A day later, Mike Mularkey said he was thankful for game film.
Mularkey, in his first season as the Jaguars’ head coach, said while players were understandably disappointed with a 26-23 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the regular-season opener Sunday, a review of the game revealed much with which to be pleased.
Mainly, Mularkey said the Jaguars had every chance and reason to not be in Sunday’s game.
That they were, Mularkey said, is a good thing.
“I thought we could have played better than we did, but even with that, for us to have a chance to win when we didn’t play our best, I thought was a positive sign for this football team,” Mularkey said Monday.
“I just told them, ‘We need to get over this one.’ Just like you need to get over wins, we need to get over losses and move on to the next one as quickly as we can and not let this disappointment affect next week’s game, which is very important for us.
“I think they got the message.”
Mularkey said he emphasizes the so-called “24-hour rule,” meaning the loss must be in the past mentally by 4 p.m. Monday.
“I think this group will do that,” he said.
The Jaguars, after leading 9-0 late in the first half Sunday, trailed 20-15 before quarterback
But after the Vikings returned the kickoff to the 31 with 14 seconds remaining, two quick passes by quarterback Christian Ponder put the Vikings in range for a 55-yard field goal by rookie kicker Blair Walsh that tied the game.
Walsh converted from 38 yards with 11:06 remaining in overtime, and the Jaguars’ ensuing drive did not net a first down, leaving the Jaguars disappointed and winless entering the 2012 regular-season home opener Sunday against defending AFC South champion Houston.
“It’s football,” cornerback
The Jaguars enter the week of the home opener with injury concerns at several positions, with running back
Mularkey said Nwaneri should be ready by Sunday.
The Jaguars already have players such as center
“This is the most foot and ankle injuries I’ve ever been around,” Mularkey said. “If you think about the number of linemen that we’ve lost with it, it’s unheard of. We have an unbelievable number of injuries to that part of the body. More than I’ve ever been around.”
Mularkey also said linebacker
Mularkey said while injuries are a concern going forward, he said the start to the game was positive, particularly an early 17-play, 77-yard drive that gave the Jaguars a 3-0 lead.
“It’s hard to sustain drives that long in this league,” Mularkey said, adding that overall, “There are a lot of good things to build off of...”
“There’s proof on tape of what we’re capable of doing. We just have to be more consistent.”
Mularkey said the Jaguars must still reduce penalties and dropped passes, and as he said often during the preseason, tackling remains an issue defensively.
“There are a lot of things we recognize we did well,” Mularkey said, “but there are things the players definitely know we can do better.”
Said defensive end
“Yesterday was important because it’s a loss, but you have to put that behind you and focus on division play.”
Mularkey said he believes the Jaguars will do that, and he said what he believes a lot of what he saw Sunday – not only late in the game but throughout – will serve the team well the rest of the season.
“Our guys went out and had a chance to win,” Mularkey said. “We plugged some holes, especially on the offensive line and to have a chance to win, even in overtime, was a great learning process. If we can get over the hump and make some of those plays, not put us in that position, we’ll win more games.”