It is hard to be optimistic about the current state of the Jacksonville Jaguars season. The team is 1-7 and has dropped five straight games, including three losses of at least 17 points.
Coach Mike Mularkey summed up his frustration this way, (per, Mark Long of the Associated Press)
"I'm disappointed that we are where we're at," Mularkey said Monday. "I know the players are. I certainly know the fans are. I just want them to know how they feel, we feel the same way. Everybody in that locker room feels the same way. We're mad, too, very disappointed we're in this position."
Mularkey can be as disappointed as he wants, but the fact remains that Jacksonville is playing the worst football of any team this side of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars' best weapon, is on the shelf for at least another week as Jacksonville attempts to validate their place on prime-time television Thursday night against the 5-3 Indianapolis Colts.
Jacksonville's lone victory this season did come against Indianapolis in Week 3, but that has to feel like ages ago as both teams are headed in opposite directions.
What the Jaguars must figure out is where to go from here. Blaine Gabbert refuses to assert himself as a quality starting QB option at the NFL level, the offensive line is abysmal outside of Eugene Monroe and the defense ranks in the bottom third of the league in nearly every major statistical category.
Then of course there is Justin "questionable effort" Blackmon. A first-round pick with all the talent in the world but none of the necessary drive or work ethic. Against the Detroit Lions in Week 9, he gave a half-hearted (maybe quarter-hearted) effort to break up an interception and also made no attempt to keep his feet in bounds on a catch along the sidelines.
What all of this means is that Jacksonville is an organization far from reaching its desired goals and the promised land of the postseason.
2012 is all but a lost cause as the Jaguars have virtually zero chance at a playoff spot and are far and away the worst team in the AFC South division. Is it time to blow up the roster?
For the sake of long-term success for the franchise, that has to be the best option.
By a show of hands, who believes Gabbert can ever lead a team to a Super Bowl?
Okay, well who thinks Blackmon is on the right track and will prove all of the doubters wrong?
Again, no one.
New owner Shad Kahn needs to put his mark on this team. Scheduling multiple home games across the pond in England is not going to hide the fact that Jacksonville is not putting a respectable product on the field every week.
The best way to attract fans to this franchise and restore faith in the organization is to show growth and development in the on-field product. A product that has finished with a record better than .500 only once since 2006.
GM Gene Smith should be the first domino to fall if Khan waits until the offseason to evaluate the Jaguars organization. Another MJD holdout is also likely and it is not crazy to think Jacksonville may target another QB with more potential than Gabbert.
Rebuilding a team that is already rebuilding may upset more Jaguars fans than it excites, but it is the proper course of action for one of the worst teams in the NFL.