GLENDALE, Ariz. – Doug Marrone pointed at himself.
"At the end of the game, I've got to do a better job," the Jaguars' head coach said in the wake of a 27-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Marrone spoke specifically of the Jaguars' final offensive series:
The Jaguars took possession at their 10-yard line with 1:14 remaining. The clock ran to :37 after a two-yard run by running back T.J. Yeldon, then wide receiver Marqise Lee dropped a pass on a second-down crossing route that stopped the clock with :33 remaining. The Cardinals called their final timeout after a five-yard third-down run by running back Leonard Fournette.
Marrone said he should have run on second down, which would have allowed the Jaguars to run out the clock with possession. Instead, they punted to the Cardinals 39 – and Arizona quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw passes of 10 and 12 yards, with Cardinals receivers getting out of bounds on each play.
Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson converted a 57-yard field goal with :01 remaining.
"I got greedy," Marrone said. "I should have ran the ball and ran the clock out and went to overtime. That's my fault."
Marrone was asked if it would have been better to throw on first down to allow more time to move into position for a game-winning field goal.
"They [the Cardinals' pass rushers] were coming after pretty good," Marrone said. "I think if I had it to do all over again, looking at it I would have just ran the clock out and went to overtime. That's my fault."
Images of the Jaguars Week 12 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.
Bortles' mobility was key to the Jaguars' offense Sunday. He avoided multiple sacks, and also led the Jaguars with 62 yards rushing on six carries – mostly on read-option plays. "That developed as the game went on," Marrone said. Bortles' 17-yard touchdown run tied the game 24-24 in the fourth quarter after his one-yard third-quarter touchdown run pulled the Jaguars to within16-10. "It wasn't a big part of the plan, but after seeing how they were playing early on, it became a big part of our run game," Bortles said. Bortles, who accounted for 62 of the Jaguars' 91 rushing yards, also took multiple hits in addition to being sacked three times. "He got hit pretty good," Marrone said. "I've never questioned his toughness. That's probably one of his greatest qualities, is how tough he is back there. He took some shots."
Defensive end Calais Cambell's 10-yard fourth-quarter fumble return gave the Jaguars a 17-16 lead. Though the play had a storybook feel with Campbell played his first NFL nine seasons in Arizona, Campbell said "I didn't want it to be about me. I wanted to get the win. After Thanksgiving, every game's going to be tough. Everybody's fighting to get to the playoffs. I knew this was going to be this was going to be a hard-fought battle. It was going to be tough to win. … I didn't feel I played my best game today. Who knows why? We'll grade the tape and try to move on."
Campbell talked afterward of the Jaguars' defense missing a few plays by inches. One such play came on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to wide receiver Jaron Brown. It was the first touchdown reception by a wide receiver against the Jaguars' defense since Week 1, and Campbell narrowly missed knocking the ball from Gabbert from behind as he threw. "I thought I had him," Campbell said. "I wish I had left my feet. I thought I had it without leaving my feet. I swung short and that really hurts."
Jaguars defenders praised for Gabbert's mobility Sunday. Gabbert, who played for the Jaguars from 2011-2013 after being selected No. 10 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, completed 22 of 38 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. "The difference in the game was his mobility," Campbell said. "He made some plays with his legs, making guys miss and throwing the ball well on the [run]."
Bortles on a fourth-quarter interception by safety Tyrann Mathieu on 3rd-and-6 from the Cardinals 38. "I never saw him. He made a good play. He's a good player. He does stuff like that all the time. We'd like to have it back – just throw it away, and maybe have a chance to kick a field goal. You kind of have to tip your cap to him." The Jaguars stopped the Cardinals on the ensuing drive, but a punt by Andy Lee forced the Jaguars to start their final drive on the 10-yard line.
"It comes back to me. I've got to do a better job getting these guys ready to go, coming out and playing. If it doesn't start with me, who does it start with? And we weren't ready. When a team's not ready, the onus falls on me. We fought back. That's the one thing, but it goes back to me. I've got to get this team ready to play at the beginning, and I've got to do a better job at the end of the game in game management."
"We fought to the end. We showed our grit. We kept working. It didn't end our way. We'll go back, watch this film and fix what we can control. When we see that situation again, we're going to win it."
--Jaguars DT Malik Jackson
"Nobody had this in mind. It's definitely shocking. It's not the way we wanted to come out and play, but there are going to be games like that – where you're not going to able to do certain things and you have to find ways to win. You have to find ways to win."
--Bortles on the Jaguars' offense