Remember the 2010 season? The one when the Jags just needed to beat the Colts in order to win the AFC South for the first time? Oh we came so close that year, only to fall on our faces and lose the final three games and finish at an all too mediocre 8-8.
And since that game against the Colts the Jags haven’t been relevant.
Think back to when the Jags were 8-5 in 2010. We were a win away from securing the division and even if we lost that game we could still win the final two and finish at 10-6 with a chance to make the playoffs. Some analysts even thought it may finally be our year. The year of the Jaguar if you will. Alas, it was not to be.
Being blown out by Houston in the final game was just the final kick while we were down.
The Jags haven’t controlled their own destiny since then. And teams that don’t control their own destiny aren’t relevant.
Nobody was scared of the Jags last year. The 2011 teams didn’t think that they were going to have a big fight against the Jacksoville Jaguars because we didn’t start the season with any fight in us. Cutting a starting quarterback a week before the season opener isn’t just poor business, it also sends a message to other teams. That message is that we are in turmoil.
Boy was it spot on.
Despite a solid first game against the Titans, the Jags quickly showed that the team simply wasn’t built for success. Losing to the Carolina Panthers in week three was less of a testament to the skills of Cam Newton (especially since he only passed for 158 yards and rushed for 27) but more a testament to the complete chaos that dominated our beloved Jags.
It wasn’t until we beat the Baltimore Ravens (without scoring a single touchdown!) that we realized just how far up shit creek we were.
The team scored 20 or more points twice the entire season. Once against the Bengals in a 20-30 loss and once against the Bucs in a 41-14 rout of a team that seemed to be confused by the green grass of a football field.
I give you this context to show that the Jags have a big hole to dig themselves out of in 2012. It isn’t just that the team was bad. It isn’t just that the offense was anemic. It’s that the Jags ruined their image. The team was no longer the smash mouth, physical team that made opponents brace for a long day in the trenches. The Jags were more like kittens. Kittens without claws.
It’s time for a return to relevancy.
That return requires a complete revamp. Fortunately there has been a new owner, new offensive coordinator, new head coach, and new mindset brought to Jacksonville. More than anything that mindset is what will push Jacksonville further forward.
Some teachers preach that one must have PMA or a positive mental attitude to be successful in school, life, what have you. Mike Mularkey and Shahid Khan are providing a similar message this year in Jacksonville.
It’s a new season. A new era. A new team. And the Jags are out to prove that 2011 was an aberration. A complete oddity of a season. There are some strong players on this roster. Pieces like Maurice Jones-Drew and Daryl Smith provide a solid, immovable core for strong situation men like Josh Scobee to strengthen around and new additions like Laurent Robinson to attach to and grow strong with.
It’s a good looking group of guys coming into 2012, and with them comes an attitude that it’s their season. It’s their time to shine.
Without that attitude we may as well start our season ending skid right now and aim for 8-8. Without that attitude, we won’t beat the teams we need to beat like the 2010 Colts. Instead, the players will be sitting on their rumps watching the playoffs from home again.
Fortunately, the team isn’t thinking like that. Instead they are dreaming big and there’s no reason they can’t turn those dreams into reality.
- Luke N. Sims