Forty-five years ago, the words, "I shook up the world, I'm a bad man", were proclaimed announcing a surprising upset. The most feared man in the world, Sonny Liston, was vanquished. It was the upset, the surprise outcome, that still holds our attention.
Upsets, or even near upsets, are the most thrilling moments in sport. When a person or team stands in there and fights harder than imagined against all odds, we can't help but to rise to our feet and cheer. Even if the person or team loses, as long as the fight is good, we are moved. I don't care how many times I see "Rocky" or any of the sequels; they always hook me.
January 13, 2007 the Indianapolis Colts travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. The Ravens had a powerhouse defense allowing only 201 points all year. The Ravens could score as well with a league leading point differential of 157. The Colts could score but allowed a lot of points. The Jaguars hung 44 points on them earlier that season as Maurice Jones Drew announced his presence with 2 touchdowns and 166 yards rushing. Fred Taylor kicked in another 131 yards. No way could the Colts beat the Ravens, it was impossible. They did win and did it with their defense. Colt fans will tell you it was that game that supplied the power to carry the team past New England the next week and on to beat the Bears in the Super Bowl. Beating the Ravens was a defining game.
December 29, 2007, Tom Coughlin has nothing to gain by playing his starters against the undefeated Patriots in the last game of the year. Conventional wisdom said lay down and wait for the playoffs to begin. Tom threw everything at the Patriots in that game and went for the win. The fight was so good, the NY Giants earned respect. That game set the tempo for the playoff run that would have them fighting down to the last play of the Super Bowl to beat the Patriots, and ruin the perfect season. A meaningless season-ending game became a defining game.
The Jaguars are a touchdown underdog in the game against the Jets. A touchdown is a lot of points and indicates a potential blowout on the way. As fans, we expect to lose this game. The Jets are coming off a bye-week. They are at home. They need the win. The Jaguars can't keep people off of David and the Jets have a very good and fierce defense. There is no way the Jaguars can win. This is a perfect setting for a defining game.
Jack Del Rio senses this. He publicly proclaimed this team ready to make a surge. "Why not us", he asked. I agree. Despite having a good defense, the Jets are not much better at sacking the quarterback than the Jaguars are. The teams are almost even in offensive yards per game. A good game by the Jaguars, even in defeat can set up a good run for the rest of the season. Put up a good fight against the Jets and win or lose, the Jaguars earn respect. The Jaguars can use this game to their advantage.
This could be a defining game and you won't want to miss it. This is a must-see game.
- Terry O'Brien