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Open Locker Room: Missed opportunities

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INDIANAPOLIS – Gus Bradley saw both sides.

Bradley, the Jaguars' second-year head coach, said shortly after a one-sided loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday that there were indeed some good things. That was true on defense, and it was particularly true during an active, inspired first half.

The second half was a different story.

And it was a dramatically different story throughout the game on offense with the Jaguars struggling in that area throughout a 23-3 loss to the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"Offensively, not as pleased," Bradley said.

The Jaguars, who sacked Colts quarterback Andrew Luck five times in the first half Sunday, produced just 194 yards offense for the game. Trailing 6-3 entering the second half, the offense produced minus-12 yards in the third quarter. Bradley's particular focus offensively, though, was a first half when the defense's pressure produced three turnovers.

One of those turnovers – a fumble recovery by defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks – gave the Jaguars possession at the 12. The Jaguars settled for kicker Josh Scobee's 28-yard field goal. Earlier in the quarter the Jaguars had 1st-and-10 at the Colts 46 after linebacker Telvin Smith recovered a fumble that was forced by end Chris Clemons' sack of Luck.

That possession ended on the second play when rookie quarterback Blake Bortles threw an interception that cornerback Vontae Davis returned to the Jaguars 21.

Turnovers had been an emphasis, with the Jaguars having a minus-11 takeaway-giveaway ratio entering the game.

"In the previous couple of weeks, we had not gotten turnovers and good field position," Bradley said. "That's what we felt like we needed offensively to get some points. We had some and we didn't take advantage of it. That part's frustrating."

Bradley said with the Colts ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total offense and time of possession, the Jaguars entered the game wanting to establish the run offensively. They rushed for just 80 yards on 23 carries, and with Bortles completing 15 of 27 passes for 146 yards, the Jaguars converted three of 12 third-down situations.

"They did a nice job," Bradley said of the Colts. "They played tight coverage, put an eighth defender in the box and played a lot of single safety (in the) middle. They got some pressure, so we have to take a look at it offensively.

"It's frustrating for the team that we didn't take advantage of those opportunities, so we just have to take a look at it."

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PLAYER OF THE GAME

Chris Clemons, defensive end, Jaguars

The veteran defensive end wasn't just good in the first half; he was dominant.

Clemons, acquired as a free agent by the Jaguars in the offseason after his release from Seattle, led a spirited first half for the defense, registering three sacks in the first quarter. One of those sacks forced a fumble that resulted in a key takeaway for the Jaguars.

The first was recovered by Smith, and though it gave the Jaguars a first down at the Colts 46, an interception by Davis gave the Colts possession at the Jaguars 21.

Clemons' second sack ended that threat and forced the Colts to settle for a field goal by Adam Vinatieri, keeping  the Jaguars very much in the game in the first quarter with the Colts leading, 3-0.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense:Highlights were few for the Jaguars offensively Sunday. Running back Toby Gerhart had a 23-yard run in the first half, but the Jaguars' biggest offensive play came when rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee turned a pass from Bortles over the middle into a 37-yard catch-and-run gain to the Colts 1 in the fourth quarter.

Defense:This could be pretty much anything from the first half. Clemons had a monster first quarter, but the biggest play came when Smith sacked Luck and forced a fumble that Marks recovered at the Colts 12-yard line in the first quarter.

Special teams:Scobee's 28-yard field goal in the first quarter tied the game 3-3. An argument could be made against this being a highlight, with the kick being partially blocked before it fluttered through the uprights.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

"The defense did a hell of a job. They did a hell of a job forcing turnovers and putting us in situations where we were in their territory. We had five sacks and six balls on the ground, three turnovers. Offense has to find a way. We have to find a way. We'll see what happens."

--- Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III

NOTABLE

  1. As expected, Geno Hayes became the Jaguars' fourth starting Otto linebacker Sunday when he moved from the weakside to start. Smith started at weakside linebacker. J.T. Thomas started at middle linebacker. Hayes' move to the Otto came in the wake of the team releasing Otto linebacker Dekoda Watson during the bye week. …
  1. Tight end Marcedes Lewis started for the first time since sustaining a high-ankle sprain Week 2 at Washington. He was activated from the injured reserve-designated to return list this past week and caught one pass for minus-5 yards.
  1. Brandon Linder started at right guard after missing the Jaguars' Week 10 loss to Dallas with a shoulder strain.
  1. Rookie cornerback Aaron Colvin played for the first time after spending the first 10 games of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. He had been recovering and rehabilitating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained at the Senior Bowl in January. "It (the knee) felt pretty good," Colvin said. "I have a lot of things I can probably get better at. I just have to get back to work Monday and try to correct them."

QUOTABLE

  1. Offensive tackle Luke Joeckel: "It was very frustrating. We didn't come out firing and we didn't get things moving. The Colts played a good game defensively against us and you have to give them credit, but we didn't put things together and we weren't detail-oriented enough and we just weren't tight enough."
  1. Joeckel: "Everyone's legs are fresher this week, and you expect to play well and put everything together and – like Gus says – strive for victory. We didn't do that."
  1. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III: "Blake is the same Blake who threw for 300 yards (earlier this season). You're going to get the same thing from him every week attitude-wise. He's not a guy to get down and show frustration. He's doing a good job and that's something you want in a quarterback. You don't want him to get too high or too down. It's rough times right now and he's showing poise and competing. That's something you want to see from your franchise guy."
  1. Shorts: "It comes down to execution. They didn't run anything from a coverage standpoint that we didn't expect."
  1. Telvin Smith: "I felt real good, but I can't get satisfied having a great first half and an OK second half. That's something I'm definitely going to work on in practice, going in and coming out after a break and trying to turn the intensity up. I definitely had a good first half, but you can't be satisfied with it."

INJURY UPDATE

The Jaguars reported no significant in-game injuries Sunday.

Second half images from the Jaguars Week 12 loss at the Indianapolis Colts.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Jaguars will play host to the New York Giants at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

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