Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Mourn Missed Opportunities

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Mourn Missed Opportunities

Article excerpt

The Jaguars had a four-point halftime lead but it could have -- players say it should have -- been so much more.

Then, some of the second-half mistakes may not have hurt so much. Indeed, a lower level of confidence on the part of the Tennessee Titans might have resulted in a much different final outcome.

"I'll say this: they didn't want to play in the first half," said Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell of the Titans. "You could see it in their eyes. But we kept giving them opportunities, and then we didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had, and their confidence kept rising."

Result: Titans 33, Jaguars 14. For the second time in four years, the Jaguars were tripped one step away from the Super Bowl.

The Jaguars led 14-7 on James Stewart's 33-yard run on the first play after the first half's two-minute warning. That would seem to be a satisfactory advantage going into halftime of a conference championship game, especially with as well as the Jaguars' defense was playing to that point.

But the score could have been 21-7 or even better at that point, if not for these squandered chances:

After the Titans scored to tie the game 7-7, the Jaguars moved from their own 14 to their 35. McCardell then dropped an easy pass over the middle that would have picked up a first down on a third-and-2. Although the Jags weren't in Tennessee territory at that point, they had established a smooth rhythm of Fred Taylor runs and a mix of passes to the tight ends and wide receivers, and the drive had promise until the drop.

On the Jaguars' next possession, Brunell was intercepted in the Titans' end zone by Marcus Robertson after getting a first down at the Tennessee 5. The pass was intended for Damon Jones, but Robertson switched off a double-team on Jimmy Smith at the last second to make the play. …

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