Doug Marrone was excited about his Jacksonville Jaguars winning. He gave the game ball to the city and to the fans — a home playoff victory for the first time in 18 years. He was downright giddy when he spoke about the defense.
But the offense, and specifically the run game? Well, that’s a different story.
Shortly after defeating the Buffalo Bills, he was asked about the offense and the lack of production that led to the defense, once again, carrying this team to victory. Marrone did not mince words after the game:
“We never really got into a rhythm and we weren’t able to get anything on third downs, so I’d be a fool to sit here and say I’m not concerned. I know what happened, but I’m just saying obviously if you want to continue to keep playing you are going to have to do a better job.”
“We didn’t convert on third down. I don’t think we did a good enough job on first or second down running the football. I think those are the things that come to my mind first. I thought we were going to do a better job running the football.”
It was a strange day for Blake Bortles and the offense. The wind looked to be a factor on passes throughout the day, especially the second quarter. Bortles finished 12-of-23 passing for 87 yards and one touchdown. No quarterback had won a playoff game while passing for fewer than 100 yards since Joe Flacco in 2010.
But Bortles also rushed for 88 yards on 10 carries to contribute to the 155 rushing yards the Jaguars had on the day.
The offense looked off and played out of rhythm and it seemed like Bortles knew it from early on in the game — which is why he was more willing to take off and run than in weeks prior. Bortles said as much after the game.
“I said earlier I kind of felt like last week I didn’t run a whole lot. I don’t think I ran at all so it felt like we lost and got beat with emptying all our bullets, so I wanted to make sure that whatever happened today, if we were going to get beat or if something bad was going to happen, it was going to be with us going down swinging, using every option that we could. I think the wind was a factor a little bit going one way but I thought we did a good job up front and they did a good job of getting back and getting under routes, so it kind of allowed me to run a little bit.”
Whatever the problem, it will need to get fixed before this team goes north to play the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend. The offense will likely need more than 10 points to win and that Steelers defense is a much better unit than the one they faced yesterday.