JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones had trouble putting his thoughts into words in the minutes after a 23-7 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday.
"I'm at a loss for words," he began. "I know we ain't going to win every game, but at a certain point it's a reality check with guys in the locker room."
For the second time this season, the Bengals finished with fewer than 200 yards offensively. They rushed for 29 total yards and ran only 37 total offensive plays. They gave up a 63-yard punt return.
They failed to get to Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, and safety Shawn Williams dropped an interception. Quarterback Andy Dalton's pass to A.J. Green went out of bounds when Green was in a position to score a touchdown. The Bengals converted only one third down and allowed the Jaguars to convert 12 of 18.
The lasting image from the game won't be the final score. It will be Green, the face of the team, losing his cool and punching Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, which led to the ejection of both players.
It's no wonder the players who spoke in the locker room seemed a little stunned at how things got so out of control.
"Do you really want to win? That's my question to some of these guys," Jones mused. "How much do you want to win? I'm not saying everybody is going to make every play. That's not what I'm saying. I'm talking about heart and playing with a passion, and at this point we ain't playing with no f---ing passion ...
"They'll sugarcoat it to you all however they want to sugarcoat it, but guys have to realize we playing for [their] livelihood. At the end of the day, when things go bad, they'll find somebody else to do it."
Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said he agreed with Jones but didn't think the team lacked energy during the practice week.
"We were looking forward to this team," he said. "Early in the game they found something that worked. By the time we corrected it, it was too late."
He added: "Definitely not happy where I'm at right now. It's just frustrating when you go out there and play your heart [out]. Adam [was] getting on a lot of things. You can only play with you, what your job is, it's a team sport. You have to play along. I feel where his frustration coming from. You just have to pull it together, man."
Frustration was clear all over the locker room, and the sentiment was that everyone needed to take a look at themselves and see what they were doing wrong.
"I think that you need to play with confidence. If you're not playing with confidence, and you don't trust yourself, then nobody's going to trust you," Dalton said. "You've got to prove to everybody that you're playing with confidence, and playing hard out there. So if everybody takes a look in the mirror, and sees what they're doing, and they feel like they have to do more, then we have to do that."