To be sure, the Jaguars aren't stopping at 2-2 to trumpet their successes or bemoan their failures thus far.
"Our expectation is for getting ready for Seattle," quarterback David Garrard said after Jacksonville's 37-17 win against the Tennessee Titans.
"We can write our own story."
Riding a two-game winning streak over divisional foes, the Jaguars seem determined to pen a happy ending for their 2009 season. For a team that featured four rookie starters on opening day, it might be considered a "coming-of-age" story.
As the actors of this drama press on into the grinding middle of their season, though, we observers are able to pause and examine Jacksonville's early highs and lows—the rising action from the first month of Jaguars football.
In the fourth quarter of Jacksonville's season opener at Indianapolis, Maurice Jones-Drew's seven-yard touchdown run brought the Jaguars within a two-point conversion of tying a game they'd scratched and clawed to stay in.
Despite gaining 32 yards on eight runs that drive, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter decided to throw a wrinkle at Indianapolis' defense for the conversion attempt.
With quarterback David Garrard split wide, Jones-Drew took the snap and plowed straight ahead—into a wall of nine Colts defenders who'd crowded the line of scrimmage.
Two stalled Jaguars drives later, Indianapolis ran out the clock for a two-point win.
The Wildcat formation served to hasten the inevitable handoff to Jones-Drew, but did nothing to prevent the Colts' linebackers from stepping cleanly into his running lanes and foiling the play.
Calling a play that wouldn't have shown up in Indianapolis' film study wasn't necessarily a bad idea.
Calling one that didn't punish the defense for locking in on Jones-Drew was.
One of Koetter's wrinkles was just what the Jaguars needed, though, up 30-17 late against the Tennessee Titans.
Jacksonville's first two fourth-quarter drives had resulted in a lost fumble and a three-and-out. When the Titans scored a touchdown and two-point conversion with over five minutes remaining, the Jaguars seemed focused on killing clock with their next possession.
After running back Rashad Jennings gained seven yards on two carries, Tennessee committed 10 defenders to the run against Jacksonville's goal-line formation.
As Garrard held the ball out to Jennings, the Titans' safeties crept forward. By the time rookie corner Jason McCourty saw Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis leaking out behind them, the trap had sprung.
Garrard's throw floated easily into Lewis' hands as Jacksonville's tight end bore down on Tennessee's last defender. Lewis zigged as the cornerback zagged and held the ball out as he crossed the goal line to give the Jaguars an insurmountable 20-point lead.
When the Jaguars hired defensive coordinator Mel Tucker to implement elements of his 3-4 defense, Quentin Groves had a unique opportunity.
Groves, for whom Jacksonville traded up in the second round of the 2008 draft, was considered a 'tweener prospect—stuck between defensive end and linebacker physically—best-suited for teams with 3-4 defenses.
The Jaguars had drafted him to play as a down lineman in their 4-3, but Groves figured to be useful in 3-4 looks this year as a blitzing linebacker with some coverage ability.
After notching four tackles in Jacksonville's season opener at Indianapolis, though—including a forced fumble where he slid under a block to startle Joseph Addai—Groves' production has taken a nosedive.
Having managed only three tackles from his featured role in the Jaguars' last three games, Groves has been moved down the depth chart to the third team for this weekend's game against the Seattle Seahawks.
This early, Groves' second season is hardly over. But, after Jacksonville released receiver Nate Hughes and tight end Greg Estandia for miscues in the loss to Arizona, he's the latest to feel the tug of the Jaguars' short leash.
Receiver Mike Sims-Walker, on the other hand, has taken full advantage of the window that opened for him in Week Two.
After an eye-opening preseason, the Jaguars named Troy Williamson their starter opposite marquee free-agent acquisition Torry Holt. When Williamson left Jacksonville's loss to the Arizona Cardinals with an injury, though, Sims-Walker was the next man up.
Having lost his true "first season" and almost half of last year to knee injuries, Sims-Walker was faced with the new responsibility of being an injury fill-in.
He racked up 106 yards and a touchdown on six catches in that game as the Jaguars played catch-up, then exploded for 172 yards and two scores on 13 catches in wins against the Texans and Titans.
In his three appearances this season, Sims-Walker has been a boon for Garrard on key plays, accounting for over half of Jacksonville's third-down conversions.
More importantly, he's been a consistent target over the middle and in the red zone as the Jaguars have bid good-bye to last year's failed jump-ball passing game.
After Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne torched Cox for 162 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches, the Jaguars might have worried that their third-round cornerback would be considered "worst-camouflaged" for negative reasons.
Faced with choosing between Cox or former All-Pro corner Rashean Mathis, Jacksonville's opponents have gone after the rookie often. His 21 tackles—fourth-most on the team—are as much an indictment of his coverage as a testament to his ball-hawking style of play.
Even while learning hard NFL lessons from Wayne, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and the formidable passing attacks of Arizona and Houston, though, Cox has kept his head and even flashed big-play ability.
For instance: on the Colts' first drive, Manning targeted Wayne three times. The first two resulted in two first downs and 31 yards passing—the third, a change of possession, as Cox out-jumped Wayne for his first career interception.
With a fumble recovery later in the first half and another interception three weeks later against Tennessee, Cox has served notice to opposing quarterbacks that attacking the rookie is risky business.
For better and worse, his play through four games has stood out.
Meanwhile, fellow third-rounder Terrance Knighton has stepped in and made the kind of contributions that don't show up in the box score.
Statistically, Knighton has nine tackles in Jacksonville's first four games, six of them solo.
If the fatigue he's saved his teammates, both in the Jaguars' defensive line rotation and in front of the linebackers, could be measured and recorded, Knighton's numbers would be much more formidable.
From Week One, when he was named a starter in Jacksonville's season opener, Knighton has fought double-team blocks in the middle of defensive coordinator Mel Tucker's new 3-4 scheme.
His presence inside has allowed John Henderson, the team's only other every-down fit at nose tackle, to move out to end. At 6'7" and 330 pounds, Henderson's arm length and lower-body bulk give him advantages over offensive tackles that he hasn't enjoyed while playing in the middle in previous years.
The result has been a run defense ranked 12th in the NFL and a pass rush generated more by inside linebackers moving past occupied blockers than by edge rushers.
Last year, coordinator Gregg Williams' blitz-heavy defense failed to scheme openings for Clint Ingram and Daryl Smith behind a line thin on depth and girth.
This season, one of the keys to those blitzes getting pressure has been Knighton, who has fit right in as another working man in the trenches.
With Troy Williamson laying face-down on the field in the second quarter of Jacksonville's 31-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Jaguars seemed to have been sucker-punched from several different directions.
Earlier in the quarter, after a questionable non-call on pass interference against Arizona safety Adrian Wilson, the Cardinals had blocked a field goal that would've cut their lead to 10-6, returning it for a touchdown to go up 17-3.
On Arizona's next drive, though, Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith forced a fumble that Jacksonville recovered. As the Jaguars drove down the field, gaining 44 yards in five plays, their luck seemed to be balancing out.
When Garrard hit Williamson on an 11-yard catch-and-run, though, that scale tilted hard in favor of the Cardinals.
As Williamson ran toward the sideline, Arizona corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie pulled the ball loose as Adrian Wilson closed in. Wilson stepped awkwardly on Williamson, who fell to the ground, before recovering the fumble.
Less than three minutes remained in the first half, but Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner needed little time to dink and dunk for 68 yards, capping the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to running back Jason Wright.
Meanwhile, Jaguars team doctors were examining Williamson's shoulder. After the game, coach Jack Del Rio revealed that the injury was a torn labrum that would sideline Williamson for the season.
Merely 24 yards from a 17-10 halftime deficit, Jacksonville had lost the ball and a starting receiver on what turned out to be a 14-point fumble. The Cardinals led 24-3 at the break, and the blowout had set in.
Two weeks later, though, the shoe was on the Jaguars' foot as they ground AFC South rival Tennessee beneath their heel.
On the strength of an aggressive offensive gameplan and an uncharacteristically stingy defense, Jacksonville built a 27-3 lead by halftime. Six of Tennessee's seven first-half drives had gone three-and-out or ended with turnovers.
Kicker Josh Scobee's field goal on the Jaguars' opening possession of the second half put Jacksonville up 30-3. The Titans took the field knowing that any comeback attempt required touchdowns, and quick.
As if on cue, Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins drove the Titans 53 yards on eight passes, carving chunks of yardage out of the cushion given by Derek Cox to his receivers.
With 1st-and-10 on the Jaguars' 30-yard line, Collins reached his hand into Cox's cookie jar one more time, heaving a pass to tight end Jared Cook in the face of heavy pressure up the middle.
Back in deep zone coverage, Cox tracked the pass as it sailed over Cook's head, making a leaping grab to intercept the ball at the Jacksonville 11 before being touched down.
When Tennessee got the ball back five minutes later, they had only 14 minutes of game to chip away at the Jaguars' 30-3 lead.
In routing their rivals, the Jaguars were on their best form through four weeks of football—though only two weeks removed from their worst.