The Jacksonville Jaguars got the ball back at their own 10-yard-line with 1:14 left in a tie game against the Arizona Cardinals. Coach Doug Marrone had two choices: run the clock out and head to overtime, or let Blake Bortles try a two-minute drill and go for the win in regulation.
Marrone ended up in the middle and it cost his team. The coach called a running play on first down. Inexplicably, he then went with a pass on second down. Bortles threw incomplete to Marqise Lee, which stopped the clock. After Arizona held Leonard Fournette on third down, the Cards used their final timeout to preserve 27 seconds. It was enough time to set up the winning field goal.
"At the end of the game I've got to do a better job," Marrone said after the loss, via ESPN. "I ran the ball on first down and got greedy. I should have ran the ball and ran the clock out and went to overtime. That's my fault."
If he was going to get greedy, it should have come on first down when a completion could have allowed the Jags to try to get themselves into field-goal range. The second-down call put his team in no man's land even if it was completed.
"I got the call and went through the progression and tried to make a play," Bortles said of the play. "I have no idea what the thought process was."
Given Bortles' interception on the previous series, the obvious move backed up in your own end would have been to run the ball three times and head to overtime.
"If I had to do it all over again, looking at it, I would have just ran the clock out and went to overtime," Marrone said. "That's my fault."
That fault dropped Jacksonville to 7-4 and behind the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South based on tiebreakers. While Marrone still has his Jags in position to make the playoffs, the defeat to Blaine Gabbert could be the difference between hosting a home game and heading on the road in January.