The Gus Bradley head coaching era is officially over.
After blowing a 12-point lead against Houston Sunday, the Jaguars fired Bradley with just two games to go in the season following a 21-20 loss to the Texans.
“I thanked Gus Bradley for his commitment to the Jacksonville Jaguars over the past four seasons,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said. “As anyone close to our team knows, Gus gave his staff and players literally everything he had. Our players competed for Gus and I know they have great respect for him, as do I.”
Jacksonville named Doug Marrone the team’s interim coach. Marrone was the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for Jacksonville this season. He coached the Buffalo Bills from 2013-14, compiling a 15-17 record before opting out of his contract.
Texans backup QB Tom Savage replaced starter Brock Osweiler and paced a fourth-quarter comeback sending Jacksonville to a record-setting ninth straight regular season loss. The team’s last win was Oct. 16, when the Jaguars defeated the Chicago Bears 17-16.
Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee trumped Nick Novak’s second field goal of the game with a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD at the 6:50 mark of the third quarter to build a 20-8 lead. Novak kicked four field goals to keep the Texans in the contest.
“Today was not a good day for us,” Lee said. “Defense did great once again, and offense ... messed it up. We’ve got to come together and figure it out. We say it every week, but we really need to figure it out.”
Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles was 12 of 28 for a season-low 92 yards. He also ran for a one-yard score.
Bortles’ only interception came with 61 seconds left on a pass picked off by safety Quintin Demps, killing any chance of a late-game score. Jacksonville’s offense had 150 yards and nine first downs.
Jason Myers booted field goals of 26 and 50 yards.
After throwing two picks that were converted into 10 points, Osweiler was replaced by Savage. The backup led the hosts on an eight-play, 52-yard drive ending in a one-yard TD run by Lamar Miller with 2:51 to play. Novak converted the go-ahead point after for the victory.
Game notes: Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney posted five tackles, three for lost yardage, two quarterback hits plus a sack and a pass breakup… Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien recorded his 100th tackle of the season in the first quarter, marking his third consecutive year with at least 100 tackles. .... With his 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter, Marqise Lee delivered Jacksonville its first kick return for a score since Maurice Jones-Drew did so against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 4, 2007.
Bradley file: Bradley, 50, finished 14-48 in three-plus seasons with the Jaguars. The club went 4-12 and 3-13 in Bradley’s first two seasons as head coach before improving to 5-11 last year. He spent four seasons as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks (2009-12) and began his NFL coaching career as a defensive quality control assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006. Bradley worked for two seasons as Buccaneers linebackers coach.
AFC South: The Texans (8-6) remained tied atop the AFC South with the Tennessee Titans (8-6), who defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 19-17. The Indianapolis Colts (7-7) beat the Minnesota Vikings to remain one game back in the division title chase. The Jaguars face Tennessee Saturday at 1 p.m. at EverBank Field.