three years ago the Jacksonville Jaguars
went 11-5 and seemed to be poised to make a serious run at the Colts for
dominance in the AFC South. However,
following that promising 2007 campaign, the Jags are just 12-20 with all signs
pointing to another long season in 2010.
coach Jack Del Rio is squarely on
the firing line. After going 5-11 in
2008 and 7-9 last season, he's another slow start away from being unemployed.
Ownership has lost patience, the fans have lost interest and that's never a
bad everywhere you look in Jacksonville. The Jags ranked 24th in the
league in points scored with 18.1 per game. They were 24th in NFL defense allowing 23.8
ppg, 23rd in total yards allowed per game (352.3) and 27th
in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game with 235.9. There are holes on both sides of the ball and
not enough manpower to plug them.
If you trace
the downfall or demise of an NFL team, the offensive and defensive lines are a
good place to start. Jacksonville's offensive line allowed 42 sacks last season
and 126 quarterback hits last season, both league high's. The second year
tackles, Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, were in over their head last season
much to the chagrin of Garrard. Either they pick up the pace or Garrard will be
forced to run for his life. (Hey isn't
Tebow supposed to a pretty good scrambler?).
meet your 2010 Jacksonville Jaguars NFL offense. This shouldn't
take long since we're talking about just one guy, Maurice Jones-Drew. The
former UCLA standout did everything for the Jags in '09. He rushed 1,391 yards
and 15 touchdowns posting a 4.5 average. He was also the team's second leading
receiver with 53 grabs for 374 yards. He returned punts and kickoffs and even
had six tackles. Quarterback David Garrard was effective but certainly not spectacular
throwing for 3,597 yards with 15 touchdowns and ten interceptions. He ranked 17th
in the league with a passer rating 83.5 but has averaged just 6.9 yards per
play over the past two seasons. Mike Sims-Walker, who battled leg injuries most
of the season, led the Jags with 869 yards and seven touchdowns. He's a
potential 1,000 yard per season guy and gives Garrard his only real home run
the Jags inability to rush the passer led to many of their problems. They
ranked 28th in sacks with 28 and even with the addition of Alualu it doesn't
appear they've got the personnel to get better in that department any time
soon. Derrick Harvey remains the team's best lineman and even with the
off-season pickup of Oakland's John Morrson, the Jags linebackers are a
mediocre lot at best. The Jags do have some solid defensive backs including
Reggie Nelson and Rashean Mathis but they'll only be as good as the defensive
line allows them to be. Pressure is the key and without Nelson and Mathis will
be on the run week in and week out.
I'm sure the Jags regret not taking local hero Tim Tebow in the draft. Even if he wasn't NFL ready, he would have
sold tickets and created some interested from fans that now feel their team is unwatchable.
But instead the Jags passed on the former Florida Heisman Trophy winner and took
Cal defensive end Tyson Alualu with
the 10th overall pick while Tebow went to the Broncos at #24.
turn out to be a great football player; he might even become an all-pro or hall
of famer. His timing however failed him by not being the right guy at this
point in time for the Jags. With Tebow at the helm, the Jaguars could have gone
0-16 and they would have still gotten a pass. The Jags can talk all day long
about what a wise football move it was but they truly dropped the ball at the
goal line from a public relations standpoint.
are a football team headed in the wrong direction and to my way of thinking
ownership should be the fall guy not Del Rio. They've done very little to head
off relocation talk (LA Jaguars anyone?) and used the bad economy as an excuse
for everything that's gone wrong with the franchise. Things are going to get a
whole lot worse in J-Ville before they get better. At least fans will have one
thing to look forward to and that's when Tebow comes to town on September 12nd
albeit in the wrong uniform.
have the Jags listed at 70/1 to win the Super
Bowl and 35/1 to capture the AFC Title. Jacksonville is the longest of long
shots in the AFC South race at 1000/1 and they've been give a season wins total