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The Jacksonville Jaguars won’t shock anyone next season.
A day after a disappointing loss to New England in the AFC championship game http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-josh-sweat-jersey , players packed up their belongings and headed into the offseason. They carried with them more hope than heartache.
The Jaguars were one of the NFL’s biggest surprises in 2017. They ended a six-year run with double-digit losses by winning the AFC South for the first time in franchise history.
They hosted a playoff game for the first time in 18 years, stunned Pittsburgh in the divisional round and had a 10-point lead on Tom Brady and the Patriots in the fourth quarter.
It was far from a fluke. With young and still-emerging talent on both sides of the ball, the Jaguars look poised to be a postseason participant for at least the next few years.
”Going forward, we know that this team is going to be a true contender and we’re going to go out there and earn it,” All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell said Monday.
Campbell was quick to point out that meeting higher expectations will only happen if they take the same approach to next season.
”You don’t get nowhere off of what you did last year,” he said. ”It’s only what have you done for me lately. I’ve been a part of a team that went to the NFC championship and the next year we missed the playoffs. It happens quite a bit. This team is definitely, I feel like, we should be able to go out there and be a great team next year, but we’re going to have to put the work in.”
Before the next phase begins Tre'Quan Smith Color Rush Jersey , the Jaguars will have to get over a stinging loss at New England.
They surely will be haunted by four plays that were as much a part of the outcome as Brady:
-The league’s best pass defense gave up a 21-gain on a third-and-18 play early in the fourth quarter. The Patriots went on to score a touchdown that cut the lead to 20-17.
-Linebacker Myles Jack stripped the ball from Dion Lewis at the end of a 20-yard gain in the third quarter. Jack picked up the fumble and started running the other way, but officials whistled the play dead. The Jaguars felt like it should have been a touchdown. Instead, the offense went three-and-out.
-With 55 seconds to play remaining in the first half and two timeouts, Jacksonville took a knee on consecutive plays instead of trying to make something happen.
”Let’s get ourselves going and let’s take this lead into halftime,” coach Doug Marrone said. ”That is exactly how I thought, right or wrong.”
-Blake Bortles was flagged for delay of game – following a timeout, no less – and negated a 12-yard completion to Marcedes Lewis on a third-and-7 play in the second quarter. Instead of moving the chains and milking the clock, the Patriots got the ball back and scored a momentum-turning touchdown heading into the locker room.
”It was just a lapse on our part,” Marrone said.
All of those contributed to Jacksonville’s collapse.
By Monday http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-thomas-rawls-jersey , players and coaches had started to recover. Soon, they will turn the page.
”Getting there and showing the world that we can play good ball and be consistent against a good team like that and not fold under pressure was big,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. ”We answered a lot of critics now. People want to give us our respect; they don’t have to. We proved a lot to ourselves, and I think we’re going to continue to build from there.”
Here are some other things to know about Jacksonville heading into the offseason:
QB DECISION: The biggest question centers on Bortles and his future . Jacksonville picked up the fifth-year option in his rookie contract, meaning he has one year remaining at $19.053 million. Bortles showed progress in 2017 and played well at times in the playoffs, but the Jaguars could decide they want to try to lure a free agent with fewer flaws to complement a dominant defense.
”I would love to be able to play here for as long as they would let me,” Bortles said. ”What they do and all the decisions that are made are kind of out of my control. I’d be thrilled to be able to stay here and play here, and hopefully that can happen.”
MOVING ON: Jacksonville is likely to part ways with receiver Allen Hurns ($7 million) and running back Chris Ivory ($6.97 million), and they could lose cornerback Aaron Colvin and linebacker Paul Posluszny to free agency.
NEW LOOK: The Jaguars are expected to unveil new uniforms in April Cheap Sam Darnold Jersey , making the two-tone helmets a collector’s edition. The black-and-gold helmets were mostly mocked the last five years.
The surging San Francisco Giants have made the NL West a little more intriguing.
Brandon Belt and Joe Panik drove in two runs each, Hunter Pence had a pinch-hit, two-run double, and the Giants completed a three-game sweep with a 9-6 victory over the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. It was San Francisco’s seventh win in eight games and their first sweep of the Diamondbacks since September of 2016. San Francisco moved into a second-place tie at 2 1/2 games behind Arizona for the first time since June 10.
A four-run fifth inning highlighted by Pence’s double off reliever Silvino Bracho gave the Giants an 8-3 lead. Cory Gearrin (1-1) got one out in the fourth inning to earn the win in relief of starter Derek Holland.
Afterward, manager Bruce Bochy praised the veteran Pence – who is primarily a bench player at present – for accepting his role.
”He is our spiritual leader. I know his role has changed and he has handled it so well. This is a little bit of a change for him and it is not easy,” Bochy said. ”He has a great attitude and just wants to help the club win.”
The Giants tagged starter Zack Godley (9-6) for seven runs on nine hits in four-plus innings, ending his four-game winning streak. But Holland didn’t make it out of the fourth, chased after loading the bases with an intentional walk with San Francisco leading 4-3.
The Diamondbacks couldn’t take advantage, as Belt raced well beyond the first base bag into shallow right field to throw out Christian Walker at first and end the inning.
”We feel like we are in a good rhythm Authentic Martin Kaut Jersey ,” Pence said. ”It’s part of baseball and we feel like we are working on all cylinders and that is definitely momentum.”
Holland allowed three runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Godley’s five walks were the second most he’s issued in a start this season.
”I couldn’t locate certain pitches and they took advantage of that,” Godley said. ”They’re swinging the bat really well right now, one through nine.”
Arizona rallied with two runs in the seventh on Paul Goldschmidt’s 18th home run of the season, and Jarrod Dyson became the eighth player in team history to record at least two hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases in a game.
The Diamondbacks brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth with two outs, but Will Smith struck out Jake Lamb for Smith’s second save.
”They kicked our butts. They came in here and beat us, straight up,” Lamb said.
WALKER IN LEFT
Walker, normally a first baseman Saquon Barkley Jersey Elite , started Sunday in left field for the first time in his 44-game major league career.
To help provide coverage for the bullpen amid a long stretch without a day off, Arizona called up Bracho from Triple-A Reno before Sunday’s game. Pitcher Jimmy Sherfy was sent back to Reno. Bracho has been recalled five times this season.
FIRST PITCH FOR FIRST PICK
Recently drafted Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton, the first overall pick in June’s NBA Draft, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s game.
Giants: 3B Pablo Sandoval was hit by a pitch in the right elbow in the third inning and left the game before the bottom of the inning. X-rays were negative and the injury was announced as a deep bruise, with Sandoval’s status day to day. … 3B Evan Longoria is about a week away from taking some swings as he works his way back from a broken left hand, Bochy said. … RHP Jeff Samardzija’s final rehab start for Triple- A Sacramento is set for Monday and he is expected to pitch five or six innings with around 90 pitches.
Diamondbacks: INF Ketel Marte was held out after suffering a right leg cramp in Saturday’s game. Manager Torey Lovullo said he felt the team ”dodged a bullet” as far a more serious injury.
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-2) is set for his sixth start of the season in the series opener against the Colorado Rockies on Monday in Denver.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (3-0) is set to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the series opener at Chase Field on Monday.