Doug Marrone: “Risk and reward” why Jaguars ran out clock in first half

AP

The Jaguars had a four-point lead, two timeouts, 55 seconds on the clock and were in need of only 39 yards for a 54-yard field goal attempt. So what did Jacksonville do? It took a knee twice and headed to the locker room.

Later in the NFC Championship Game, the Eagles drove 60 yards and kicked a field goal on the final play of the first half after getting the ball with 29 seconds remaining.

Even after losing 24-20, Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone defended his decision.

“I thought for what they do coverage-wise and what we had to do, and we had the lead and they had just scored,” Marrone said Monday, via quotes distributed by the team. “I just didn’t want to put ourselves in a position [for something negative]. I wanted to get in leading at halftime. I didn’t think it was a great situation that we had been great at during the year. I thought the risk and reward for us at that moment in time was let’s go in and make our adjustments. Let’s get ourselves going, and let’s take this lead into halftime. That is exactly how I thought. Right or wrong.”

According to ESPN Stats and Info, it marked the first time this season that a team opted to kneel with 55 seconds remaining in the first half while holding two timeouts.

The Jaguars did receive the second-half kickoff, and Josh Lambo kicked a 54-yard field goal to up the team’s lead to 17-10. But three points before the half would have come in handy on their final possession of the game when they reached the New England 43 and turned it over on downs.

Needing a field goal instead of a touchdown to win would have changed the play-calling and decision-making.

38 responses to “Doug Marrone: “Risk and reward” why Jaguars ran out clock in first half

  1. As a Jaguar fan, this is really disappointing to me. Based on what Marrone said, you can’t bring Bortles back. How can you pay a guy 19M who you don’t trust to get your 39 yards in 55 seconds with 2 timeouts?

  2. When you play not to lose, you lose. Disgusting how many NFL head coaches act that way. These guys are coaching one of the toughest sports in the world, with some of the toughest athletes in the world, yet the coaches get scared something might go wrong. It’s baffling to me.

  3. robigd says:
    January 22, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    As a Jaguar fan, this is really disappointing to me. Based on what Marrone said, you can’t bring Bortles back. How can you pay a guy 19M who you don’t trust to get your 39 yards in 55 seconds with 2 timeouts?

    ——-
    well said. if it wasn’t for the amount of money then i would say you would def bring him back to see if this years success leads to even more improvement. given the qb supply out there i’d suggest bringing him back AND drafting a replacement. I’m not sure how feasible it is but getting Eli seems like a risk worth taking.

  4. Marrone’s decision set the tone for the second half and the rest of the game. He was telling his team, “Look, I don’t trust Bortles.” He was playing NOT TO LOSE, instead of playing TO WIN. As it turned out, A HUGE MISTAKE! That plus not realizing that when the Pats sacked Bortles with 2:23 left and then DECLINED the penalty that the clock would start up and his team punted when they could’ve let the clock go down to the two minute warning….poor time management. And Bortles failure to hike the ball before a delay of game penalty when he went to the line with 15 seconds left on the play clock (you can see the TE pointing to the clock as it winds down) another poor management of time by the Jags. Mistakes the Pats don’t make, but take advantage of.

  5. maddmatter5 says:
    January 22, 2018 at 4:45 pm
    When you play not to lose, you lose. Disgusting how many NFL head coaches act that way. These guys are coaching one of the toughest sports in the world, with some of the toughest athletes in the world, yet the coaches get scared something might go wrong. It’s baffling to me.

    ———————————

    It’s all good saying that in hindsight, but remember, the Falcons played to win and put the game to bed last year, and all anybody could say was how they should have played more conservatively and ran out the clock. Coaches can’t win.

  6. He may as well have come out and said “Bortles is not my guy” because if he was his guy, he would have trusted him enough with 55 seconds on the clock to at least get his team in field goal position.

    BTW – I’m not faulting Marrone here. I’m just stating the obvious fact that he doesn’t fully trust his QB, nor has Bortles fully earned that trust. He had a good first half, but we all saw what happened once the Pats started bringing the heat.

  7. Damned if you do – damned if you don’t but different situation. When you only need a FG to clinch with 3 minutes left you don’t drop 10 yards back to pass.

    “It’s all good saying that in hindsight, but remember, the Falcons played to win and put the game to bed last year, and all anybody could say was how they should have played more conservatively and ran out the clock. Coaches can’t win.”

  8. Dam0wned says:
    January 22, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    It’s all good saying that in hindsight, but remember, the Falcons played to win and put the game to bed last year, and all anybody could say was how they should have played more conservatively and ran out the clock. Coaches can’t win.
    ————

    Can’t speak for others, but I questioned that decision immediately. At least run the ball once to see if you can get lucky.

    I think the main problem for NFL head coaches is the lack of situational awareness/clock management type of issues. They have assistants for everything, but no one has a clock/situational manager yet? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  9. Didn’t Bortles throw like 3 or 4 critical like inside of 2 minute picks this year? So exactly why are people criticizing him for this?

    The answer like always is that Belichick adjusted on the fly to an offense that was handing his defense their lunch early and shut them down from the middle of the second quarter onward just like always. Wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last.

  10. So John Harbaugh was on the Jag’s sideline? How else do you explain a team totally abandoning a game plan just so they hoped to “not lose”. Such a pity so many coaching staffs play not to lose, instead of winning. Got to hand it to the Pats. They never would take a knee, abandon the pass and play prevent zone…. and this is from a Ravens’ fan!

  11. So his halftime adjustments in the second half was to give the ball to Fournette on every first down in the second half.

  12. They have eight-in-the-box, I know what’s the solution, let’s try to run thru the middle twice. Then, let’s have our QB try to throw 9 yards and then punt. I am sure that we will win eventually…

    Doug Marrone

  13. It is so easy to be a Monday morning coach and quarterback. The guy called what he thought was the best for his team at the time and maybe other times it would have been enough, this time it was not.

    Rather than slay the guy lets give the whole Jags team and coaching staff credit for nearly pulling off a major upset.

    As a Patriots fan I had severe doubts we were going to win that game right up until Lewis got that final 1st down.

  14. My bigger complaint with the Jags was running on 1st down almost every play in the 2nd half. At least try a play action pass once in a while…

  15. “I just didn’t want to put ourselves in a position [for something negative].”

    That says it all. They have no confidence in Bortles. The only reason he didn’t throw picks yesterday was because he didn’t have to make tough throws. Most if not all of his completions were high percentage throws.

  16. [Falcons after Julio Jones catch got them in FG range] Can’t speak for others, but I questioned that decision immediately. At least run the ball once to see if you can get lucky.
    ————————————————–
    They did run the ball on 1st down. Freeman lost a yard on the play. That’s when Ryan did the 7 step drop back resulting in a sack, then holding, incomplete pass and punt.

  17. Rather than slay the guy lets give the whole Jags team and coaching staff credit

    Absolutely. They’re analyzing it to death. Until the Pats got that touchdown before the half it was looking like a potential blowout.

  18. To let the clock ran out was THE time when JAGS lost the game.I told my Facebook people that the second it happened.

  19. JAGS’D gave up on harassing ole BWady in the 2nd half. Very EARLY in the 2nd half. JAGS didn’t understand momentum either. If they did, they would have seen that Patriots scoring a TD before the half was a momentum switch.

  20. After the momentum switch before the half, a score of 3 points or more would have switched it back to the JAGS. And, to us viewers.

  21. I was so deflated by JAGS running clock out, that I almost didn’t come back to watch the last 2 quarters. I lost any confidence in the JAGS. Hey, it wasn’t my team, so, I didn’t want to agonize over them, u know. I just hated the Patriots.

  22. After Patriots scored to make it 20-17, I was relieved when one of my neighbors brought me some food and I sat outside chatting with her. I coulda sent her away, but, the visit was a relief. I didn’t want to watch the train wreck.

  23. When I got back inside the game was over and CBS went into commercials. I checked the final score. With ZERO expectation that JAGS might have won the game. Again, Atlanta on my mind. Game was 20-17. JAGS scored in the last century…

  24. I felt an overwhelming sense of WASTED emotions cheering for a team that wasn’t aware what team it was playing. What that team did to Atlanta in last SuperBowl.

  25. The post that spoke of JAGS’ lack of ‘situational awareness’ was exactly one of my points. I couldn’t understand too why the JAGS didn’t see that they had to put lots of points on the board in order to have a fair chance to beat the Patriots!!!

  26. JAGS were in the middle of the field when they failed to go on 4th and inches.They punt. They gave the ball back to Patriots. They were just content with the lead they had. They were way too cool for the circumstances. Almost lazy.

  27. I had and posted my bad vibes about the rookie referee. His first call was shaky at best. I had no confidence in his ref’s ability in such a big game. Anyway, it wasn’t my team. Oh, well.

  28. Oh yeah…Belechick has never made similar conservative decisions like that before?!?! If you believe that you don’t know JACK about the NFL. Because the Jags lost then of course it was a bad decision by Marrone….and as usual hindsight is awesome to the ignorant beholder.

  29. At least try one long pass. Perhaps draw a penalty on the Patriots ? Ha ha ha ha h ah ah ah aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!

  30. This was just one of the coaching failures of this game. How about the predictable run up the middle on EVERY first down. What about soft zone defense in the second half. The players did not lose this game. The coaches did. It was shameful. Hopefully they learn from this.

  31. I don’t believe this was a factor in the game. Nowhere near the delay of game right before that, or the senseless runs by Fournette when NE had 9 guys near the LOS. You play not to lose & you will – not only vs NE.

  32. Inexcusable. You were 3-13 last year. No matter what happened, this season would be seen as a success with no shame losing to mighty Patriots with a subpar QB. There was no reason to leave everything on the field. No reason to simply play like a wounded animal. Thats what Philly did. The only ‘risk’ to losing was turning into a chicken, and you did just that.

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