Jaguars now focused on playing better at home

MARK LONG (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Receiver Cecil Shorts stared at the ceiling, looked back down and then just shook his head. He couldn't recall the last time the Jacksonville Jaguars scored a touchdown at home.

And for good reason.

It's been nearly a year since the Jaguars (1-8) have found the end zone at EverBank Field - 325 days and counting to be exact.

Jacksonville's drought spans nearly four games, more than 15 quarters and 230 minutes and 26 seconds of playing time.

''Really? Damn near a year?'' Shorts said. ''We've got to change that ASAP. Jeesh. Don't tell me that no more.''

Jacksonville hopes to turn things around Sunday against Arizona (5-4), which is coming off consecutive wins.

The Jaguars snapped a 13-game losing streak last week at Tennessee, winning for the first time in nearly a year. Now, they've turned their attention toward playing better at home.

Coach Gus Bradley emphasized it in his team meeting Wednesday, but stopped short of pointing out that the Jaguars have scored just 11 points - three field goals and a safety - in three home games this season.

If there's one positive aspect, the Jaguars have increased their home scoring every game, going from two points (lost 28-2 to Kansas City) to three points (lost 37-3 to Indianapolis) to six points (lost 24-6 to San Diego).

''We definitely want to win here and play well home at home, give our fans something to cheer about,'' quarterback Chad Henne said. ''You can point to the opponents we've played at home or just not playing very well at home. We just need to have a mindset this week that we need to play well at home and try to get on a winning streak.''

Jacksonville hasn't won back-to-back games since December 2010, yet another streak of futility.

Ending that one probably will rely on getting in the end zone.

Jacksonville's last touchdown at EverBank came Dec. 23, 2012, against New England. Henne hooked up with Justin Blackmon for a 3-yard score on the game's opening possession.

The Jaguars have failed to duplicate that feat in 47 drives at home since.

''I can't pinpoint anything,'' tight end Marcedes Lewis said. ''I just feel like whatever it is that we've been doing getting ready for the week, we need to change something. You know what I mean? If on Friday you normally go out with your family, then stay your butt at home and eat in. You know what I mean? Just change something up this week and be ready to play our best game at home.''

Better starts certainly would help.

The Jaguars trailed 21-2 at halftime against the Chiefs, 20-3 at the break against the Colts and 14-3 after two quarters against the Chargers.

''Hopefully we've progressed,'' Bradley said. ''Hopefully we've gotten better since those games.''

The Jaguars have shown some improvement, especially in the red zone. Before last week's 29-27 win against the Titans, they has scored points on 11 of 20 trips inside the 20-yard line. Only five of those were touchdowns.

But they went 3 for 3 at Tennessee, getting a touchdown and two field goals.

''We play against certain teams and we've been down and haven't been able to pick that up, and gotten down even further,'' Lewis said. ''And that can't happen. Whatever it is, I don't know. We go on the road, it feels like it's us against the world. We need to have that same mentality at home.''


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