In this series, I'm counting down 10 plays that shaped the Jacksonville Jaguars' 2015 season.
Play No. 9: RB Corey Grant's fumble
Situation: First-and-10 from the Jacksonville 20-yard line with 24 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Score: The Jaguars were leading Tampa Bay 24-23.
What happened: The Jaguars pitched the ball to Grant, who tried to run to his left. LT Luke Joeckel was the lead blocker. TE Clay Harbor was supposed to block down on DE George Johnson, but he inexplicably took off and Johnson had a free run at Grant. Johnson knocked the ball loose from the rookie at the 12-yard line and DE Jacquies Smith fell on the ball at the 3-yard line and then dove into the end zone to put the Buccaneers ahead for good.
Impact: Breakdowns like what happened on that play occurred over and over all season. Players who had executed their assignment repeatedly in practice throughout the week inexplicably did something different and unexpected, and it often resulted in a busted play or a big play for the opponent. It also was an example of a questionable coaching decision. The Jaguars had drafted RB T.J. Yeldon in the second round to be their feature back. Why even have Grant, who was undrafted and made the roster as the Jaguars’ kick returner, in the game at that point? Especially with Toby Gerhart available? The Jaguars said they had a package for Grant and they wanted to get him on the edge with his speed. (He ran a sub 4.3 in the 40-yard dash at Auburn’s pro day.)
Quote from Gus Bradley: "The resiliency, the fight, the effort, all that I have no problems with. But it’s the play after play. What do they call it? Grit? Where you do it play after play after play after play the right things. And you do it enough that when a mistake happens you can overcome it. But right now we’ve got too many. We’re not showing the grit needed to sustain things."
Recapping the list ...
Play No. 10: Clay Harbor's flop.