Their best wasn't quite enough.
That was the story for the Jaguars Sunday – just as it was their story a week ago. That's two difficult losses in seven days, so it was unsurprising that emotions were high in the aftermath of their 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday.
Head Coach Doug Marrone was particularly emotional when asked about frustration afterward. He was transparent and candid and made clear how much the loss hurt – and how much the fortunes of this team matter to him. He also used a word we can't repeat, and you know what?
That's understandable. Perfectly.
Losing's hard, especially when you give everything you have to win.
The Jaguars checked many boxes Sunday in terms of doing what they needed to do to win. They were physical. They ran well. They forced two turnovers and got points off both of those turnovers. They held three different leads and looked in control of the game as often as not.
But for the eighth consecutive game, they didn't win. And for a second consecutive game, they played well enough for much of the game to win.
So, was it understandable that emotions were high in Green Bay late Sunday? Perfectly.
Let's get to it …
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Hi, John. Marrone's post-game presser was revealing. Lots of respect for the man.
Nalen from Belle Forche, SD
Phew. Dodged a bullet there. But in all seriousness the team does still play hard and together. It's nice not to see the tantrums and theatrics.
Marrone has liked the makeup of this team from the start of training camp. While he has been reluctant to praise players during an eight-game losing streak, he has been consistent in saying that the team plays hard and continues to work. It has shown that every week. It showed it as clearly as I can remember on Sunday.
Zac from Austin, tejas
Hold me, King. I'm scared.
This was the much-ballyhooed, never-overlooked, oft-disappointing First Email of the Game. Zac presumably was scared because he was not accustomed to the lead the Jaguars held at the time. I was not near Zac. I did not hold Zac. I would not have held Zac had I been near him. The Jaguars did not hold that early lead.
Jim from Jagsonville
Back in '96 we won seven in a row. Let's go Jaguars! Super Bowl or bust!
This was the far-less-ballyhooed Email Just Before the Game Began. He's adorable, that Jim fella.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
I like what I see from a bunch of our young guys.
An overlooked storyline much of this season has been the play of multiple young Jaguars players. A lot of rookies haven't been consistent, but rookies usually aren't consistent. The Jaguars overall have a promising group of young players. They must find a quarterback to bring the whole package together.
Andrew from Matton
That was fun. We were competitive. After the Jets go on their three-game winning streak we'll be happy it ended like this. Duuuvaal!
Eye on the prize, I suppose.
Michael from Middleburg, FL
I am so sick and tired of officials trying to and controlling games
I guess the alternative would be officials letting visible penalties go. Not being argumentative, and not saying they didn't miss calls Sunday, but officials are never going to make everyone happy.
Unhipcat from Carslbad, CA
Hi, Zone. That was about the best outcome a Jag fan could have hoped for.
Biff from Jacksonville
Luton to Cole. 17 to 17. That throw, John. THAT THROW! Is that what love looks like?
You're referencing rookie quarterback Jake Luton's zipped touchdown pass to Keelan Cole in the third quarter Sunday. It was impressive and indeed … lovable.
Cliff from Everywhere with a Helicopter
So, whether a defender running off the field, having no impact on the play, made it off before the snap is reviewable, but an offense exceeding the play clock by three seconds isn't? OK, NFL.
You're referencing the Packers being able to successfully challenge whether the Jaguars had 12 men on the field Sunday midway through the second quarter. Yes, that is reviewable because 12 men on the field usually gives a team a competitive advantage and is easily reviewable. You are still understandably angry that a delay-of-game penalty that should have been called on the Houston Texans last week wasn't called – and wasn't reviewable. And yeah … I get the anger.
Mark from Basildom, UK
Dear John, I'm mightily impressed with the hustle of the defense, but I'm concerned with Jake Luton's accuracy. Can it be put down to nerves, inexperience or the conditions or has he always had accuracy issues in the past?
Luton wasn't as impressive early Sunday as he was late. I wouldn't attribute it to nerves or inexperience. I would lean toward the windy conditions at Lambeau Field Sunday until proven otherwise. They didn't bother Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as much as they did Luton, but Rodgers as a career's worth of experience in the conditions. Luton does not.
Mark from Kansas City, MO
They tried hard again today. Same result, though.
Thanks for that, Mark.