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The Day After I: Second-half improvement a key


JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley's not sure why it's happening, exactly.

But the Jaguars' head coach said whatever's going on in second halves needs to get fixed. And as far as he's concerned, that fixing starts with him.

"I look at it and say, 'I need to take responsibility for some of this,'" Bradley said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 27-13 loss to the Houston Texans at EverBank Field. "If we didn't come out in the second half and play like we're capable of playing, then I have to take responsibility for some of that as well.

"I need to do a better job getting our guys ready to go and realizing the importance of capturing this and continuing that it is a full sixty-minute game."

Bradley, speaking at his weekly next-day press conference at EverBank Field, said the team overall played well in the first half Sunday. The Jaguars (2-11) led at halftime, 13-10, and had outgained the Texans 189-124.

The Texans (7-6) outscored the Jaguars, 17-0, after that, outgaining them 114-4 in the third quarter. Houston dominated that period with a 17-play, 84-yard drive that ended with a one-yard run by Alfred  Blue, and Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles threw his only interception on the ensuing series.

Bradley said his biggest concern from Sunday's game was the failure to extend a three-point halftime lead with the Jaguars having possession to start the second half.

"Everything says, 'OK, we're capturing momentum,'" Bradley said. "It could have been maybe a little bigger lead (at halftime), and then in the second half we missed some opportunities."

The Jaguars produced minus-one yards on the first three series of the second half, and trailed 24-13 when they got possession a fourth time.

"Everything just switched in the second half," Bradley said.

Bradley said he perhaps needs to place more emphasis on the urgency of the situation at halftime.

"In my mind, it was set up: 13-10 … we get the ball in the second half," Bradley said. "If we go score, then it's 20-10 and it feels like the game could have been different. In my mind it could have been different. Maybe they would have had to throw the ball more and now maybe we can get our (pass) rush going.

"I think that's what's maybe is the most frustrating, that we didn't capture that opportunity."

The Texans finished with a 32:29-27:31 time-of-possession advantage after the Jaguars had held 18:20-11:40 edge in that area in the first half.

"The time of possession was what the big part of it was," Bradley said. "It flipped in the second half, and we missed the opportunity."

The Jaguars twice in the last three games have been competitive in the first half against a contending team before losing by double digits. They trailed the AFC South-leading Colts in Indianapolis 6-3 on November 23 before losing, 23-3.

"It felt a little like Indy," Bradley said of Sunday's loss. "It (the Colts game) was 6-3, so, 'Now let's go out in the second half and let's take advantage of this,' and we didn't do it. This game is 13-10 we're up. 'Let's go out in the second half and take advantage of it,' and we didn't do it.

"We just have to take a look at it in how we talk as a team or how we address things or how we approach it in the second half."

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