The Jaguars couldn’t slam the door on the Patriots in New England on Sunday afternoon, so their season ended in a 24-20 loss that felt especially painful after they took a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Watching that lead evaporate will likely burn for some time and one of the team’s veteran leaders said he wants something productive to come out of that burning. Defensive end Calais Campbell said he was proud of his team and that they have to use Sunday’s result as something to inspire them heading into next season.
“I told the guys to keep their head up and use this as fuel,” Campbell said in the locker room. “We are definitely going to have a lot of respect going into next year, and it’s going to be a little harder. We just have to use this as motivation to prepare for it and be prepared for next year.”
After going from 3-13 to 10-6, a division title and two playoff wins, the Jaguars won’t be sneaking up on anyone next season and coach Doug Marrone offered a reminder that success one year doesn’t guarantee anything the next year by saying “you have to start from scratch” each season during his press conference.
Campbell knows that well. He went to the Super Bowl as a rookie in 2008 and continues to look for a second chance to win a title after falling short on Sunday.