all that matters.”
Patrick Mahomes just keeps putting up numbers, and his Kansas City Chiefs just keep on winning. Mahomes is only the third QB in NFL history to throw for at least 300 yards in seven consecutive games during a season, and only the fourth with four TD tosses in each of three games in a row. The other trio? Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Not too shabby. After leading KC past Denver 30-23, Mahomes is already up to 26 TD passes this season for the Chiefs, who are 7-1.
AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham in Los Angeles and freelancer Zac Boyer in London contributed to this report.
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL