JACKSONVILLE – The run game must be the focus.
Marcedes Lewis said that much is obvious when it comes to the Jaguars' offense, and the 12-year veteran tight end something else is true, too.
What needs fixing can get fixed.
"That's who we are, and that's how we're built," Lewis said Monday, a day after the run game struggled in a 27-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
"The run game is one of those things where one or two more blocks and we're off to the races."
The Jaguars, who rank No. 1 in the NFL in rushing through 11 games, have struggled in that area much of the last three games. The offense rushed for 79 yards on 26 carries in a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on November 12, then needed 44 carries to rush for 139 yards in a victory over the Cleveland Browns on November 19. The Jaguars rushed for a season-low 91 yards Sunday, with 62 coming on six carries by quarterback Blake Bortles.
Rookie running back Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 596 yards through six games, rushed for 33 yards on 17 carries against the Chargers and 25 yards on 12 carries Sunday. His 111 yards against the Browns came on 28 carries.
"I feel like that that's the fastest thing you can get right," said Lewis, long considered one of the NFL's top run-blocking tight ends. "It literally is like, 'A little bit more effort here and a little bit more effort there,' or 'Stick with your block here.'
"I wouldn't say it's a panic. We just have to do what we do a little better."
*Defensive tackle Malik Jackson discussed the Jaguars allowing the Cardinals 344 yards of offense, their fourth-highest total allowed this season and the most since allowing 371 yards to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. "A lot of things in that game were things we can control," Jackson said. "We had a few mistakes as far as giving up plays. The good thing is we control that. We can fix that. That's what we have to do. … A few minute things, and we would have won that game. It is what it is. It's a game of inches and it's Any Given Sunday.'' …
*With weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith missing the second half Sunday with a concussion, veteran middle linebacker Paul Posluszny played extensively at weak-side linebacker in passing situations. The result was Posluszny playing a season-high 53 snaps. "I can do it when we need to, but he obviously does a much better job [at weak-side backer] than I do," Posluszny said. "There are different characteristics of that position. Each week our linebacker coach (Mark Collins) says, 'You have to know both' in case something like that does happen. You try to learn and get the reps so when you get in a spot like that you do the best job you can."
*The Jaguars (7-4) remain in a tie for first place in the AFC South with Tennessee, which beat the Indianapolis Colts Sunday to improve to 7-4. The Titans hold the first tiebreaker advantage because they beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville in Week 2. The Titans also have a 3-1 division record compared to 2-1 for the Jaguars with the teams scheduled to play at Tennessee in the regular-season finale December 31; division record is the second tiebreaker. "As we get farther into the season, every game and every play becomes more magnified because of what's at stake," Posluszny said. "The opportunity to go to the playoffs and everything that accompanies that is at stake. We know every play and every situation is much, much more important."