JACKSONVILLE – Consistency remained a theme.
The Jaguars on Sunday lost a fourth consecutive game, and Head Coach Doug Marrone early Monday made clear the reasons aren't a lack of opportunity, planning or effort.
No, the four-game streak is about execution.
And it's about making more plays more often at more key times.
"We're not giving games away; but we're also not going out and taking any games," Marrone said Monday afternoon, a day after a 30-14 loss to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Marrone, speaking during his weekly day-after press conference, said that was the case in several key situations against Sunday.
The Jaguars (1-4), who have allowed 30 or more points in four consecutive games, allowed the Texans 486 yards of offense. But with the game undecided late in the first half and again in the third quarter, the defense also created scoring opportunities with interceptions by cornerback Sidney Jones and safety Jarrod Wilson.
Kicker Stephen Hauschka's missed 49-yard field goal on the half's final play ended the drive after Jones' interception, leaving the Texans with a 10-7 lead. Running back James Robinson's lost fumble on 4th-and-1 from the Texans 8 ended the drive after Wilson's interception.
The Texans drove 90 yards for a 20-7 lead on the drive after Robinson's fumble and the Jaguars never cut the lead to fewer than six again.
"We're playing hard and when the opportunities come up to make something happen we didn't do that," Marrone said. "We had a couple of opportunities [Sunday] and we didn't take advantage of it. You need to do that.
"You move the ball a couple of times well and all of a sudden you stop … you can't have that. Being able to stop someone for two downs and get into a good situation then not being able to get off the field … those are the critical plays at the right time to get yourself some momentum get yourself in the win column. That's what we'll be working on."
Marrone added of the Jones and Wilson interceptions, "Those are the things you're looking for to get yourself off the field. I thought they were two really good plays. Those are the things you have do to and do it consistently. We've shown we can do it at times, but we haven't put it all together.
"You look at what we did offensively after those turnovers, and we didn't really come up with anything. You can't let that stuff go. I think we're doing enough not to give the game away but we're not doing enough to get the game in our favor."
Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo could return against the Los Angeles Chargers October 25, Marrone said Monday. "That's what we're hopeful of," Marrone said. "That would be maybe speeding it up a little bit, though – from the normal prognosis originally." Lambo was placed on injured reserve with a hip injury the day before a Week 3 loss to Miami. The team has used three kickers in the last three games: rookie Brandon Wright and veterans Aldrick Rosas and Stephen Hauschka. Wright was waived/injured following his NFL debut against Miami and Rosas was unavailable Sunday because of a groin injury. Hauschka, inactive in a Week 4 loss in Cincinnati after experiencing knee soreness the week he was signed as a free agent, missed wide from 24 yards and short from 49 Sunday.
Reserve safety Andrew Wingard likely will miss Sunday's game against Detroit after sustaining an abdominal strain against Houston. Marrone on Monday said he feels better about the potential status for Sunday of defensive end Josh Allen (knee), cornerback CJ Henderson (shoulder) and linebacker Myles Jack (ankle). All three missed Sunday after sustaining injuries in Cincinnati. "I'm optimistic about everybody else," Marrone said, referring to Henderson/Allen/Jack.
Marrone said he has no issues with the Jaguars' bye week being moved, an announcement that came from the NFL Sunday. The Jaguars' game against the Los Angeles Chargers – originally scheduled October 25 – now will be played October 18. The bye was originally scheduled October 18 and now will be October 25. The change was part of the league changing eight games to adjust for COVID-19 cases on multiple teams. "I actually like it," Marrone said. "We're going out to the West Coast and then we're coming back from the West Coast then having a bye week. Sometimes it's tough when you come back from that West Coast to get your team back and ready for the following week. I'm trying to look at more of, 'Hey, I think this helps us a little bit except for the guys we've got who are banged up.'''
Marrone on the Jaguars' 49-to-20 pass-to-run ratio Sunday: "We were trying to go push the ball [downfield via the pass]. We felt like we had some areas we could do a good job of that. At times we did and at time we didn't. I love it when you get up on a team and balance is easy. It always works out that way. It's a whole lot easier. … Maybe offensively, maybe we threw it probably a little too much. I'm not going to sit here and try to defend that. I think we're all looking for balance and we weren't able to get that in this game."