The New Orleans VooDoo ended Saturday night like most of their weekends this season — wondering what went wrong.
First, it was the offense: Rookie quarterback Adam Kennedy, playing his second Arena Football League game in as many weeks, was unable to maintain the momentum he gained during the second half of last weekend’s loss at the Cleveland Gladiators.
Then, the defense: After a respectable effort early, the group tired and fell apart against quarterback R.J. Archer, who led the Jacksonville Sharks to scores on every possession of the second half at the Smoothie King Center.
Tampa Bay 54, New Orleans 13.
“Offensively, we were just unable to execute,” VooDoo coach Pat O’Hara said. “It starts up front. We have to protect (Kennedy) better.”
Kennedy was sacked seven times. Fellow VooDoo quarterback Brian Hudson was sacked twice.
The loss was the fifth straight for the VooDoo, which is now 2-11. The VooDoo, which has clinched its sixth consecutive losing season, has lost five of six games in 2014 at home.
“It kind of got out of hand on us,” Kennedy said. “We definitely took a step back from last week. We obviously have to go back and figure out what we did wrong.”
Jacksonville improved to 5-8.
Kennedy, who took a performance step back, has still accomplished enough for O’Hara to keep him under center. But the problems at the offense line must be fixed. Problems that included three bad center-quarterback exchanges, including one on fourth down in scoring position.
With 45 seconds left in the first half, Kennedy found Courtney Smith in the end zone for a 42-yard score, allowing the VooDoo to rally to a 13-10 deficit. But Archer needed just 24 seconds to score again, finding Courtney Smith for his one TD reception of the night.
The VooDoo did not score again until Jose Martinez, signed earlier this month, converted a field goal from 30 yards midway through the fourth quarter.
Archer threw for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Fullback Jared Culver-McGriff scored three times.
The VooDoo return to the field Thursday at the Portland Thunder.