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The Day After, Part II: A stepping stone on offense


JACKSONVILLE – The statistics didn't tell the whole story.

But as Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III saw it, they at least told part of the story of Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans. And there may be some hope in that tale.

The Jaguars on Sunday lost to Tennessee, 16-14, in Nashville, Tennessee, and although the statistic that most mattered was the Jaguars' 0-6 record, there were a lot of others, too.

*First downs: 27.

*Total yards: 379.

*Third downs: 8 of 15.

Those were negated by mistakes, two in particular in the second half. But Shorts said for a young offense searching for consistency and identity, a day with production such as Sunday's can have positive benefits for the future.

"We pretty much won every category – first downs, yards, everything – except for the points, except for the win," Shorts said Monday as players gathered for next-day meetings at EverBank Field.

"It's definitely something to build off of. It's a good stepping stone, but we've got to put up some points."

The Jaguars fell short in point production for two primary reasons.

One was field position. The Jaguars started just one drive outside their own 20. That was the late-game possession that started on the Jaguars 42 after a successful onside kick and ended with a 55-yard field goal attempt by Josh Scobee blocked by Sammie Hill. The Jaguars' other 10 possessions started on or inside their 20.

"That's tough, to go 80 yards every series," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. "We've got to find a way to get better field position, at least when the drive starts."

The Jaguars had just two three-and-out possessions Sunday, and including an 80-yard, game-opening touchdown drive they had four drives of seven or more plays for more than 50 yards. The 80-yarder ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Storm Johnson, and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to tight end Clay Harbor capped a nine-play, 83-yarder late in the fourth quarter.

But two of the other extended drives ended in turnovers, with Bortles being intercepted by cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson at the Titans 16 to end a 14-play, 61-yard drive in the third quarter and Shorts fumbling at the Titans 10 to end an 11-play, 70-yard drive in the fourth quarter.

"It's stuff we have to capitalize on," Shorts said. "We can't leave big plays out there. Big plays win games."

The Jaguars also missed two potential big plays when running back Jordan Todman dropped a long pass from Bortles and Harbor stumbled coming out of his break on another long pass from Bortles. Both plays came on the drive that ended with Wilson's interception.

"As cliché as it sounds, it's just everybody doing their job on every play," Harbor said.

Harbor said the play on which he stumbled was an example of a big play that could have and should have happened.

"It should have been an easy play," Harbor said. "I did like a half-jump. That's on me. He put the ball in a perfect spot. If I don't stumble, I catch the ball and I'm out of bounds at the 10 – the interception never happens. It's little things like that. When we start cleaning stuff like that up I really think we're going to get points on these drives that we're turning the ball over on and stalling out late on.

"The points are going to come, and as an offensive unit, we have confidence."

Shorts said despite Sunday's near misses he remains confident in the offense's ability to hit big plays.

"I think they're going to start happening for us soon," he said. "We've been saying it the last couple of years, but we have to continue to work. The proof is in the pudding. If you look at the stat line before you look at the score, you would guess we won.

"We're going to take our growing pains, and that's what I believe this is, but once we get this thing going we're going to start rolling."

Also around the Jaguars Monday:

*Jaguars cornerback Aaron Colvin said he expects to begin practicing next week. The rookie from Oklahoma has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list since training camp while rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained at the Senior Bowl in January. While Colvin is eligible to begin practicing this week, the Jaguars announced Monday it likely will be at least one more week before Colvin practices. Colvin can start practicing any time in the next five weeks, and there is a three-week window from when he begins practicing window to activate him or place him on injured reserve. "I'm pretty sure it will be next week," Colvin said. "I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. I'll finally have the opportunity to go out there and compete. I was anxious to get back to doing what I love, but I had to be smart about it. I feel confident right now." …

*Bradley said six sacks by the Titans Sunday stemmed from a variety of issues, from offensive line miscues to Bortles holding the ball too long on one play. "We threw 48 attempts," he said. "To have six sacks, that's too many." …

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