First, I'd like to congradulate Rashad Jennings for his first NFL rushing touchdown, and honor him with the picture on this week's preview article.
Next, I'd like to make clear that this is not the game of the year for the Jaguars. If they win of course.
IF the Jaguars were to win this game, a far shot from a sure thing, this would be a game that would push them into a whole new world that begins with the letter "P".
The playoff world.
A loss would send them into the mist of teams longing to find there place in the world. And with a loss, and a Tennessee win, the Titans would draw one game away from the Jaguars.
A loss would send this team, once again to under .500, and would once again start the Jaguars suck, Jack Del Rio needs to be fired, David Garrard isn't the real deal for a quarterback talk that we all know will come.
Yet what do we expect from the Jaguars this week? A great performance or a flat out embarrassing one?
Many people are aware of the fact that David Garrard has yet to throw a touchdown pass on the road. And get this: The Jaguars have scored 101 points at home and only 56 on the road.
That leads to an average of 25 points a game at home, with only 14 points a game on the road. Ten points can mean a lot in a football game. Ten points would've given the Jaguars a win over the Colts, and made them 5-3 at this point.
The defense is slightly more consistent, giving up 22 points at home and 27 away. So at home, the Jaguars usually win by three points, which has been the case twice, and away they usually lose by 17 which has happened once.
Yet, my friends I would like to bring up a much different point here.
Week One: Indianapolis: Big Game of course, Jags expected to lose, and the Jaguars played extremely well considering they held the Colts to 14 points. We now see how good they actually did. Well defensively at least.
Week Two: Arizona: Many people think that the Jaguars are back, and the Cardinals aren't a east coast team. I mean look at last season. Jaguars are smothered.
Week Three: Houston: Battle Red day: Big game, against the just come off impressive win against Tennessee (we thought it was impressive then). Jaguars come out and have their best game of the season, hands down.
Week Four: Tennessee: Big Game, considering people thought the Titans were actually still good, and people respected them. The Jaguars may actually have had there best performance here, but then again, it was the "old" Titans.
Week Five: Seattle: Many people think that the Jaguars are ready to go 3-2, as the Seahawks are injury depleted and the Jaguars are playing their best football. Yikes, Jaguars, uh, lose.
Week Six: Rams: They just aren't very good. But the Jaguars still had to have a comeback performance. Didn't play especially well, because not a big game.
Week Eight: Tennessee: Apparently MJD was the only one who thought it was a big game. Well, the Jaguars well you know what happens.
Week Nine: Once again Kansas City just flat out is bad. But the Jaguars came to play for the first 58 minutes, because they knew it was for Jack Del Rio's job.
See the pattern?
In games that the Jaguars were not favored to win, they played very well and in most cases won. In games were they were not, they either squeaked by a terrible team, or were just embarrarssed.
So this week against the Jets, do the Jaguars usher a A+ performance?
Lets breakdown the matchups:
TOP MATCHUP OF THE GAME:
1. MJD Vs Jets Defense:
I still believe that the Jaguars need to maintain a semi balanced attack, but lets be real, MJD is the best player hands down. MSW is catching up, but for now, MJD is far above the rest. And without a running game, we know the Jaguars will just play bad. Because this Jets defense is very good against the pass.
TOP THING TO LOOK FOR:
1. Who starts faster:
Neither team is designed to come from behind in games. So if one team jumps out to a 10-0 or 14-0 lead, the game is going to shift in their direction big time. The Jaguars also need to stay with the run, and if they fall behind, David Garrard will have to try and be a hero, which he can be, but there's not a good chance he will be.
TOP SLEEPER OF THE GAME:
1. Torry Holt and Mike Thomas:
I had to go with both of these guys because of one reason, the two are set to have a much better day the Mike Sims-Walker, who will probably be faced off against Derrelle Revis, one of the top-five corners in the game. Torry Holt will be matched up against a coming back player in Lito Sheppard, who hasn't played in a while and might be a bit rusty. Torry is a HOF receiver, and especially on third downs, could get a lot of reps.
Mike Thomas is also going to be big in the game as well. He has big play capability, and I just got a feeling that he could break one this week, because hes been close before. A return in this game could be HUGE, and the end around sweeps could be another thing that really works, considering that the Jets struggled against the Wildcat.
INTERESTING THOUGHT OF THE WEEK:
What if the Jaguars were to finish 8-8 and continued win-loss-win-loss pattern? It's actually rather funny because of the possibility is so real. Let's look.
JETS: Definitely could be a loss
BILLS: The Jaguars would be facing a rather porous run defense, so win.
49ers: Jaguars have yet to beat an NFC West Team. Loss
Texans: It would be fun to ruin their season, like they ruined ours a couple seasons ago.
Dolphins: Once again, this could be a loss if the Jaguars don't show up, or if Garrard gets hit like a rag doll. Loss
Colts: The Jaguars just have a thing for being able to beat them. And I think it will be the first non-blackout of the season, because the city of Jacksonville will come out because its a primetime game. Win
Pats: How much I hate them I don't know. But the Patriots have a thing for the Jaguars. Loss
Browns: Wow, they are just bad. Win
So a win loss win loss format is very possible. However, I expect a 9-7 record as the Jaguars finish 5-3 in the second half, and watch the playoffs hungry for next year.
I'd love to see the Jaguars win, but I really don't see it happening. Unless the defense can really step up, and MJD has a huge game, or Garrard has the performance of a lifetime, I just don't see the Jets losing again.
FINAL SCORE: A respectable 24-20 game. Jaguars earn a semi moral victory, but a defeat none the less knocks them out of playoff hype. That is unless they can win out besides one game ( weirder things have happened).