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Bortles on Jags falling short: 'Obviously, I'm irritated'

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The optimism germinating in Jacksonville the past nine months wasn't allowed to bloom fully Sunday.

The Jaguars entered 2016 with designs on taking the step forward from downtrodden underdog to legitimate contender. Instead, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers reminded the home team how contenders finish off victories.

The Packers' defense, in particular, made a series of plays down the stretch against an explosive Jags offense to clinch the victory.

Blake Bortles' initial comments following the 27-23 loss were honest.

"Obviously, I'm irritated," the quarterback said, per the team's official website.

The source of that irritation was Bortles' inability to finish a potential game-winning drive. With a first down from the Packers' 23 in the final minute, Green Bay corner Quinten Rollins batted the ball away from Allen Robinson in the end zone. Then on fourth-and-1 a screen pass to Allen Hurns was stoned to end the threat.

"Things were going up and down," Bortles said. "We had adversity, and some things went well -- and offensively, I thought we played our tails off and battled throughout until the end of the game, but we just have to find a way to get it done on fourth down."

The Jags couldn't get it done.

Robinson was similarly frustrated with the outcome.

"It hurts a lot," Robinson said, via The Florida Times-Union. "We did a lot of things well this game. We'll look back at the tape and make the corrections we need to make."

Robinson caught six passes for 72 yards but needed 15 targets to compile the total. Not coming up with the game-winning snag in the end zone dampened the offseason optimism.

"We put a lot of effort in going into this week," Robinson said. "It's not the last week, but this is one that everybody put a lot of effort into. There's a lot of people hurt."

On the positive side: When a loss to a perennial contender hurts, that's a good thing. It means players expected to win; no longer merely hoping for a miracle.

It's not the outcome Bortles nor his team wanted and needed. The quarterback has to start finishing off those game-winning drives to make the leap as a signal-caller.

As Bill Parcells is famous for saying, you are what your record says you are. The Jags are 0-1, but they won't stay winless long.

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