Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans: A Rivalry Renewed
The last 11 years have included some incredible low points for the Jacksonville Jaguars, points that fans don't like to think about. Nothing was worse than the 1999 AFC Championship Game.
Jeff Fisher, Steve McNair, Jevon Kearse, Eddie George. Those guys were a nightmare for the Jaguars that season.
To make matters worse, Jeff Fisher rubbed salt in the wound that year by saying the Titans had home field advantage when playing in Jacksonville. Both teams have gone through the ebb and flow since meeting in the playoffs in 1999, and although the Jaguars appear to be turning it around, it still seems like they got the raw end of the deal.
Never mind that the Jacksonville Jaguars were leading 14-10 at halftime, never mind that the Tennessee Titans sacked Mark Brunell for a safety early in the second half and never mind the Derrick Mason 80-yard punt return for a touchdown on the ensuing free kick.
Do mind when you comprehend what might have been if the Jaguars had met and won against the St. Louis Rams in the Superbowl that season. Think about it and reignite the rivalry.
The Jaguars may well have won the Superbowl that year. The offensive firepower was there. The defense had a penchant for causing turnovers and scoring touchdowns. Just one week prior against the Dolphins in the second most lopsided playoff performance in league history, the Jaguars scored on a sack/fumble and had two interceptions by Aaron Beasley.
Which quarterback will have a greater career?
After the loss, the Jacksonville Jaguars went through a dark period. There were a few losing seasons, salary cap trouble which led to star players leaving the team and then problems selling tickets.
I believe the Jaguars would have won the Superbowl if not for the Titans that year. I also believe the team would not have struggled in the same manner going forward, but of course that's major speculation.
In my opinion, Jacksonville needed this hangover period. The first five years were too easy. It got to be like watching the Florida Gators or Florida State Seminoles in the late 1990s. Fans just expected the Jaguars to win.
The hangover has gone on long enough, however. It's time for a tall glass of water, an aspirin and a cheeseburger.
Here's the thing. The NFL is King and the Jacksonville Jaguars, not some college team, belong to this city. If you live in Jacksonville, get behind the team if you don't already follow another pro franchise. The city needs you now and there are some interesting years ahead.
The reason? Two quarterbacks were drafted by rival franchises in the top 10 picks of the NFL Draft.
Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker are going to make for great story lines in the AFC South and on television, but moreover, the drama will be played out at Everbank and LP Field.
These two selections will have the opportunity to reignite the rivalry for the next 10 years to a level at or possibly greater than ever before.
Follow me on Twitter @ChrisCharlesJax
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