The Jacksonville Jaguars host the Indianapolis Colts tonight, at Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida. Coming off another loss last Sunday at Green Bay, I hope, really hope, deep down inside my heart we will pull off a win against the Colts. The Colts are the only team we have defeated this season; however, the game last Sunday was a bruiser, and the game against Oakland, which we lost in overtime, may have been the death warrant, on our season.
We have many things going in our favor, but the negatives have multiplied, to the point, I do not foresee us winning many more, if anymore games this season. Our franchise Running Back, Maurice Jones – Drew hurt his foot, in Oakland, and our 2nd year Quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, was pulled because of an injury, to his left (non throwing side) shoulder. We have had other injuries, and they are growing like a snowball rolling down hill. Moreover, some of our key defensive players will be held out of tonight’s game, at last check, due to injuries.
Our season, as far as our quest for the playoffs is over. The Jaguars are under a new owner, and a new head coach. We have a young Quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, who has very few reliable targets, to throw the ball to. He has a chance to become a good, if not a great Quarterback, but he cannot get to the next level being constantly knocked down/around, cannot get comfortable, in the pocket, and the receivers drop his passes, no matter how perfect the placement/speed is. Our quarterback needs protection that is good, and consistent. I know he is going to get hit, he does too, but it is happening a bit too much. The Offensive Line must do a more consistent job. They are a good group of players, capable of playing on a high level. They need to protect our young Quarterback so he can develop into the best player he can be. More on the O Line, in a bit.
About us fans. All a Jaguars fan should be doing at this point, in the season, is continue to support the team with ticket purchases, and watch the players, scout them even. Do we have talent? Why are our Wide Receivers dropping the ball so much? Will Justin Blackmon, and those big hands be the answer, or one of the answers, at this position? Some of these guys will stay, and some will go. We have had huge let downs this season by players we expected much from. I say give them all a good game time, real-time test. Scout this team during the season. No matter how painful, get rid of the non-performers, and big mouth trouble makers.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need to become a multi-dimensional football team. We have relied on Maurice Jones – Drew too much, and have failed to develop replacements for Jimmy Smith, and Keenan McCardell. Our Tight Ends, especially Marcedes Lewis are underperforming. If everyone keeps dropping passes, and QB Blaine Gabbert continues eating turf, every game, we will soon be out a Quarterback. Gabbert has what it takes to become a decent Quarterback. We need to surround him with the keys to success; i.e. reliable players who will block for him, run their routes, and not quit. The players who are not giving their all will not be back next year. When I see a receiver not run his route, and see that if he had done so the team would have a first down, or a touchdown, I get mad. I am sure the owner, GM, and Head Coach are seeing these same things. Those players, if they cannot get it straight that every play is important, and even if you do not think you are getting the ball, you still run your route, cause you just do not know when the ball is coming your way, if these players do not get their heads out of the clouds, they will not be a Jaguar next year, and they might not even be in the league. One last point about the offense. We need to start thinking about a replacement for Center Brad Meester, as soon as next year. He has been a reliable Center, the anchor of our Offensive line for some time now. He overcame a bad neck injury several years back, battled his way back, and nary misses a game; however, he will not last forever, and we need to make sure this position is one that is very stable. We need to start looking around the league, for next year’s potential free agents, and in the college ranks for someone who will be reliable, steady, strong, and a good, if not great Center. It would be ideal to draft a Center, and let that person work, and learn under Mr. Meester. Last point, and it is about the Offensive Line again. Sometimes these guys are great against very powerful teams, yet when we play a weak team, they get run over. We need consistency for Gabbert to have that extra millisecond, so he can find the open receiver, and get the ball down field.
I will discuss the defense, at a later date.
Post Script: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan best do all he can to have the sports casters stop saying the Jacksonville Jaguars are moving to London. If he allows this talk to continue unchallenged, he will wind up with an empty stadium here in Jacksonville. We have gone through ten years of speculation we would lose our team to Los Angeles, California only to have it turn into the sports announcers, and the jockocracy saying Jacksonville is the de facto team moving to London. Jacksonville will not support a losing team that is constantly being rumored to be moving here, or there unless the owner comes out and publicly announces he is not moving the team.