Barring a surprise "Flex" into Sunday Night Football later in the season, tonight's game vs the Titans will be the only time the Jaguars will have a national prime time appearance. Such is life for a small market team that hasn't made the playoffs in two years.
That being said, the Jaguars have played some great games under the lights over the past few seasons. The only problem? The Jaguars haven't won any of those games.
Since the Jaguars win in Pittsburgh during the 2007 Wild Card round, the Jaguars have lost their last four straight prime time games. The Jaguars have not won a regular season prime time game since they beat the Giants in Week 11 of 2006. In short, when the Jaguars have had a chance to make a national statement, the team hasn't impressed the nation.
It hasn't been for a lack of trying. Outside of a Monday Night beat down in Houston during the dark days of 2008, the Jaguars other three losses have come during the waning moments. Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning pulled out late game heroics, while the Jaguars couldn't. It's left a bitter taste in Jags fans mouths.
Just as the Jaguars managed to overcome their history of fading vs the Colts, the team has to break the curse of National failures. They'll be playing a divisional rival in a packed house. Considering how generous the ESPN crew has been this season, I doubt we're hear much about blackouts or LA. Instead, the Jaguars need to show why they're considered a young team on the rise.
Now, it's time for the Jaguars to make that next step. If this team really has the playoffs as a goal, a win is here is critical. It puts them team at 4-2 and 2-0 in the division. Never mind that the two game road trip the follows looks far more manageable than before.
This is a big game for a lot of reasons. Now it's time to worry about the Jaguars keeping up in the division, instead of just "looking good" in front of a national audience.