NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If this was closer, Gus Bradley said that didn't matter much.
The Jaguars on Sunday played a game they had a chance to win, losing 16-14 to the Tennessee Titans in a game decided when kicker Josh Scobee's 55-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining was blocked by Titans nose tackle Sammie Hill.
The Jaguars had chances. There were opportunities to win.
It was also the closest game of the 2014 regular season for the Jaguars, who slipped to 0-6 this season with the loss and who now have lost their last nine regular-season games.
Close didn't matter much to Bradley in the game's aftermath. What mattered to the second-year head coach was the Jaguars made too many mistakes, and didn't play as well as they needed.
"I just felt like it was sloppy," he said. "We had sloppy tackling. We had some opportunities to make some big plays. That's the challenge. We had great courage, great spirit, great attention to it and want to … but still not enough guys making plays at critical times."
Running back Jordan Todman had a long pass from Blake Bortles go off his hands in the third quarter. It was a play that would have given the Jaguars at least a first down deep in Titans territory. It was a difficult play, but it was an opportunity.
"It's one you have to make," Todman said. "It's never easy, but it's one I feel I should have had."
The Jaguars had those kinds of plays throughout a second half in which they let a 10-7 halftime deficit turn into a 16-7 late-game deficit when Titans kicker Ryan Succop converted field goals of 21 and 42 yards.
The Jaguars were hurt by poor field position much of the game, never starting a drive beyond their 20, and a fumble by wide receiver Cecil Shorts III at the Tennessee 10 with just under 5:00 remaining appeared to end the Jaguars' chances.
But Bortles passed 20 yards to Clay Harbor with :37 remaining to cut the lead to two, 16-14, and linebacker LaRoy Reynolds recovered the ensuing onside kick.
An eight-yard pass from Bortles to rookie receiver Allen Hurns set up a 55-yard field goal attempt, but Hill appeared to get penetration from Scobee's left and deflected the kick.
"A lot of little things came up today – too many little things that ended up affecting us," Bradley said. "That's what we have to learn as a team. Those things will come back and they pile up. We'll learn from it. We just have to continue to grow."
Bradley said he couldn't tell from the sideline if Scobee's kick was low, and also blamed himself for the Jaguars not having a timeout in that situation that would have allowed the offense to run one more play. Bradley had used the Jaguars' final timeout on an unsuccessful challenge earlier in the fourth quarter.
"That's on me," Bradley said. "It would have been nice to have a timeout there."
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Clay Harbor, tight end, Jaguars
The five-year veteran has been productive since returning from a training camp calf injury, and he was productive again Sunday.
Harbor not only caught a 59-yard pass that set up a touchdown on the game's first possession, he also caught a 20-yard touchdown pass that put the Jaguars within two points late, 16-14.
Harbor finished the game with three receptions for 91 yards.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense:The Jaguars struggled offensively at times Sunday, but were efficient early and late. That was particularly true on a game-opening 80-yard touchdown drive that featured a 59-yard pass from Bortles to Harbor. The play went to the Titans 7 and set up a 1-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Storm Johnson. …
Defense:Defensive tackle Ziggy Hood on Sunday registered his first sack since joining the Jaguars as an unrestricted offseason free agent. The play came on 3rd-and-3 from the Jaguars 3 and forced the Titans to settle for an early field goal. The field goal kept the Jaguars' lead, 7-3.
Special teams: This came at the end of the game. With the Jaguars trailing 16-14 and suddenly in the game after a 20-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to Harbor, Jaguars second-year linebacker LaRoy Reynolds recovered an onside kick at the Jaguars 42. The play allowed Jacksonville to get in range for a 55-yard game-winning field-goal attempt Scobee.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"Definitely, we're frustrated. You definitely want to come into a game and capitalize when you feel you're prepared. You're frustrated for now, but frustration doesn't do anything for you. You have to let it out. It's normal, but we have to go back to work and improve."
--- Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien
1.Todman: "We all strive to be perfect and I wish we all were. Mistakes will happen and we try to minimize them the best we can. When they do happen, you have to make up for them or let it go so you can have a positive mindset."
2.Bortles: "That (difficult field position) is part of it. It's football. What's expected of you is to put up points no matter where you get the ball. That's what we have to do. We have to continue to work on that. There are a lot of little things we didn't do, a lot of things we left out there. We have to continue to work. We have to continue to try to do better."
3.Bortles: "We have to be able to sustain. We have to stay consistent. We can't just go to sleep and fall apart."
LOOKING ON . . .
1.Johnson made his first NFL start. He scored the game's first touchdown, but overall, the Jaguars continued to struggle to establish the running game. He finished with 21 yards on 10 carries and the Jaguars rushed for 82 yards on 23 carries. Toby Gerhart, the Jaguars' starting running back in the first five games of the season, was inactive Sunday. …
2.The 59-yard pass from Bortles to Harbor on the first drive of the game not only set up the Jaguars' first touchdown, it marked the longest reception of Harbor's career and the second pass of more than 50 yards for Bortles. When Johnson capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown, it was the second consecutive week the Jaguars had scored on their opening drive. …
3.Shorts and Allen Robinson started at wide receiver, with Shorts leading the Jaguars with 10 receptions for 103 yards. …
4.Cornerback Demetrius McCray started in place of Dwayne Gratz. Gratz played one series late in the first half, but McCray – a second-year veteran who also started against Pittsburgh last week – played the majority of the reps at the spot. …
First half images of the Jaguars Week 6 Divisional matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars sustained no initially reported significant injuries. Linebacker Geno Hayes was evaluated for a concussion, but was cleared and returned.
The Jaguars will play host to the Cleveland Browns at EverBank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 1 p.m.
Images from the second half of the Jaguars matchup with the Tennessee Titans.