JACKSONVILLE FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback David Garrard #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates following a touchdown pass during the NFL season opener game against the Denver Broncos at EverBank Field on September 12 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
There are some things we know and in turn live that knowledge through conscious acts. Sometimes, however, we forget those obvious items and need to be refocused. This week, for me, was the latter. My college roommate thought he was having a heart attack which turned out to be a false alarm but which has now led to a week's worth of testing to figure out what happened. His wife, my wife's college roommate, has a sister who will be undergoing surgery and chemotherapy for cancer in her neck. Finally, the father of a close friend died this week after a sudden illness.
I liken the impact of these events to a race. Sometimes you get caught up in the activity of those around you and forget the pace that ensures a strong and enjoyable run. It is simply a matter of putting things back into focus to allow you to have a clearer perspective.
We've all had our ups and downs
It's been mostly down around here
Now this whole damn mess is becoming quite clear
Life Worth Livin' - Uncle Tupelo
For the teams and their fans it is imperative that last week's game and individual performances are tapered. As ESPN's Paul Kuharsky noted multiple times: it is just one week. So no, Houston, that doesn't mean you've turned the corner. And no, everyone else, that doesn't mean the Colts are on the other side of success.
In reading this and a few other Jaguar sites, we seem to be very cautious in our optimism. We like what Aaron Kampann and Tyson Alualu did but we know Aaron's injury and Tyson's youth still have at least15 more tests. We like that David Garrard showed a bit of the 2007 game management but it needs to be an every Sunday and not an every other Sunday performance. We don't like that Mike Simms-Walker was a non-factor but even Andre Johnson had a bad week.
That isn't where I think the problem resides.
If you followed twitter and this site early in the week the buzz was directly focused on the journalistic failings from the likes of Jerome Bettis and Gregg Easterbrook. My role in this was heavy handed as I emailed these two directly along with the news agencies which published and edited(?) their articles. While it is necessary to defend the city and the team, the obvious truth is this: sell tickets, win games and your problem will more than likely go away.
In a well written article, Kuharsky reminded us that editors want stories which attract attention and focus on "hot" issues. Even with a well packed stadium and a vastly improved defense, the public perception is that Jacksonville is still a failed NFL experiment. If the fans buy tickets and the team wins games it will be very hard to paint the dismal picture some are hell bent on defining. The more we react, the more power "they" have.
Putting it in that perspective reminds us that "we" have the power. Now jump those random musings.
- I usually like Vic Ketchman's responses to the readers in Ask Vic but I take serious issue with his responses to the questions related to the Bettis and Easterbrook articles. If anyone should, and has the opportunity to, defend this city and the team it is our media. Forget the relationships you may have and demand more so your occupation isn't perceived so poorly.
- That Alualu sack still is causing a buzz in my little circle of friends. I can see my excitement for him becoming uncontrolable. Fighting off the double team and just out muscling the lineman to get the sack was like opening a gift on Christmas day . Watch it again here.
- Count me as someone who loved Del Rio going for it on both fourth and inches. I found Banazak's comments post game to be outdated and a bit ignorant. I respect that he played the game but his opinion if far too safe. There is no reason why this team can't get a few inches when they want, not need, to. Kudos to Jack for demanding more.
- I couldn't make it opening day as I had a rare opportunity to use my brother-in-law the forester on some much needed back yard landscaping. What it did afford me was the very rare opportunity to just listen to the game. Brought back memores of living in Baltimore, listening to Detroit Tiger and Detroit Lions games with my dad on our porch: Thanks to technology I DVR'd the game for a future viewing. If you think you need to watch it, try radio only. That is what I'll be doing for the Charger game.
- Who do I have to kill to get my dance, MAURICE!!
- Vincent Jackson to the Vikings is a foolish decision. I don't believe Brett Favre will find that inner youth, and when he is gone that offensive well will be pretty dry. If I'm Jackson's agent I'm banging on the door of either the Packers or the Patriots.
- I would like to officially apologize to Greg Jones. But I still want to see Brock Bolen worked into this offense. Bolen and MJD in the backfield will add a wrinkle to how defenses scheme against the run.
- The dad in me loves the NFL ticket exchange commercial featuring that catchy "Snatch and Grab It" song.
- For all those who mocked me for taking Jacksonville in my pick the winner league, while in turn touting San Diego as a lock, thanks for your $20.
- And to further show my confidence, I dropped San Diego's defense in one of my fantasy leagues and grabbed the Patriots. My personal rebellion against the pre-season Jets love.
- This is going to be a time of possession game. As far as I'm concerned Philip Rivers is just another Peyton Manning when it comes to performing against Jacksonville. In other words, I question how much he can be stopped. What I do think is that his attitude makes him susceptible to mental failures and if he gets impatient that may be the best means of defense. Give me anything greater than a 10 minute advantage and Jacksonville wins this game.
- I really wanted to finish an article showing the Jaguars would start the season 3-1 but time just didn't permit. It is my goal to do so before the Colts game. If you know me then you know I'm not too keen on all the stat sites. Too many variables. My approach would never make it in a court of law but I'm going to make the case anyway.
- Hey media, you can't say the Jets are abysmal offensively while touting the domination of the Ravens defense.
- One of the most popular fantasy free agent acquisitions: Marcedes Lewis.
- I hope the San Diego blackout is not a sign of things to come. I don't want anyone to lose a team for the sake of Los Angeles. Look, if San Diego is having blackouts, what makes you think L.A. won't?
- Great tweet from Vito Stellino noting California and Florida have the same problem: so many other things to do can impact attendance. Passion in the mid-west and north-east is more focused and absent of distractions.
My favorite quote of the week.
CB Rashean Mathis on DE Aaron Kampman: "He’s a freak. You look at him. Everybody looks at him and says ‘who is this guy?’ If you’re building a defensive end he’d be your prototype. Clone him as a defensive end."
- Too much is being made out of San Diego's loss to Kansas City as is what a possible loss to Jacksonville means. The AFC West is weak enough that the Chargers will have enough opportunities to make their playoff run. This game means so much more to Jacksonville.
- Chargers LT Marcus McNeil is holding out so Kampmann gets second year player Brandyn Dombrowski (Jaguars RapidReports). Add physical to mental pressure I expect to see.
- I'd call 5 sacks and 2 interceptions for the Jaguars but I fear the Chargers watched last weeks game and will use a quick passing attack.
- If you haven't been paying attention you may have missed the fact that DirecTV's NFL package now has clips of the Jaguars scoring on other teams.
- My favorite part about listenting to last week's game on the radio was Jeff Lageman calling Tiquan Underwood's 46 yard kick off return, to start the third quarter, from his own one yard line a great mistake. He further suggested Del Rio was wishing he could've made such a great mistake in reference to the failed 4th down attempt late in the second quarter.
The weather is beautiful in San Diego and the team is focused. Enjoy the game everyone.
May I leave you with this classic "feel good" tune.
- Brian Fullford