Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tired of 'Moral Victories'; Top-Tier Teams Compliment Jaguars, but What Good Is That amid 13 Losses?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tired of 'Moral Victories'; Top-Tier Teams Compliment Jaguars, but What Good Is That amid 13 Losses?

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

Following tighter-than-expected wins over the Jaguars this year, players from Green Bay, Houston and New England were complimentary of the Jaguars' effort.

It happened again after the Patriots' 23-16 win over the Jaguars on Sunday.

"They sure didn't play like a team that has only won two games," New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said.

And, frankly, the Jaguars are sick of it.

All they see during a now franchise-worst season (2-13) is blown leads, bad second halves and losses.

"Winning is why we're here and what we want to do," linebacker Russell Allen said. "There are no moral victories - we aren't in that business."

Said fullback Greg Jones: "To me, it's about wins and losses. Getting respect? If we did, we did. If we didn't, I don't care."

The players were off Monday, leaving coach Mike Mularkey to be the lone voice to discuss another Jaguars close-call - their sixth single-digit loss.

"Probably four quarters of some of our best football, but again, we came up short in a number of ways," Mularkey said. "Somehow, someway, we can't get over that hump to win those close games, which is very frustrating."

It can be argued the Jaguars' three best performances have been in losses - at Minnesota and Houston and to New England.

In the three games where they were double-digit underdogs, there were common threads. The Jaguars led early and/or late and didn't make a big play.

- Week 8 at Green Bay. The Jaguars led 3-0, but allowed a blocked punt return for a touchdown and lost 24-15.

- Week 11 at Houston. The Jaguars led 34-20 with 12:33 remaining, but were outscored 23-3 the rest of the fourth quarter/overtime.

- Sunday against New England. The Jaguars led 13-3 before the Patriots scored 20 points in a seven-point win.

Coach Mike Mularkey and his staff's final task this season is to prepare for a 5-10 Tennessee team that was beaten so badly Sunday at Green Bay (55-7), Titans owner Bud Adams turned the channel.

Mularkey's message for his team during Patriots Week was simple - show one of the NFL's elite what the Jaguars are about.

Mularkey's message for Titans Week, which starts Wednesday after the players have two days off, is more complicated - postpone any vacation thoughts. …

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