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Jaguars' Doug Marrone: Decision while up 19 based on health, conversion chart

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said there was no animosity toward the New York Jets when he decided to go for two points instead of kicking a PAT after a touchdown in the final seconds of Jacksonville's 31-12 victory over New York on Sunday.

Marrone said several players were dealing with minor injuries and the strategy chart recommended he go for two points to extend the Jaguars' lead to 21 points after T.J. Yeldon's 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down with 25 seconds to play.

"We had a lot of guys banged up for the PAT/field goal [team], and on the chart it just said 19 [points]," Marrone said. "On the chart it says go for two. I'm one of those guys, I never try to take anything for granted in an NFL game. Try to keep working those mechanics and doing it, so just went for two.

"... We're not good enough to send a message right now."

Quarterback Blake Bortles said he had no idea why Marrone chose to go for two -- "I just work here," he said jokingly -- but defensive tackle Malik Jackson said he believes Marrone does have some hard feelings toward the Jets organization.

"He doesn't like those guys," Jackson said. "I don't know what they did to him, but he doesn't like them."

If that's the case, then it might stem from what happened at the end of the 2014 NFL season and the first month of 2015. Marrone had just finished his second season as coach of the Buffalo Bills when he exercised a clause in his contract and opted out of the final two seasons on Jan. 1, 2015.

Two days later he interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Jets, where he had spent four seasons (2002-05) as the offensive line coach. On the same day a story in the New York Daily News was critical of how Marrone conducted himself with the Bills. Various anonymous sources criticized the way he treated players, coaches, staffers and other people inside the organization. In addition, a former assistant coach under Marrone at Syracuse ripped him publicly on the radio.

Marrone did not get the Jets job. Instead it went to Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who is 21-31 in three-plus seasons.

Marrone was hired as the Jaguars' offensive line coach/assistant head coach in 2015, and succeeded Gus Bradley as head coach in 2017. He guided the Jaguars to a 10-6 record and an appearance in the AFC title game and now has the Jaguars tied for the lead in the AFC South with a 3-1 record, the team's best start to a season since 2007.

As for the two-point conversion try on Sunday -- which failed when Bortles couldn't connect with receiver Dede Westbrook -- none of the Jets players or coaches had anything critical to say of Marrone's decision.

Receiver Quincy Enunwa actually understood it and said it wasn't classless.

"You know what? Step on their throats. That's what I'd want us to do," Enunwa said.

"You know what, man? It's football." he said. "Where's the class in football? At the end of the day, we try to be warriors and have all this war mentality. If that's how we want to be, we can't be upset when somebody does that. We want to be this macho stuff. They did it, and that's what they did.

"If I were a head coach and I wanted to make a statement for [not] only this team, but the rest of the teams we're playing, I'm going to let guys know we're going to step on your throat. That's what he did."

Jets teammate Leonard Williams disagreed.

"I think it's really disrespectful," he said. "The game's already over. They already have the game in the bag. All they could have done is run the clock out at that point. At the same time, I think it's up to us to gain that respect from other teams. If teams are disrespecting us, it must say something about us. I took it really personal. And I didn't like it at all."

Bowles said he wasn't concerned about why Marrone chose to go for two.

"I don't tell another guy how to coach his team," he said. "If they run it, we have to defend it."

Jets reporter Rich Cimini contributed to this report.