Can the Jacksonville Jaguars Stop Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning?
Week one is less than a day away so it is just about the time in which the Jacksonville Jaguars defensive unit is feeling one of two ways.
They are so sick to their stomach's right now because they know that all of the training and all of the preparation, all of their hard work will still be put to the test as their failure to stop Peyton Manning and the Colts' offense will result in a very poor way to begin the 2009 season.
The Jaguars show signs of improvement and look to better themselves after a disappointing 2008 season.
At this point in time, all they have to do is stop Peyton Manning to begin to start to make the pain go away.
If they can stop Peyton Manning, suddenly 2008 won't sting so bad.
If they can stop Peyton Manning, they will have gained the confidence to know that they have the ability to stop any quarterback in the National Football League.
That is, IF they can stop Peyton Manning.
The last time these two teams faced, an underdog Jacksonville team pushed the Colts to their limit and jumped out to a 24-14 lead.
That was, until Peyton Manning turned on the gas and dissected them on national television.
The Colts quarterback finished the game by completing 29 of 34 passes for three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a quarterback rating of 140.7.
In the process, he led the Colts to 17 unanswered points which resulted in a 31-24 victory.
So you'd think that it would be the Jacksonville Jaguars who would be the hungriest heading into their week one match-up with their divisional rivals.
Perhaps they are.
But think about this for a moment.
If you were Peyton Manning, you just finished with a second consecutive "one and done" performance in the postseason, despite playing well.
If you were Peyton Manning, you were told all off-season about how you would never be the same quarterback without the receiver who made you, Marvin Harrison.
If you were Peyton Manning, you were told that you would not be able to succeed without the future Hall of Fame coach who left you, and that stable system that had since fallen into apparent disarray.
If I were Peyton Manning, I would be pissed off for all the reasons I should be, and all the ones that are inconsequential.
It's called fire and if you think that Manning isn't going to have it this year of if you think that he is going to be but a shell of the declining quarterback that many have accused him to be...just bet against him.
Now you have this Jacksonville Jaguars defense who wants to make a statement at Peyton Manning's expense.
I wouldn't be excited if I played for the Jaguars tomorrow.
I wouldn't be excited because if but for one day, Peyton Manning might despise as if you were the New England Patriots and try to tear you up as if you were the Detroit Lions, regardless of whether or not you have it coming.
If you don't want to deal with that, the task is simple.
Stop Peyton Manning.
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