In the wake of last Sunday's 51-17 loss to New England, Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley said he was disappointed his team strayed from some of their defensive principles in an effort to contain Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense.
Bradley said he felt like the Jaguars abandoned their preference for man-to-man defense in favor of more zone coverage.
"Now, looking back at it, I think there were some areas that we could have been more aggressive in some of our coverage principles," Bradley said, per the Florida Times-Union. "We have corners that have length and we need to utilize that. To play some Cover Two like we did as a changeup is good, but I just felt like in this game it was one of our lead calls. Rightfully so, we all agreed on it. … Let's just stay true to who we are, play more of those principles and see what takes place. Play more three deep and man and stay more true to who we are."
While the zone prevented Brady from completing any deep passes against the Jacksonville secondary, the quarterback had plenty of success connecting on short and intermediate routes. Brady finished the afternoon 33 of 42 passing for 358 yards and two touchdowns, with no turnovers.
"We should've played man a little bit more," Jaguars free safety James Sample said. "That would've helped us out. After watching the film, they were picking us apart with short routes and zone beaters. I felt like I learned a lot from that tape."
In addition to playing zone, Jaguars linebacker Dan Skuta pointed out the team elected not to blitz Brady very much, instead rushing four defenders. Skuta also said it was important to give credit to Brady, who demonstrated why he's one of the best ever to play the position.
"There were times watching the film when (defensive end) Ryan (Davis) and I were both flying off the edge," Skuta said. "Their guys barely got a hand on us. Still, he quickly threw the ball and gained 10 yards. Sometimes it's just Brady."
With Brady and the Patriots behind them, the Jaguars are set to face another dangerous offense this week in Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.