The emotions were real and raw.
They came from Head Coach Doug Marrone, defining the aftermath of the Jaguars' 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field Sunday – the Jaguars' eighth consecutive loss after a Week 1 victory over Indianapolis.
Marrone was asked during his post-game videoconference about the pain of the loss. He hesitated, saying "I want to make sure I answer this the right way."
Then he continued.
"Every time you play and lose, it's something that's in my soul that just gets (expletive) ripped out," Marrone said. "So, that's how I feel. So, it doesn't matter whether it's this game or the other seven before … and it's something that you can't replace.
"At least that's how I feel."
Sunday marked the Jaguars' second consecutive loss in which they had a chance to win late. They took possession twice in the fourth quarter Sunday trailing 24-20 – punting following a drive that reached the Packers 50 and turning the ball over on downs when quarterback Jake Luton threw incomplete on 4th-and-26 from the Jaguars 48 with 1:01 remaining.
"That is great; you want to be in a position right there to be in striking distance to win a game, but at the end of the day this is the National Football League and we get paid to win games," Luton said. "Whether you lose by one or lose by 40, it is still a loss. It still goes in the loss column.
"So, we have to figure out a way to make those plays when we need to make them and go win games. That is what we are here to do."
Marrone throughout the season has praised a young Jaguars team for its effort and said the effort was there again Sunday. But Marrone in recent weeks has been reluctant to praise much else even as the team has improved in some areas, particularly defensively. He has said repeatedly he isn't comfortable praising specific areas during a long losing streak.
He answered a question about possible positives from Sunday's game in a similar vein.
"All I know is we're putting everything in this thing and we're fighting our butts off," Marrone said. "We're doing everything we possibly can. We're coming up short. And it's hard. I'm not going to lie. It's hard, and I just want to do the best job I can for these coaches and players to keep them going so they can continue to get better.
"[But] when people ask me when you lose about finding the positives … I don't know. For some reason, I just don't want to go there. I've been in this thing a long time. I love this game. A lot of times people are going to go ahead and [say], 'The game's over and life moves on.' Well, it doesn't move on for, for us, you know. It sits there. It's … you know, it is what it is."
Sunday's game was played in 38-degree temperatures with a 27-degree wind chill. As important, winds reached 23 miles per hour. The winds appeared to affect multiple passes from each quarterback, with Luton appearing less accurate at times Sunday than was the case in his debut against Houston last week in Jacksonville. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also appeared to have some passes affected by the wind early. "With the amount, with way the field position, with the way punting, with the way the kicking … the wind was swirling," Marrone said. "Actually, it was a cross-the-field wind which you don't usually get here in Green Bay, so that was a little bit different. So, yes, it did have…at least for me, I felt it did have an effect on the game."
Jaguars WR Keelan Cole had perhaps his best NFL game Sunday, catching a 12-yard third-quarter touchdown pass and returning a second-quarter punt for a 91-yard touchdown. Cole and fellow Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. celebrated the 12-yarder by jumping the stands for a "Lambeau Leap" – the celebration Packers players often do following touchdowns when they jump into the stands to be mobbed by fans. "The' Lambeau Leap' was actually pretty lonely, but it was cool," Cole said, referring to the Lambeau stands being empty because of COVID-19. "Me and Chark up there, sitting, hanging out with the invisible fans. [It was my] first time playing there, and it was a great experience. [I'm] glad I got to do [the] Lambeau leap, wish I would have done it twice. I didn't think about it the first time at all. But definitely a good experience other than the cold. I didn't like the cold."
Marrone: "At the end of the day, we got the game and then we just couldn't make the plays that were out there, that we had an opportunity to make to win the game. That's why we lost."