-- JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars?are still?searching for a starting quarterback.
Neither Chad Henne nor Blake Bortles did enough to gain an edge over the other in the Jaguars' 24-23 loss?to the Carolina Panthers at EverBank Field on Thursday night.
Henne was solid but unimpressive, and Bortles threw an interception that nearly got returned for a touchdown. Coach Doug Marrone said he will take more time before deciding who will start the season opener Sept. 10 against the Houston Texans.?
"I'm sure both quarterbacks would have liked to have done a better job, but offensively I think everyone needs to do a better job," Marrone said. "Like I said to you guys earlier in the week, I'm not going to stand up here and comment a lot on the two. I'm going to go back and look at things and see where we're at.
"I think offensively we didn't help ourselves. We weren't in manageable situations, whether it be through sacks, too many tackles for loss in the run game. I think that's difficult on whoever's playing quarterback."
Henne completed 8 of 14 passes for 73 yards in the first half against Carolina's first-team defense. He led the Jaguars to a touchdown and a field goal in five possessions with a lot of conservative throws.
The offense wasn't exactly crisp -- Henne was sacked three times, the offensive line didn't open much space in the run game (31 yards, not counting a fake punt), there were three penalties, and Keelan Cole dropped a deep pass -- but the unit didn't turn over the ball and had one big play. That was a 27-yard diving catch by Allen Robinson on a perfectly thrown ball by Henne, who dropped it over the receiver's shoulder before the safety could get over and knock it away.
That was the best pass he threw, though the deep ball down the sideline to Cole was perfectly thrown as well.
That half was essentially what the Jaguars will get from Henne: some safe throws, a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage, a good deep ball and some times where he will hold on to the ball too long and take a few sacks. But he didn't turn the ball over, which has been Bortles' biggest issue; he has an NFL-high 63 turnovers in the past three seasons.
Bortles played nearly the entire second half behind the first-team offensive line, but he was facing the Panthers' reserves. He completed 12 of 16 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, but he also tried to squeeze a pass in to Allen Hurns that was intercepted and returned to the Jaguars' 3-yard line.
However, Bortles led the Jaguars to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, the first coming on a nice fade pass to 5-foot-6 receiver Shane Wynn in the back of the end zone. His two-point conversion pass after the second touchdown was intercepted.
Marrone said he will study tape of the game as well as what he has seen over the past week in practice but still may not make a decision until after the final preseason game. He would not rule out either or both quarterbacks playing against the Atlanta Falcons next Thursday.
"I've got to do the best job for the organization and best job for the team," Marrone said. "I'm not going to put that pressure on myself to say, 'Hey, listen, I need to do this [quickly].' I've got time. Again obviously you'd like to make the decision quickly, but you want to make sure you make the right decision.
"That's the most important thing."
Bortles, who has started every regular-season game since Week 4 of the 2014 season, said he has no idea where the competition stands after Thursday night's game.
"Whenever the next day is, I'll show up, and when they tell me to go play, I'll go play for as long as they'll let me," he said.