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Game that was: "We didn't execute consistently enough…"

Jacksonville Jaguars against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL football game, Sun, Dec. 20, 2020 in Baltimore.
Jacksonville Jaguars against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL football game, Sun, Dec. 20, 2020 in Baltimore.

Gardner Minshew II summed up the day quickly.

"It was very hard," he said.

The Jaguars' second-year quarterback was speaking specifically about the first half of a 40-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., Sunday. He could have been talking about the entire game, with the Jaguars' offense struggling in Minshew's first start since late October.

Minshew, who retook the starting job after playing a quarter and a half in loss to the Tennessee Titans last week, completed 22 of 29 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions Sunday. He passed for 53 yards during a first half in which the Jaguars had 61 total yards – and after which the Ravens led, 26-0.

"It felt like everything we were doing, they had an answer for it," Minshew said. "I felt they played really well, and we didn't execute consistently enough in the first half."

Minshew's start Sunday marked the Jaguars' fourth change of the season at quarterback in 2020. He started Games 1-7, with rookie Jake Luton starting Games 8-10 after Minshew reported a thumb injury. Veteran Mike Glennon started Games 11-13, with Minshew a healthy backup for the last two of those games.

Head Coach Doug Marrone declined immediately after the Ravens game to name a starter for the regular-season home finale against the Chicago Bears Sunday.

"I really want to be in there to support these players and these coaches right now," Marrone said. "I'm not ready to say this or that, and all this other stuff, or really comment on playing time. That's not a knock on Gardner and it's not a knock on me not having a decision in my mind right now. My mind right now is totally focused. 

"You've got guys running all over the place, trying, giving everything they have, and here we are sitting, having lost all these games, I don't think about myself. I think about these coaches and players, that's what's weighing on me right now. Not who's going to start or who's not going to start next week. So, I'm apologetic, I can't really, I'm not going to comment on that."

Marrone following the game focused on the lack of an effective run offense early in the game as the primary reason for the slow start offensively. The Jaguars rushed for 62 yards on 22 carries Sunday, with rookie running back James Robinson – who entered the game as the NFL's third-leading rusher – rushing for 35 yards on 16 carries.

"Up front, they were big and physical," Marrone said. "They played better than we did. We were getting one or two yards and in the play-action [passing] game, we weren't able to make plays – either not pulling the trigger, or not being in good position or pressure getting to you; there are a lot of things.

"When you don't play that well, it's not one thing: it's everything. Everyone's accountable for it. You can't point you finger at one thing when not a lot is working."


Former Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, traded from the Jaguars to the Minnesota Vikings this past offseason and traded by Minnesota to the Ravens during the season, registered two sacks Sunday. Ngakoue, a Pro Bowl selection for the Jaguars following the 2017 season, forced a fumble with one of the sacks and also had a quarterback hurry. "I was talking to Yan during the game," Minshew said. "He's so competitive, as am I. I really tried to tune him out because he chirps a little bit, but I just know that's how Yan is. It was really good to be able to catch up with him after the game. [He's] a guy that I have a ton of respect for, one of the great competitors in our league, a really good player."


With punter Logan Cooke out with a late-week illness, kicker Aldrick Rosas handled putting duties in addition to his kicking duties Sunday. Rosas, who converted both of his extra points Sunday, punted three times for 36.7 yards. He fumbled a fourth quarter snap but recovered the ball and managed a 32-yard punt under duress. "Obviously, we always had a plan that Aldrick would take over those duties [if Cooke were unavailable],'' Marrone said. "Then the analytics of how you prepare and how you approach the game change a little bit. There is obviously change."


Marrone: "I talked to the players [after the game] about playing our last home game [against the Bears Sunday] and really trying to put this game behind us quickly and move forward, meaning we're going to try to go on to Chicago. This team has been going through a lot. They've been trying hard. We understand that. I know they're professionals. The greatest gift we can all give to each other is the gift of winning a football game."

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