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Day After: New day, same feeling


JACKSONVILLE – A day later, Gus Bradley's thoughts hadn't changed much.

The Jaguars did many good things in a 28-23 loss to the New York Jets. Just as Bradley couldn't dislike the approach, effort, energy, etc., in the immediate aftermath Sunday, he didn't dislike it Monday, either.

Still, the four turnovers and no takeaways?

The failure to make crucial plays at critical times?

Those things told the story of the Jaguars' fifth loss in the last six games, and were a major reason Bradley wasn't talking about a two-game winning streak when he met the media for his weekly day-after press conference at EverBank Field Monday afternoon.

And that inability to close games in the fourth quarter?

No, that sort of thing the Jaguars' head coach didn't like at all.

"I was very pleased with our team's effort," Bradley said, adding, "I love the spirit of our team. I love how they're relentless and they don't blink. They battle and they fight and they scratch and they'll do everything they can to give us a chance to be victorious. Unfortunately, that's not enough.

"At critical times in the game, offensively we have to make plays, defensively we have to make stops and special teams you have to come through.

"That's what we're not doing right now."

The Jaguars on Sunday not only held Jets running back Chris Ivory to 26 yards on 23 carries, they outgained the Jets 426-290 and had 19 first downs to 14 for the Jets. They rallied from a 14-3 first-half deficit to within a point in the second half and had multiple chances to take the lead.

The Jaguars also had a season-high 13 explosive plays on offense, with wide receivers Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson catching five and six passes for 122 and 121 yards, respectively.

But Blake Bortles, who threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns, threw two interceptions. He also lost a fumble in the red zone in the fourth quarter with the Jaguars trailing 21-16 and Nick Marshall lost a muffed punt shortly thereafter with the Jaguars trailing by the same score.

Those mistakes, Bradley said, told the game's story along with an inability to score in what he called "fringe red-zone scoring opportunities."

The Jaguars on Sunday had four possessions on which they drove past midfield but failed to score. One of those drives was the one on which Bortles fumbled and three others ended between the 50 and the Jets 40.

"Once we cross the 50, those fringe red-zone scoring opportunities – that's where we didn't do as well," Bradley said.

Bradley said while he sees progress offensively at the season's midway point, and while there are positives defensively such as the run defense, "unfortunately we're not doing enough of those things at critical times."

"That's the area we need to continue to work on, but the spirit, the relentlessness, the battling – all of those aspects of this team – were really evident (Sunday)," Bradley said. "I see growth taking place, but this team wants more.

"We have to put them in position to get more and to earn more. We're learning that part of it."

The Jaguars this season rank 16th in the NFL in total offense. They are 18th in the NFL in total defense, and are seventh against the run. Bradley said while those areas have tangible positives that go beyond statistics, there is more to winning than those numbers.

"That's moving in a good direction," Bradley said. "For us, here you really make the big step is, 'What do winning teams do consistently?' Those teams make plays at critical times."

Also around the Jaguars:

*Wide receiver Allen Hurns (foot), left guard Zane Beadles (knee), defensive tackle Michael Bennett (hamstring) and linebacker Dan Skuta (groin) sustained injuries Sunday. Beadles returned after a brief absence, while Hurns sustained his injury on the Jaguars' final offensive play. Bennett and Skuta did not return after their injuries and all of the players will be evaluated throughout the week. …

*Cornerback Peyton Thompson was being evaluated for concussion symptoms Monday. …

*Wide receiver Marqise Lee, out six of the first eight games with a hamstring injury, is expected to have an increased workload in practice Wednesday. Lee practiced for the first time since Week 3 last Friday.

*Safety James Sample (shoulder), listed as questionable on last Friday's injury report after practicing limited last week, also is expected to continue to have an increased workload in practice this week. He has missed the last four games. …

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