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Jacksonville Jaguars

Allen Robinson finally shows life in Jaguars loss

September 25, 2016: Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver Allen Robinson (15) [11111] hauls in a touchdown pass during the NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire)

Allen Robinson showed signs of life for the first time in two weeks, hauling in 57 yards and a couple touchdown passes. But it still wasn’t enough to lead the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars to their first win of the regular season.

Pedestrian performances over the last couple of weeks must have awoken the sleeping giant in Robinson, who looked as fired up as fans will ever see him in a football game. His imposing red zone presence was on full display against an underrated Baltimore Ravens’ defense.

He secured a three-yard touchdown grab from quarterback Blake Bortles in the second quarter and then a leaping 11-yard catch for a touchdown in one-on-one coverage against cornerback Shareece Wright. The latter was initially ruled an incomplete pass, which immediately brought back memories of the infamous “no catch” calls on Dez Bryant in the 2014 playoffs and Calvin Johnson’s 2010 call against the Chicago Bears.

Fortunately for the Jaguars, the team of referees working on Sunday leaned on their eyes instead of the complex rule regarding ball control.

Robinson hadn’t even recorded a single touchdown catch before the game on Sunday. He played like the superstar receiver fans remembered from a year ago. After the game, he admitted that he hasn’t made enough plays to put the Jaguars into a better position to win, and he also harped on the team’s inability to close out games. The Jaguars failed to score off two late turnovers that put them on the Ravens’ side of the field.

“We got to finish. I thought we did some good things throughout the game, but we also got a lot to improve on,” Robinson told the media in the locker room after the game. “For me, it’s just about making plays. I haven’t made enough plays for my team so far so I was just trying to go out there and do that.”

Robinson did all he could to get the job done on Sunday, along with the defense and special teams, but the team still fell to 0-3 for the season after dropping another loss at home. The final score of the game was 19-17 Baltimore.

Despite the somber headlines that will likely follow the third consecutive loss, the Jaguars still have one of the more talented offenses in the league from purely a personnel perspective. But the team lacks consistency and cohesiveness on the field. Tight end Julius Thomas, one of the team’s best weapons, wasn’t even a factor in the passing attack, and neither was the run game — even with the return of Chris Ivory. Bortles also continued to turn the ball over, which has been an ongoing issue in Jacksonville.

Robinson can’t shrink into the background after his performance against the Ravens. The Jaguars are on the brink of collapsing, and they will greatly depend on him to lead by example on and off the field.

Most NFL pundits have already moved on from the notion that the Jaguars will emerge into legitimate playoff contenders. That ship likely sailed along with Justin Tucker’s game-clinching 53-yard field goal kick. However, Robinson still believes the team can turn things around. He still sees character and passion all around him even in defeat.

“I think that’s the toughest thing, seeing how well our defense and special teams played down the stretch,” said Robinson. “I think this team has a ton of character. I just think with the passion and how you see guys go out there and consistently make plays—how you see Dante [Fowler] out there, Jalen [Ramsey], Tashaun Gipson, special teams, and the offense. So I think we for sure have the character.”

We’ll see if “character” can dig the Jaguars out of a three-game hole. Next on the itinerary is a trip to London to meet quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

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