During Week 11 of the 1996 season, the Jaguars were an after thought in the AFC playoff picture. It was a young, talented, but inconsistent team. Trailing 27-16 in the 4th quarter to the Baltimore Ravens, the Jaguars rallied for a 30-27 win that started the team's miracle playoff run.
Flash forward to the 2010 season, and perhaps destiny has once again decided to take up residence in Northeast Florida.
Offensively, the Jaguars did everything humanly imaginable to give the Cleveland Browns a win. At one point, the Jaguars turned the ball over on 5 straight possessions. During that stretch, Maurice Jones-Drew fumbled a ball that was recovered for a touchdown by Cleveland.
In addition, it became quite apparent that "Bad" David Garrard came to play. After playing his two best games since 2007, David Garrard reminded fans why the Jaguars should take a QB in the 2011 draft. Garrard tossed three interceptions and fumbled on a QB draw on the day. In addition, there were several vintage "David" sacks.
Defensively, this was easily the Jaguars best effort on the season. It didn't start off well, allowing a 16 play, 92 yard touchdown drive. But then the defense completely shut down the Browns. The pass rush managed to sack Colt McCoy six times. In addition, after a fast start, Peyton Hillis was effectively shut down.
However, where the defense made it's bones was during the offense's turnover streak.During the turnover streak, Cleveland's drives went as such
- Ward intercepts Garrard at Jax 48, 3 plays, -4 yards, punt
Osgood fumblesGarrard intercepted, returned to Jax 19, 3 plays, -1 yard, FG
- Garrard fumbles at Cle 43, 3 plays, -1 yard, punt
- Ward intercepts Garrard at Jax 34, 3 plays, 2 yards, Missed FG
In short, 4 drives, 12 plays, -4 yards, and just three points allowed. If that isn't a dominant defensive performance, I don't know what is.
It wasn't pretty, but this team managed to win when it played poorly. That is a first in 2010.
With the Texans and Titans losing, and Indianapolis trailing, the Jaguars may end up in first place of the AFC South. Strap in folks, this will be a fun (and heart pounding) ride.