JACKSONVILLE – A day later, Head Coach Gus Bradley's thoughts didn't change much.
The Jaguars on Sunday afternoon lost their fourth consecutive game and slipped to 0-4 at EverBank Field this season. Bradley afterward said special teams, defense and offense all pretty much contributed equally.
He reiterated that stance on Monday.
"All three units can take responsibility for it," Bradley said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 24-21 loss to the Houston Texans. "We just didn't play as well as we needed to."
The Jaguars outgained the Texans 327-273, their second consecutive week outgaining a contending opponent in a loss. The Jaguars committed two turnovers and forced none Sunday after committing four turnovers and forcing none in a loss at Kansas City a week earlier.
The Jaguars are minus-14 in turnovers this season after finishing last season with a minus-10 ratio, and they haven't forced a turnover since a Week 4 victory over the Colts in London.
Bradley said another issue continued to be a lack of balance offensively. Quarterback Blake Bortles completed 32 of 49 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns with an interception Sunday. A week after rushing for a season-high 205 yards on 32 carries, the Jaguars on Sunday rushed for 80 yards on 22 carries.
"We'd like to have anywhere between 25-to-30 passes per game," Bradley said. "The number that we threw it yesterday – that's not ideal if you want to win a lot of games. Not for us, anyway."
Bradley also said while the defense registered its second consecutive game holding an opponent under 300 yard – the unit's fifth such effort in nine games this season – more is needed. The Jaguars had just one sack Sunday and the Texans converted 7 of 15 third downs.
"For the defense, you're always striving for more," Bradley said. "[Los Angeles] won [9-6 against the Jets] Sunday. That has to be the defensive mentality: if we score seven points, that's enough. That's all we need. Let's go out there and win."
"HE HAS TO GROW UP"
Bradley once again spent a Monday, next-day press conference discussing an avoidable penalty by second-year Leo defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. Fowler, who has been penalized eight times this season, on Sunday drew a 15-yard penalty for hitting Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler out of bounds. It was Fowler's third 15-yard penalty this season. He drew a 15-yarder two weeks ago for punching an opponent during a play. "I thought he was making good strides," Bradley said. "The last couple of weeks you could see conscience in him as far as [not] hitting the quarterback late – or targeting. I thought he made great strides with that. Obviously, it was a foolish penalty [Sunday]. It's like two steps forward, one step back. He knows it. We had the discussion at halftime. He has to grow up in that area."
QUIET UP FRONT
The Jaguars' pass rush has stagnated in recent weeks, but Bradley said there's more to the issue than the play of the team's young Leo pass rushers. Fowler has two sacks this season, with both coming in a Week 2 loss at San Diego. Rookie Leo Yannick Ngakoue leads the team with four sacks, registering one each in Weeks 2, 3, 4 and 6. The Jaguars have 16 sacks this season, with four coming in the last five games and one coming Sunday against Houston. "We'll always ask for more there," Bradley said, adding, "We can ask for more from our rush, but I don't think those two guys on the perimeter has been a case of, 'Oh, those guys are struggling.' I don't see it like that."
"I think our effort is good. What I'm challenging our team with is that our effort is good, but I'd like to see even more energy – great energy. I think there's a difference."
*Reserve wide receiver Bryan Walters remains in the NFL's concussion protocol after missing Sunday's game with the issue. He spent last week in the protocol after sustaining the injury against Kansas City a week ago.
*Wide receiver Marqise Lee sustained a sprained ankle against Houston but he returned to the game and played extensively after the injury. …