The biggest regular season game in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yeah I'll buy that.
A win in their week 15 matchup against the Colts would officially lock up a playoff spot and the division title for the Jaguars, but it's not as though it would be the first ever division title for the Jaguars. Granted, it's been since 1999 when the Jaguars last won a title when they went 14-2 to take down the AFC Central. Even as such, the meaning of this game runs deeper than the "AFC South Champs" hats one team will be wearing by season's end.Earlier in the week Dominic Rhodes referred to the Jaguars as the "little brother" of the Colts. When Maurice Jones-Drew was asked if there was any truth to the statement he didn't even start to deny it, "There's a lot of truth to that." In a way that goes beyond the trash talk, that's essentially what the game means to me.
The Colts have been the dominant team in the AFC South, essentially since its inception in 2002. Since, the formation of the AFC South the Colts are 106-35 and have been to the playoffs each and every year. In fact, a loss to the Jaguars on Sunday would give them their 7th loss of the season. That would be the most they've ever had as a member of the AFC South. Conversely, the Jaguars are 71-70 during the same timespan and have been to the playoffs just twice.
Is there truth to the statement that the Jaguars have been the Colts "little brother?" Of course there is. When you've played a team 19 times and won just 5 times, they're the historically better team regardless of how close each game is, but this game represents an opportunity.
An opportunity for the Jaguars to officially break through the barrier of the AFC South that has forever been the Indianapolis Colts. A chance for the little brother to beat the big brother. Beat the Colts on Sunday and that "little brother" title will be gone forever for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars are a team on the rise, there is no doubt about that. I suppose it's debatable whether or not the Colts are on the decline, but all indications point towards them being the most vulnerable they've been in close to a decade. But before the Jaguars can consider themselves a contender in the NFL, they must first eclipse the Colts and prove that they are no longer the inferior team.
If the Jaguars were to make the playoffs despite losing to the Colts, I wouldn't feel right about it. A sweep of the Colts is the only way the Jaguars should take the division title and this is the opportunity to do so. If they don't, the arrows are still pointing up for the future, but this team will show that they simply aren't ready yet. If they do win, a new era has officially begun in the AFC South.
So which is it? That is why this game is the biggest regular season game in the history of the Jaguars. We get to find out.