It is easy to look at a stat sheet and place blame.  But when the Jacksonville Jaguars are in the mix, that is way too easy.  When it comes to the surprising Cincinnati Bengals though, the stats don't lie. 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Hero

Is it appropriate to assign a hero award to someone who didn't play? In this case, yes. 

The hero for the Sunday game versus the Bengals is Fred Taylor.  The Jaguars' ex-running back was honored in the ring of honor Sunday.  Who knew the Pride of the Jaguars would be the pride of the Jaguars for Sunday?  The induction was the highlight of the game for the Jaguars and their fans.  It gave hope before it was dashed by the defensive play of the Bengals and the downpour that epitomized the game for the Jaguars.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Zero

Who defines the strategy for the Jaguars offense?  The head coach and the offensive coordinator both are equally deserving of the zero award.  They are being penalized for thinking too much.  The Jaguars decided to attempt to take advantage of what they presumed was a limping defensive secondary. 

Injuries to starting cornerbacks Nate Clements and Leon Hall, as well as backups Jason Allen and Dre Kirkpatrick, had Jaguars coaches salivating at the prospect of airing the ball out.  But leaning on second year quarterback Blaine Gabbert proved an ineffective strategy. 

The Jaguars seemingly forgot they had Maurice Jones Drew.  How do you allow last year league's leading rusher, and this year pleasant surprise rusher, to stand idly by?  Maurice Jones-Drew didn't get a chance to run.   

Cincinnati Bengals: Heroes

The defensive line collectively gets the award.  Why you ask?  With a young and ailing secondary, the defensive line stepped up.  The D-line amassed six sacks.  They also allowed the Jaguars 212 total yards.  That was the fewest yards the Bengals allowed by an opponent in two years.

Cincinnati Bengals: Zero

Really? 

The Bengals outscored the Jaguars 27-10.  The Bengals out-gained the Jaguars in total yards 382-212.

I am assigning the goat award to the training staff of the Bengals.  Get Clements, Hall, Allen and Kirkpatrick back on the field. 

It will make your team better and it will not give your opponents false hopes.

 

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