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A winning season, but not the desired result

The Jaguars didn't know their season had ended Sunday until they made their way out of the rain and into the long tunnel to the visiting locker room.

That was when they learned Denver beat Indianapolis to knock them out _ the third and last scenario that determined Jacksonville's fate on the season's final day.

Byron Leftwich looked out of synch on a muddy, rain-soaked field, but did enough to send the Jaguars into the offseason on a positive note, posting their first winning season in five years.

It was a sour end for a club that hoped to extend its season, especially with Jacksonville hosting its first Super Bowl next month.

"That kind of put a downer on the day," coach Jack Del Rio said of learning his team was eliminated. "I didn't see anything on the board during the game."

Leftwich threw for 149 yards a week after sustaining a mild concussion and Greg Jones scored the only touchdown, which broke a third-quarter tie, on a 1-yard run.

The Raiders had a chance to force overtime in the final seconds, but Kerry Collins fumbled the snap on fourth and goal at the 2, picked it up and was tackled for a loss.

By beating the Raiders in the teams' first meeting since 1997, the Jags clinched a winning road record (at 5-3) for the first time since 1999 when they went 14-2, 7-1 away from home.

But Jacksonville certainly will be haunted by the 21-0 home loss to Houston on Dec. 26.

"Our season has been disappointing," Leftwich said. "We had our opportunity (last week) to be playing (in the playoffs). We had the opportunity slip away. If I played better, we'd be playing (Sunday) at Indy."

Collins had an awful finale: three interceptions, one lost fumble, no touchdowns and a 17.3 passer rating.

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