No One To Blame But Ourselves
A lot of the time, I am the only hardcore Jaguar fan a person knows. People seek me out after major wins and losses to talk about them. Lately, the question I have heard from most people is, “So, Jeanne, what the heck has happened?” Everyone loves pointing out that we were supposed to go to the playoffs this year and run the table. Yeah, yeah. This is the NFL. It wouldn’t be fun if it all worked out the way it was supposed to. Unfortunately, the Jacksonville Jaguars are this year’s team that didn’t live up to expectations.
So, really, what has happened?
Head Coach Jack Del Rio must be getting the same question from reporters. In his post-Titan loss press conference, Del Rio said, “What we’re left with is each other.” You don’t even have to hear how the words were said to feel the real impact of them.
There are problems at almost every position. These problems affect the ability of the other positions. That is how the game of football is. It is a team sport. If your offensive line misses a block your quarterback is going to get rushed and/or sacked. That means that sometimes he has to throw the ball before a receiver is open or has the ability to catch the ball. This leads to a lot of dropped passes or even interceptions. All because one guy missed a block. Maybe that guy only missed that block but the guy next to him got beat another time. And another guy another time. Maybe once or twice the quarterback fails to look down the field. There could be a lot of reasons for that, too. Maybe he is rattled because he has to make sure the offensive line isn’t getting beat. Maybe he doesn’t have confidence in his receivers. Maybe he just messes up. It leads to your quarterback having a 13 of 30 for 135 yard game and a 1-4 record at home.
This is no different on defense. Del Rio pointed out the relationship out in the same post-loss press conference:
"“The guys in the back, their job gets a lot easier if the quarterback is getting knocked around, as our guy was,” Del Rio said."
Yeah. Kerry Collins got off two really good passes. Drayton Florence was completely dominated by one of them. However, you know what could have given Florence a better chance? A pass rush. That was supposed to be a problem solved in this year’s draft. To put it simply: it wasn’t.
So what is the problem with the Jaguars?
Everyone messes up just enough to lose games. You can’t place the blame completely on the quarterback, the running backs, the secondary, the wide receivers, the lines.
The Jaguars are a team. And they are losing because of it.