JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone left no doubt Tuesday.
"We are going to play to win, and do everything we possibly can to win this game. Period," the Jaguars' head coach said.
Marrone, speaking during a conference call, was addressing how the Jaguars (10-5) will approach their 2017 regular-season finale against the Tennessee Titans (8-7) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday.
The Jaguars (10-5), who clinched the AFC South last Sunday, can neither improve nor drop from the No. 3 seed they currently hold in the AFC. They will play host to an AFC Wild Card Playoff game January 6-7.
Teams in similar situations in the past have rested players to address injuries/wear and tear, or to avoid potential injuries.
Marrone called playing to win "an easy decision."
"That's what we've been about all year," he said. "That's what this team has been about, so for me I don't think that was a problem at all."
Marrone said he addressed the issue because he knew it would be a topic this week.
"I knew I would be asked," Marrone said. "When we go over the games [as a staff], I said, 'Hey, listen: We're going to bounce back. We're going to work our asses off this week. We're going to go out and win this game and win this quarter.' That was pretty much the conversation. There wasn't any, 'Are you sure?' There wasn't any wavering from anyone of what we wanted to do and what we wanted to accomplish this week.
"We're 100 percent all in on winning this football game."
The Jaguars clinched the AFC South Sunday despite a 44-33 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Tennessee, which has lost its last three games, must win Sunday to secure a wild-card spot.
If the Titans win and make the postseason as the No. 6 seed, they will travel to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars in the opening round of the playoffs. If the Titans win and the Baltimore Ravens lose to Cincinnati Sunday, the Ravens will visit Jacksonville in the opening round.
If the Jaguars and the Los Angeles Chargers both win Sunday, the Chargers will visit Jacksonville in the first round. If the Jaguars win and the Chargers lose, the Titans will visit the Jaguars in the first round.
Also on Tuesday:
*Marrone as he did Sunday addressed several incidents in which Jaguars players exchanged heated words on the sidelines against the 49ers. "That's happened quite a bit on really every team I've been on, and it has happened this year," Marrone said. "These things happen in practice at times. They happen in meetings. They happen. I know the players. I know how they are. I know how emotional they are. I know when they can work it out themselves and if they can't, that's when I would get involved." …
*Marrone also reiterated what he said after the 49ers loss – that he is more concerned with incidents on the field during plays. The Jaguars received three 15-yard penalties for penalties after the play on Sunday, including two on one critical drive that spanned the third and quarters. "I just don't want that stuff on the field where it affects the team," Marrone said. …
*Marrone said the Jaguars likely will sign wide receiver Montay Crockett from the practice squad to replace third-year veteran Jaelen Strong, who sustained a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament against San Francisco Sunday. Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson has been out with a torn ACL since Week 1, and veterans Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns also were out Sunday with ankle injuries. Lee has been out one week and Hurns has been out six.
*Marrone addressed the idea that the 49ers' offense took advantage of weaknesses in a Jaguars defense that is ranked third in the NFL in total yards and second in points allowed. The 49ers' 44 points were the most allowed by the Jaguars this season. "We know the strengths and the weaknesses of everything that we do from a defensive standpoint – same with the offense," Marrone said. "We know what we want to do. We know how teams can take it away or what we have to go to after that. Our players know that and it's just a matter of making sure that we make the plays that we need to make. I really thought that they (the 49ers) got the ball out quick, they made some good plays, they got some matchups that probably shouldn't have been that way in what we were playing. They just wound up playing out that way. We just have to do a better job overall from the standpoint of us, starting with me, making sure that they're in the best position, that we are changing things up so we're not predictable, which we work on every week. Everybody in the league does that." …