Dear Jags fans on this site,
Like all of you I sat on my couch swearing, praying, and sweating. I couldn't wait for this game, and now that its over, there is an emptiness inside my chest where I expected the thrill of a division title to fill. I expected a AFC South Championship shirt for Christmas, and I prayed that through divine intervention that the Jaguars would win after recovering the onside kick.
But alas, that was not to be. When the clock struck zero it was the Colts, yes the Colts, who had the championships wheel in there hands, like they always seem to do. I buried my head in the pillow, feeling the pain of a tough tough loss. This always happens doesn't it? Always.
What was also just wonderful, was the fact that my head was beginning to ache (just my luck). I slowly trudged upstairs and took two motrin, and then let the nice hot shower pour onto my head as my face relax and the headache dissipated.
But as I sat there I thought long and hard about the Jaguars. I wondered, what if Garrard hadn't let that one pass sail, what if the onside kick had been recovered, what if the pitch hadn't been fumbled, what if what if what if. But unlike the Giants game, or the Colts game from last year my heart wrenching feeling was not as severe. Maybe it was because we still had a chance, but no.
It wasn't. As I sat in the shower I realized something that I think we all need to consider on this site. We should be extremely proud and excited for the Jaguars. Yes, the title may be gone from Jacksonville, but the hope is endless and the excitement has been 100% there.
Look at our team. Look long and hard.
Look first at the offense. Where a young receiving core, with Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas, Jason Hill, Marcedes Lewis, and dont you dare forget Jarrett Dillard. Look at that depth. Its beyond anything weve had in Jacksonville, MAYBE ever.
Seriously, did you watch Jason Hill today? Or Mike Thomas, or Marcedes Lewis or Mike Sims-Walker? They all made clutch grabs at clutch times. They were open and Garrard found them for the most part. Its a shame we didnt pass all day or we probably wouldve won but lets not go down that road.
On a similar note, the tight end combo should be tops in the league, especially with the maturation of Zach Miller. Did you see that catch by Marcedes? Wow talk about incredible.
And the running backs well, MJD is MJD, but Rashad Jennings has put together a solid couple of games the past few weeks and looks like hes really coming into his own.
Even David had a pretty good game today. And the O-Line well, it may need some more work, but still no team is perfect.
The defense played better against the Colts especially in the second half than I've ever seen them play. Seriously guys, try and remember the Colts TD's in the second half. Oh wait, the Colts offense score ONE and only ONE offensive touchdown in the second half.
The D-line may not have had a "great" day but they are young as young can be. The direction is skyrocketing and they don't even have Kampman OR D'Anthony Smith. They're gonna be good next year.
The linebackers, well Daryll Smith was a MONSTER against the Colts. A Monster. He was all over the field. The rest of them didn't stand out but oh well.
Courtney Greene may be our strong safety of the future. You see how much his absense effects this teams rush defense. Lets put it in perspective. With Greene, they shut down Foster, Johnson, and Hillis. Without, they can't even stop Donald Brown.
Now yes there are weak spots. Like William Middleton who was TERRIBLE today (why didn't we have David Jones as the nickel guy?), but thats not what this article was written for. My point for this piece is to tell ALL of you to hold your heads high. We split with the Colts, and in a season where many predicted 7-9 or 6-10 the Jaguars will probably go 10-6.
And still have a shot to win the division. Think about it guys. Even if the Jaguars don't make the playoffs, they have given us a season of excitement, thrills, and tons and tons of hope. They have ALREADY exceeded all expectations that we have had this season.
To put the final touch on this letter, I offer a story. Once upon a beginning of a season I said "all I want for Christmas is the Jaguars to beat the Redskins," because I live in Maryland and my parents and entire family is Redskins fans and I took so much crap after the Redskins beat the Jaguars 4 years ago in overtime. I said that as long as the Jaguars beat the Broncos (the whole Tebow thing) and the Redskins I would be happy with the season.
A few weeks ago that changed slightly, well drastically actually. That wish soon became "the Colts, or division championship" which is a large change considering how bad both the Broncos and Redskins are.
My point is that we shouldn't shift our expectations of the Jaguars just because they start winning. Is it wrong to be disapointed they didn't win today, no, but is it wrong to beat yourself up about it, scream FIRE JACK DEL RIO, or say "wow Jaguars really?" Absolutely.
The Jaguars have brought nothing but happiness, excitement, and hope to me in the last couple weeks and I have nothing but the uptmost pride in my team even after a tough loss. So I urge you to pick your head up and stay strong. Our arrow is pointing way up and the future is bright.
And who knows, maybe, just maybe the Jaguars will get a real Christmas gift and find a division championship waiting under the tree next week with a Colts loss.
Go Jags/In Gene We Trust/We Are Jaguars/Merry Christmas,