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Open Locker Room: Missing the finishing touch


JACKSONVILLE – New week, familiar story.

And to hear to Jaguars offensive players tell it on Sunday, that story had less to do with rookie quarterback Blake Bortles' growing pains and more with a simple, recurring theme:

The offense needs to finish, plain and simple.

"You watched the game," Jaguars running back Denard Robinson said following the Jaguars' 27-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins at EverBank Field Sunday afternoon. "You know when we're in the red zone, we have to score. We have to put points up.

"At the end of the day, we have to take our hats off to the Dolphins. They did play a great game, and they capitalized on our mistakes, so that goes off to them. But we have to finish – finish."

Head Coach Gus Bradley said the Jaguars had "too many missed opportunities" offensively.

"It's these little things," Bradley said. "That's the difference. That's what's going to keep us where we're at, (and from) where we want to go."

Bortles on Sunday struggled for a second consecutive week, completing 18 of 34 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown while throwing two interceptions and losing a key fumble late in the first half.

Still, in the locker room Sunday veteran offensive players talked not of Bortles' two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, but of little mistakes that ended too many red-zone opportunities.

"I feel like I'm a broken record, but it goes back to the little details," veteran left guard Zane Beadles said. "I don't know what our stats were, but in the first half we were moving the ball and didn't have a lot of points to show for it.

"The way I feel now, I'm sure after watching the film tomorrow it's going to be the little details."

Robinson rushed for 108 yards on 18 carries – his second consecutive game with more than 100 yards rushing – and the Jaguars' defense was dominant at times, particularly early. The Jaguars had outgained the Dolphins 219-56 in the first half and 11 first downs to three for Miami.

The Jaguars trailed 10-3 at halftime in part because Dolphins safety Louis Delmas returned an interception 81 yards for a touchdown, but also because the Jaguars scored just one field goal on five drives inside Dolphins territory.

The Jaguars reached the Dolphins 30, 38, 28, 12 and 37 on their first five possessions, drives that ended with a blocked field goal, punt, interception, field goal and a fumble.

"At the end of the day, we have to finish," Robinson said. "We have to show people what we're capable of and do what we're supposed to do. I know we're a young team, but at the end of the day, it's still football. We have to finish."


Ryan Davis, defensive end, Jaguars

The Jaguars' defense had another impressive day despite the score.

Defensive end Ryan Davis was far from the only reason but he was a big one. The second-year defensive end, playing the backup Leo role with Andre Branch out with a groin injury, registered two sacks for a defense that didn't allow a first down until 3:47 remained in the first half.

Davis now has four sacks this season. The Jaguars' defense had three sacks Sunday, bringing their total for eight games to 25.


Offense:On a day on which the Jaguars' defense dominated at time, big plays for the offense were too few, but Robinson's 41-yard run on a fake reverse gave the Jaguars an early first down at the Dolphins 45. It was the longest run from scrimmage for the Jaguars this season.

Defense:This could have been either of Davis' sacks, or any number of four batted passes by the team at the line of scrimmage. A huge play came late in the first quarter when defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks sacked Ryan Tannehill for a seven-yard loss that helped the Jaguars force a second consecutive three-and-out series to start the game.

Special teams:The Jaguars' special teams struggled early, and two plays in particular hurt. One was when defensive end Olivier Vernon blocked a 48-yard field goal by Josh Scobee on the game's first series. The second came when defensive tackle Abry Jones held on Scobee's second attempt, negating a 46-yard field goal and forcing a punt.


"He's a pro. He's the kind of guy who's going to brush it off and make a play."

--- Robinson on quarterback Bortles' two interceptions returned for touchdowns Sunday


1.Bradley: "I challenged the whole team. I said, 'We all can look and find out what we did wrong and first point the finger at ourselves.' I'll take responsibility on what took place here and we have to come back and practice and truly attack these things. We can't continue in this fashion."…

2.Bradley:  "I thought the defense came out really well. … The defense came out and we wanted to get more opportunities for the offense. I can't fault how the defense played but I'm sure we will find some things we need to get better at. The way they attacked it and those stats right there are pretty impressive." …

3.Wide receiver Allen Robinson: "We've got a lot to look forward to. It's just a lot of small things we have to clean up."..

4.Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks: "We can still (put pressure on ourselves defensively). We didn't get turnovers, we didn't get the ball. We've got to give our offense opportunities to score by giving them a short field, so no matter what happened on the other side of the ball, we've got to continue to go out and get stops."…

5.Davis: "We don't want to point fingers. This is a team sport, eleven on eleven. There are some things that I can do better to help us get in a better situation. … Everybody's out there trying to get a W, so we were just on the other side of it today." …

Images from the first half of the Jaguars Week 8 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.


1.Rookie Josh Wells entered the game when starting left tackle Luke Joeckel left the game in the first half with a concussion. Wells said he felt he played OK in his first NFL action, and Beadles said of Wells, "He seemed to do pretty well. Communication was good, and we were on the same page for them most part. I think there was one breakdown, but he did very well for the circumstances." …

2.The blocked field goal in the first quarter marked the third field goal the Jaguars have had blocked this season. "That's concerning," Bradley said. "When I saw it, it looked like they came through the 'C' gap outside. The next time we had a holding call by the individual, so it's a challenge we have to look at it and get it cleaned up." …

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Joeckel's concussion was the lone significant injury for the Jaguars reported after Sunday's game. He will be evaluated with an update expected Monday.


The Jaguars will visit the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Second half images from the Jaguars Week 8 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

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