Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in the NFL, everyone is trying to get ahead with the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl.
The Jacksonville Jaguars may not have received that memo as of yet.
After showing they could move the ball effectively in the first half against the Patriots on Sunday, the Jaguars ran out of gas at halftime only to recover and almost send the game into overtime.
Nevertheless, it was still the same old story. After a 23-16 loss in a game this team could have—nay, should have—won, Jacksonville's fans (70,000 in all according to First Coast News on its 6 pm newscast) were sent home with a loss in the team's final home game of the season.
With one more game remaining in 2012 (at Tennessee) and no chance to gain the first pick in the 2013 draft, there were few things to be happy about on Sunday.
Here are the reasons why this team failed yet again against one of the NFL's better teams:
The offense was ineffective, especially in the first half. The chances were few for Chad Henne and company, but when they did come, Jacksonville could not put the ball in the end zone.
While the team was impressive on its first drive of the game, with Henne going 5-for-5 and finding Justin Blackmon for the team's only touchdown, the Jaguars had few other drives that looked impressive.
You cannot win if you cannot score touchdowns.
Josh Scobee should not be the main scoring threat for this team
This falls back on the injuries to both Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings.
The Jaguars used a ground attack led by Montell Owens, Richard Murphy and other journeymen.
It seems odd that the Patriots can ride the legs of Stevan Ridley and get production out of him (he ran for over 1,000 yards this season), while the Jaguars cannot find a consistent runner to move the chains.
The best teams find a way to gain yardage.
Hard to blame the loss on this one, but after 88 roster moves this year (as reported by the CBS commentators), Jacksonville deserves a slight break.
In-game injuries to Paul Posluszny and another head injury to Cecil Shorts did not help this team on Sunday.
Posluszny has been one of the few bright spots this season, and Shorts has been the best offensive player as the Jaguars' leading receiver.
When it rains, it pours.
When Zach Potter was called for a false start in the closing minute of the game, it killed the chance of any potential comeback
From being inside the red zone to being out on an island, it makes a big difference.
Such penalties are largely about control and discipline. It is also about this team not being as tightly coached as it should be. These mistakes lie on the coaching staff.
The team started out in a hurry-up offense and played no-huddle for part of the first half.
Then they became stagnant—another case of running out of gas.
How can a team look so good in one moment and then so bad the next? That is the enigma called the Jaguars.
When this team had a chance to strike, they faltered on two occasions.
That was the difference in this ballgame.