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Jaguars hope to finish season strong

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JACKSONVILLE — A year ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars were 4-9 at the 13-game mark after winning four of five games following a 0-8 start. They wound up losing their last three games to Buffalo, Tennessee and Indianapolis and finished 4-12.

So they spent some time in the offseason thinking about ways to finish stronger.

They find out starting Sunday whether they can finish better than they did a year ago now that they’re 2-11 after 13 games.

They do figure to win one of their last three games because they have a good shot when they host Tennessee next Thursday night even though they lost to the Titans at Tennessee. But they play at Baltimore Sunday and are two-touchdown underdogs against an opponent that has won its last 28 games when it is a double-digit favorite. And then they finish the season at Houston, a team they lost to 27-13 at home last Sunday.

“I know we were talking about ways in the offseason, we were talking about what can we do in training camp to take care of our guys so that at the end of the season we’re strong as a team,” coach Gus Bradley said. “That was a big conversation piece so hopefully, we’re stronger as a team going into those games.”

On the things he decided to change, Bradley said, “Remember in training camp the period of times that we practiced and how many reps they get? We cut down early and then we added more as training camp went on. The whole process, hopefully it pays dividends for us now.”

When Bradley was asked if they wore down at the end of last year, Bradley said, “That’s what we were looking at to see. Physically, were we a tired team compared to where we want to be? I think it wasn’t so much that. It was just that we felt like we wanted to be even stronger so that’s why we took a look at some of those things.”

Teams at 2-11 often pack it in for the season, but Bradley has them playing hard and hopes they will keep doing it in their last three games.

“My hope is that we go out there and compete our tails off; that we go up there with a mentality and we’re aggressive, we have no fear, we go up there in attack mindset,” Bradley said. “This game it’s going to be truly like we said a couple of games ago, a battle of wills. They want to run the ball and attack and defensively we have to have that mindset. I think that mentality where we go out there and battle every play, we need consistency.”

Another priority is to play well for 60 minutes after they have played well for only a half the last three games.

“I believe in these guys and we’re all going through this challenging time right now,” Bradley said. “But I think that’s where they look for strength. I always believe that you give people strength in time of need and that’s what we do.”


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