JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jaguars coach Doug Marrone had a clear message for his players Monday about consistency.
“That’s the most important thing,” Marrone said during a conference call with reporters. “We’ve got to go out there and put back-to-back games together right now.”
The Jaguars (2-1) have been one of the NFL’s most unpredictable teams through three weeks.
They followed a near-perfect season debut at Houston with a fully flawed home opener against Tennessee.
And then they delivered one of the most complete performances in franchise history, a 44-7 drubbing of Baltimore in London that left players and coaches almost giddy during the long flight back across the pond.
Jacksonville was balanced, efficient and turnover-free on offense, and was downright dominant on defense. The Jaguars had twice as many yards and first downs as Baltimore, and finished with three turnovers and two sacks.
Blake Bortles had one of the best games of his four-year career, completing 20 of 31 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns. Of his 11 misses, five were intentional throwaways.
“I think there was a lot of smart play on his part,” Marrone said. “He did a really good job of making the plays when we needed him to make them. I was really happy with his performance.”
Bortles was hardly alone.
Running back Leonard Fournette scored for the third consecutive week. Tight end Marcedes Lewis caught three touchdowns passes, matching his total from the previous three years. Allen Hurns solidified his standing as “Mr. London” with a TD reception for the third consecutive year at Wembley Stadium.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey didn’t allow a completion on seven passes thrown in his direction. And the defense forced a three-and-out on Baltimore’s first four possessions, intercepted Joe Flacco on the first play of the fifth drive and allowed a franchise-low 15 yards in the first half.
“Your identity is going to be defined by not what you say, it’s what your results are,” Marrone said. “Right now, we’re talking about consistency and being able to play with consistency.”
The Jaguars are above .500 after three games for the first time since 2007 and will try to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a year this week. They play at the New York Jets (1-2) on Sunday.
It will be the first time in five seasons that Jacksonville has not enjoyed a bye week following a “home game” in London.
Marrone said they arrived at the team facility around 2 a.m. Monday. He tried to sleep in his office, but fire alarm tests woke up him a few hours later.
“That didn’t work out too well for me,” Marrone said.
Players and assistants, meanwhile, headed home for several hours before they returned later for treatment, workouts and game review.
“It’s kind of like a West Coast trip, where you’re playing a Monday Night game and you get in at that time and then you have to turn around and play again,” Marrone said.
Getting back on the field will be the real test for a team that has been really good for 10 quarters and really bad for two. Marrone wants to see them build on the success in London.
“That’s a snapshot of exactly how we want to play and what we want to do in all three phases. Again, it (needs to) become consistent.”
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