Jack Del Rio didn't want to discourage Jacksonville's celebration of Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts, but the Jaguars head coach didn't celebrate his team's performance when he met with reporters on Monday afternoon.
"We have a lot to correct, a lot to improve on. We did not play particularly sharp, and that's in all three phases. Good effort; we've just got to be cleaner," Del Rio said of his team's 31-28 victory.
It was a win in which the Jaguars made all the crunch-time plays, including Josh Scobee's franchise-longest, 59-yard, game-winning field goal as time expired. It was also a win in which the Jaguars pass-defense was torched for 352 yards and the run-defense was too soft in the red zone.
"Peyton (Manning) had too much success for my liking," Del Rio said.
The good news is the Jaguars offense came to life behind strong performances by running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback David Garrard. The Jags offensive line didn't allow a sack, but Del Rio said even the play up front left something to be desired.
Those were the Colts the Jaguars were playing, right?
Del Rio made a point of noting the Colts aren't off to one of their usually fast starts. They're 0-2 in the division four games into the season, as compared to the Jaguars' 1-0 in AFC South games. Houston is also 1-0; Tennessee has yet to play a division game."They're accustomed to running out on people, putting everyone in the division in chase mode," Del Rio said of the Colts, who are tied with the Jags and Titans for second place in the AFC South, each team one game behind the 3-1 Texans.
"Lows and highs are what makes it fun. You know you're alive," Del Rio said.
The key point in Sunday's game occurred in its final seconds. Del Rio said he was not in run-out-the-clock mode when the Jaguars began their final possession with a running play that gained eight yards. As for the time out he called following the review of a play at the goal line that preceded the Jaguars' final drive, Del Rio said he called that time out because the clock would've started to run as soon as the ball was readied for play. That time out would seem to support his claim that he was not attempting to run out the clock on the following possession.
"We had to have that time out," Del Rio said. Referee Ron Winter's explanation mistakenly made the time out sound as though it was assessed of the Jaguars as a result of the review.
With the conclusion of Monday's press conference, Del Rio turned his full attention to Sunday's game in Buffalo. Will the Jaguars be lulled to sleep by the fact the Bills are winless?
"We've experienced it enough, about being grounded. I don't think we'll have any problem. We understand where we're sitting," he said.
Del Rio said Jeremy Mincey's playing time in place of starter Derrick Harvey will increase. Mincey played in place of Harvey for much of the second half on Sunday and sacked Manning once.
"We increased Mincey's time and he responded. We hope to get him involved in that spot. We need production. Jeremy gave us a little boost," Del Rio said.
The coach also apologized for some salty language in his postgame radio interview.
"It appears I may have something to apologize for, so I apologize for offensive language," he added.
Meanwhile, the celebration in Jacksonville continues. At 2-2, the Jags are alive and well.
"I do believe there was a spark of energy our team felt yesterday, a jolt our city felt. That was exhilarating," Del Rio said.