Jaguars sputter offensively, defense surrenders 418 yards to Rams

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Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) catches a touchdown in front of Jaguars cornerback Nevin Lawson (21) during the second half.
Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) catches a touchdown in front of Jaguars cornerback Nevin Lawson (21) during the second half.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Trevor Lawrence had to be near flawless, his offensive line needed a breakout performance, and Urban Meyer just needed some luck on the Jaguars' side for a change.

It was wishful thinking, but the Jaguars got none of the above.

The Los Angeles Rams had the better talent and were determined Sunday to end a three-game losing streak, the longest under Coach Sean McVay. The Rams scored on seven of their first nine drives to put away the Jaguars by halftime in their 37-7 rout at the SoFi Stadium.

The Jaguars (2-10) dropped their fourth consecutive game, and they lost their 16th consecutive game to an NFC opponent, a streak that extends back to the 2018 season.

They are now 3-15 all-time in games played on the West Coast.

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Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) defends on Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) defends on Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

''Yeah, I'm not going to give you guys a lot because I wish I had all the answers, and I'd give them to you. I don't know the answers other than I know this, that you're going to keep swinging and keep working together,'' Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said. '''Is there a confidence issue? Any time you're not successful, that's something we've got to fight through. Confidence is a result of success, and right now we're struggling with that.''

The game was highlighted by the Jaguars facing All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey for the first time since the franchise traded him to the Rams in 2019.

Early in the first quarter, Ramsey recovered running back James Robinson's fumble and returned it 8 yards to the Jaguars' 27. Four plays later, the Rams (8-4) scored their first touchdown of the game on running back Sony Michel's 5-yard run.

Ramsey was flagged for taunting when he stood over Carlos Hyde spewing words near the sideline in the second quarter. The penalty gave Jacksonville first-and-goal at the 10 that set up Hyde's 1-yard run. On the Jaguars' opening drive in the third quarter, Ramsey made an excellent play on the ball to break up a pass attempt to tight end James O'Shaughnessy on the fourth-and-1 play.

Ramsey, who said last week playing the Jaguars for the first time was just another game, had three tackles and a pass breakup.

The Rams' defense was relentless against the Jaguars, with defensive tackle Aaron Donald having little trouble getting penetration through the middle to disrupt quarterback Lawrence. The rookie was sacked twice and pushed from the pocket throughout the game.

Lawrence, who had to leave the game briefly in the fourth quarter when he got hit in the helmet, completed 16 of 28 passes for 145 yards. For the fourth time in five games, he failed to throw a touchdown pass.

Other than an impressive 13-play, 73-yard drive that ended on Hyde's 1-yard run, the Jaguars' offense was listless. It was just the Jaguars' second touchdown scored in the first half in their last six games.

One of the biggest plays on the drive was Laquon Treadwell's 28-yard catch. The Jaguars also got help from the Rams with a taunting penalty on former Jaguars cornerback Ramsey. But the Jaguars' offense was stagnant for the rest of the game as they were held to 197 yards, the second lowest yardage since a 189-yard effort against Denver in Week 2.

Robinson was benched after he fumbled on the Jaguars' opening drive when Donald ripped the ball out of his hands. Hyde took over the workload again like last week against the Falcons after Robinson fumbled and was on the sideline for 16 plays before returning to the field.

This time, Robinson sat out 20 plays before he returned to the field. Hyde lost a fumble late in the third quarter. It didn't matter if Robinson or Hyde was in the game, the Jaguars' running game was ineffective.

Robinson was limited to eight carries for 24 yards. Hyde had nine carries for 24 yards. The Jaguars ended the game with 61 yards rushing. The Rams racked up 128 yards rushing and 418 total yards against the Jaguars.

A repeated problem occurred Sunday: not enough production coming from the receiving unit. Other than Treadwell's four catches for 62 yards, no other receiver besides Laviska had more than two catches after the opening three quarters when the Jaguars trailed 30-7. Wide receiver Laviska Shenault was essentially a non-factor again with three catches for 30 yards.

Jacksonville had only 197 total yards, the third time in the past six games it failed to totaled at least 300 yards.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford entered the game having thrown three interceptions for touchdowns but the Jaguars' defense didn't force any turnovers Sunday. Stafford passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jaguars offense sputters in 37-7 loss to Rams

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