Since Jack Del Rio has become the head coach of the Jaguars, there have been ups and downs.
Winning at Green Bay only to follow it up with losing to the Texans.
Blowing out Indianapolis only to lose three straight.
2007 followed up by 2008.
These are issues that I outlined in a previous article of mine, Jack Del Rio on trial. Well, here is another chance for Del Rio to right the ship and get things going in a consistent positive direction. The Jaguars are coming off a 23-20 win against the Rams and have two more hapless teams coming up with games against Tennessee and Kansas City.
If the Jaguars are to be a playoff contender, or even show that progress is being made, they have to win these two games. These are two bad football teams that haven't been very competitive this season. This team is not being asked to beat Indianapolis and New England on the road in back to back weeks as it will be later in the season. Just to setup a possible playoff scenario, the Titans and Chiefs loom.
In addition, the Jaguars are 2-4 coming off the bye week under Del Rio. The bye week is usually considered a blessing for teams. A chance to rest and gain extra preparation for the upcoming opponent. However, it seems to be a curse for the Jaguars.
We've all heard the accusations that Del Rio is too lax, too much of a players coach, and just not cut out to be a head coach. Here is his chance to begin to change those perceptions. He is taking a young team on the road to face a bad team they already beat 37-17 once this season.
In all honesty, this is the kind of game you would expect the Jaguars to turn around and lose under Del Rio. They have the track record for it. Yet, I feel differently about this game and this team. This team has a sense of togetherness that I haven't seen in awhile and the amount of growth is already apparent.
If that growth is to continue, the Jaguars must have a 5-3 record heading into the Meadowlands in Week 10. The Jaguars must not let themselves look ahead to a match up that will certainly head major implications on the Wild Card race, because if they do they won't find themselves in it.
We all saw what happened against St.Louis, and the Jaguars may not be so lucky again. If they walk into Tennessee expecting a win, then we may have a repeat of the Rams game. If that happens and we don't have another gutsy performance from Garrard, then the magical season we've been hoping for is gone.
If this team walks into Tennessee prepared and wanting to quiet all of its doubters, we will see a repeat of what happened in Jacksonville in Week 4.
This is the kind of game everyone is expecting you to lose Jack. Do you really want us to say we told you so?