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Jaguars HC Doug Marrone ‘pulling’ for three phases to come together

The Jaguars failed to play up to par on Sunday, falling 30-14 to the winless Houston Texans.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

For the third-straight week, the Jaguars were beaten by a then-winless team, and for a third-straight week it appeared the three phases of the game - offense, defense and special teams -, simply couldn’t match each other, ultimately costing the team a victory and landing the team at 1-4 after five weeks of action.

“I think you get to a point where you basically pulling, you know, I’m pulling for these guys,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said after the game on Sunday when asked about the team’s inability to play well in all three phases. “I’m pulling for these three phases to come together. We’re working on that and we talk about that. But we’re not able to do that play-in and play-out right now. We’re not able to, and it’s not like we don’t have opportunities.”

There were plenty of opportunities available for the Jaguars on Sunday. Near the end of the first half, the Jaguars entered field-goal range twice with less than one minute to go in the half thanks to an interception by veteran cornerback Sidney Jones. Twice Jaguars kicker Stephen Hauschka missed field goals that could have given the Jaguars some breathing room, tying the game at 10-all to end the half.

Marrone said following the game that the team simply hasn’t been able to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them. But, it isn’t due to a lack of effort.

“And the reason why I say that is because, just like I told the team before I came in here, I mean, the effort of how they’re playing is, I can’t, I mean, I can’t ask for more,” said Marrone. “Now we can play smarter and we can make some plays, yes, and these are the things that we’re going to have to do. And we’re going to have to go out and get ourselves a win because it stinks.”

According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, the Jaguars are the first team in NFL history to lose three consecutive games to winless teams, excluding home openers. The historical context of that notwithstanding, the Jaguars haven’t been able to get out of their own way.

“We’ve lost now four in a row. And the one thing about it is these guys work hard and they have got to learn to take advantage and we have got to learn to win some of these games and learn to get this momentum back in our favor. And these are the things that we have to do to win and we’re not doing it right now.”

Against the Texans, the Jaguars were just 1 of 2 on goal-to-go situations, 2 of 4 on red zone attempts, and committed two turnovers. With the defense playing relatively well for the majority of the game - two interceptions, holding the Texans to just a 50% conversion rate on third downs, the Jaguars’ offense couldn’t afford to make the mistakes they made on Sunday.

With the Jaguars defense forcing two turnovers on the day itself, the Jaguars were unable to take advantage, missing a field goal on the first, fumbling on the second.

The Jaguars and Marrone will continue to pull for the team to come together, able to play as a collective unit. In the meantime, they’ll take on a 1-3 Detroit Lions team at home that has been unable to overcome issues in their own right.