Jacksonville Jaguars Progress Report: Where Things Stand Heading into Week 11

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistNovember 13, 2012

The play of Cecil Shorts is a lone bright spot for the Jaguars.
The play of Cecil Shorts is a lone bright spot for the Jaguars.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-8 and in last place in the AFC South.

In Week 11, they take on the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium.

They rank 31st on offense, 27th on defense and 32nd overall in DVOA.


Primary Talking Point for Week 11

When will Gene Smith be fired and who will take his place?

That's the burning question at this point for the Jaguars.

There was a brief window when it looked like Mike Mularkey could possibly save his job and convince Shad Khan there was enough positive going on to bring him back.

After yet another embarrassing home loss, what choice does the owner have but to raze the entire operation to the ground?


Injury Outlook

According to Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, the three most prominent of the injured Jaguars all did light work.

Maurice Jones-Drew is unlikely to return this week, but there's hope for Dwight Lowery and Rashean Mathis.

Blaine Gabbert took a shot to his left shoulder against the Colts but will likely start against the Texans.


Player on the Rise

Cecil Shorts is on pace for 997 yards receiving, and his role in the offense grows each week.

If he can get to a 1,000-yard season it will be the first time a Jags' wideout has hit that mark since Jimmy Smith in 2005.

In fact, only two Jaguars (the esteemed Mike Thomas and Mike Sims-Walker) have even hit 800 yards since then.

In a cesspool of fail, Shorts' quest is something Jaguars fans can pull for.


Feel-Good Stat of the Week

As tempting as it is to consider suspending this item for the Jaguars, decorum dictates something fill the slot.

Here's the biggest feel-good item of all for Jags fans.

The Jaguars under Smith's guidance are 21-36 and have been outscored by 361 points.

Those are feel-good numbers only because they mean he's about to be fired.


Troubling Stat of the Week

You mean other than 1-8?

The truest measure of team performance in the NFL is point differential. NFL games are so close that teams frequently win or lose based on the random bounce of a ball.

The Jaguars have been outscored 246-127 on the season.

They are dead last in point differential.

It doesn't get more troubling than that.


Outlook: Falling

There isn't anything good to say about this team.

For every flash of competence, there are three flashes of failure.

As bad as things have been, it's easy to envision a new low being reached against Houston in Week 11.

The Jaguars have made a living on garbage scores that inflate their final stats and give fans some hope to cling to. It's all just a mirage at this point.

At this point, it's clear that a major rebuild is coming. The only question is if the team will have the top pick in the 2013 draft for a new regime to build on.