As a writer and reporter, writing the same things over and over again about a team that was getting blown out of every stadium it was playing in had gotten quite boring and depressing.
On Sunday, there was plenty to write about. The win over the Tennessee Titans by the Jacksonville Jaguars wasn’t just one of the feel-good stories of the day. But in my mind, it was the most important to a city that needed something to hold on to.
The franchise had gutted its roster, chanced head coaches, found a new general manager and placed all its eggs in one bucket – one that young, inexperienced and full of failure so far in the 2013 NFL season. It was a franchise that had set records for ineptitude and heartbreak. It was a team that through the eyes of its head coach was making progress, even if it were small steps. While we may not have seen those steps, we all sure wanted to drink the Kool Aid and believe head coach Gus Bradley knew what he was talking about.
On Sunday, we saw some of that belief ring true. We saw a smile and happiness because the same things he had been preaching since the day the Jaguars hired him from Seattle – had come to fruition.
And as my cousin Karen has preached for years how great it was to be a fan of her college alma mater – on Sunday it was great to be a Jacksonville Jaguar.
One win does not cure all the ills of this franchise. There are still uses with a depleted offensive line, a non-existent pass rush and a running game seen better days. There are holes in the passing game, problems with a quarterback who thinks at times he is playing volleyball with defensive linemen who bat down passes at the line of scrimmage and defensive ends who take plays off and do not always come at the quarterback at full speed.
But what we saw on Sunday was a better than average secondary, a career game for Will Blackmon, solid ball hawking skills from Dwayne Gratz and sure tackling from Geno Hayes.
Are the Jaguars the worst in the NFL? That is debatable. Right now, their record shows they are 1-8 on the season and the last time I checked, Tampa Bay had not won a football game yet.
Can this team win more football games? As Tony Boselli said on the postgame radio show after the win, yes if the defensive can create turnovers like it did on Sunday. While that may not be popular with the fans who want them to lose games to better the team’s draft positioning, I say “phooey” to you. Winning has a way of curing a lot of things. For now, a win helps the team’s psyche. And most of all, makes man y – if not all of us think they the Jaguars can do it again.
It would appear Bradley knew what he was talking about all along.