Bradley eager to see how Jaguars respond against Ravens
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) It's probably the most important game in Gus Bradley's coaching career.
Coming off a 38-14 loss at San Diego and being 0-2 for the third time in four years, Bradley is seemingly down to just a few chances to turn things around in Jacksonville.
The first one comes at home against Baltimore (2-0) on Sunday.
''It's about us this week and how we come back and how do we handle getting punched in the mouth, and how do we respond to play at a high level,'' said Bradley, whose 12-38 record in four seasons is the second worst in NFL history for anyone who has coached at least 50 games.
The Jaguars believe last week's lackluster effort on the West Coast was a fluke, and that the way they played against Green Bay in a 27-23 loss in the opener was more indicative of what kind of team they've assembled. Now, they need to prove it.
''We had a pretty sound, realistic group of guys that believes in themselves, believes in one another, and understands that when we play well and do well like we're supposed to do, we'll be fine and we'll execute and we'll move the ball,'' quarterback Blake Bortles said. ''We just haven't done that in back-to-back weeks.''
The Ravens have done enough in two weeks to be among the league's undefeated teams. They edged Buffalo in the opener and then overcame a 20-0 deficit to win at Cleveland last week. They have a chance to start 3-0 for the third time in franchise history.
''Resilient. We are a resilient team, able to face all opposition and shortcomings,'' veteran receiver Steve Smith said. ''It was an ugly win, but we pulled through.''
The Jaguars have been involved in plenty of ugly losses since starting to overhaul the roster in 2013. But this season was supposed to be different. Owner Shad Khan said a winning record is ''everyone's reasonable expectation,'' and general manager Dave Caldwell said before the opener that ''we can match up with virtually almost anybody. Our guys just have to perform to a high level.''
It didn't happen against the Chargers, frustrating players, coaches and fans, and raising speculation about Bradley's job security.
Bradley said all the right things this week: calling the blowout an aberration and vowing to get back on track against the Ravens.
''We went out there and thought we were going to play better than we did and we didn't play as well,'' Bradley said. ''We have to come back and get that right.''
Here are some other things to know about the Ravens and Jaguars:
TOTAL RECALL: The Ravens haven't forgotten about last year's controversial loss to Jacksonville. The NFL acknowledged that officials failed to penalize the Jaguars for not being set on the next-to-last play of the game. After the ball was snapped, Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil grabbed Bortles' facemask while making a tackle and Jacksonville got one more play with no time left on the clock. Jason Myers' 53-yard field goal gave the Jaguars a 22-20 victory.
''You know, I don't really ever forget that game,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''It doesn't have to be spurred. That's always been kind of on my mind.''
RUN FOR COVER: The Ravens have found no room to run the football. Baltimore is averaging a mere 3 yards per carry. Justin Forsett and Terrance West are sharing the workload for the 23rd-ranked rushing game. ''It's a work in progress,'' Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda said. ''We're 2-0, but we definitely need to get the run game going.'' All three Ravens touchdowns this season have come on passes from Joe Flacco to Mike Wallace.
DEFENDING A-ROB: Allen Robinson has just nine catches for 126 yards and no touchdowns, a big reason Jacksonville's offense has sputtered. Teams are putting a safety over the top of him, even when he's lined up alone on one side of the formation. The Jaguars plan to move him around against the Ravens, hoping to get him freed up more.
AT THE TOP: Baltimore owns the top-ranked pass defense in the NFL. That might not mean much after Week 2, but it's significant because of the change the backfield experienced during the offseason. Safety Eric Weddle signed as a free agent and has one of the team's two interceptions. Lardarius Webb has made the transition from cornerback to free safety, and cornerback Shareece Wright had 11 tackles in the opener.
IVORY RETURNS: Jacksonville's run game, which ranks 30th, should get a boost with the return of Chris Ivory. A 1,000-yard rusher with the New York Jets last season, Ivory missed the first two games with a ''general medical condition'' that required a hospital stay.
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