Fact or Fiction – The Merciful End
By Daniel Lago
With the Jaguars’ final regular season game looming against the Titans this weekend, fans are actually looking ahead to what’s around the corner – Black Monday. Luke started the “merciful end” theme and I’ll continue it. Yes, it seems the Jaguars will once again be part of the coaching carousel this offseason but this time with another vacancy at GM. The last viewing of Gene Smith’s systematic destruction of the Jaguars’ roster will be in Tennessee tomorrow and he’ll likely be packing his office up early Monday.
This was in week 10. The fans have been ready for a while now. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
This was in week 10. The fans have been ready for a while now.
We’ll have plenty of time to talk about all the upcoming changes to Jacksonville’s front office this offseason, so let’s focus on the last game of the worst season in Jaguars’ history.
Dec 16, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (14) celebrates a touchdown catch over Miami Dolphins defensive back R.J. Stanford (not pictured) but it was called back on a penalty in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Blackmon will have 100+ yards and a touchdown: FACT
With Cecil Shorts shut down for the season, the Jaguar receiving corps now consists of Blackmon, Jordan Shipley, Toney Clemons, Jerrell Jackson, and Mike Brown. Fair to say Blackmon is probably going to get an overwhelming amount of targets. If Chad Henne plays decent for two quarters, Blackmon should be able to put together a solid game and set up nicely for next season.
Chad Henne will have at least 2 turnovers: FACT
Why? Because Chad Henne isn’t very good and he’s playing behind a very poor offensive line that gave up 7 sacks the last time they played the Titans. Any momentum Henne had from his monster performance against Houston has completely disintegrated and he has absolutely no reason to believe he has any kind of advantage for the starting job in 2013.
The Jaguars will hold Chris Johnson under 100 yards: FICTION
The Jacksonville defense did a good job holding Johnson to 80 rushing yards in their last meeting (bumped up by a 31 yard gash). With Daryl Smith back in the lineup, the Jaguars should be even more stout against the run, right? Well, Daryl Smith didn’t really play at a high level in his return last week. The Jaguars have a tendency to play well and then give up a ton of yards in the third quarter. Don’t be surprised to see Johnson break a big run or two in the second half.
Kendall Wright will have a play over 20 yards : FACT
The Jaguars have had their troubles this season with shifty players in open space (see: Wes Welker, CJ Spiller, etc.) and Wright has been one of the more productive rookie receivers this season. Justin Blackmon has a significant lead in passing yards, but Wright has a 4 reception lead. It’ll be interesting to see if either of these players is thinking about their competing statistics in an otherwise meaningless game.
While most fans look forward to Sunday and dread Monday, Jacksonville fans couldn’t be more hopeful for what will happen starting Monday. The organization is in need of sweeping changes – a full-measure is the only way this franchise can be turned around. With rumors swirling about possible GM candidates, the inevitable end of the Gene Smith era is right around the corner.
Titans 24 – Jaguars 13
– Daniel Lago