Wins and losses are distributed evenly across the teams in the NFL. When one team loses, another team wins. This seems like an obvious statement, but there's something interesting to take away from it. In reality, having the worst record in the league is every bit as unlikely as having the best record.
If we're being honest, then we can acknowledge that the odds of seeing the 1-4 Jaguars go on to earn a good enough record to make the playoffs is tiny, so that's out as far as I'm concerned. That 1-4 record does, however, put us in a 6-way battle for the number 1 overall pick. So with the season likely in the shitter (we'll call it 99% likely at this point), it's about time that we focus on the real challenge for this year: The Battle to the Bottom.Scouts and college fans are very excited about Matt Barkley from USC. Geno Smith (despite a bad week this week versus Texas Tech) is flying up draft charts as well. If the Jaguars want a premier DE or QB, then we must find a way to play worse than all the other teams in the league. It'll be a challenge considering we have some actual talent, but I think we can do it and here is how.
My 3-step plan to securing a top-5 pick:
1) Keep Gabbert as the starter
After all, he's only twenty games into his career. I mean, he's 22 years old. Forget that most of the greatest Olympic athletes in the world are all under 22 years old, or that NBA stars like Kobe Bryant were already dominating their sport at that age, it's totally a viable excuse, right? Wrong, but whatever it takes to keep us on track. His inability to make complex reads and remain calm in the pocket is our biggest asset in this battle.
2) Lose the games we need to lose
Looking at the schedule, we have several head to head battles with some of our closest competitors: Oakland (1-4) in week 7, Detroit (2-3) in week 9, Indy (2-4) in week 10, and Tennessee (2-4) twice in weeks 12 and 17.
We must lose these games. Any win will hurt us in the standings, but a win against Oakland, for example, gives them a head to head tiebreaker over us if we wind up with the same record. That must be avoided at all costs.
3) Root for the League's Losers
While we clearly don't want the Jaguars to win many games in this situation, there are now 5 other teams we desperately want to succeed. Teams like New Orleans and Carolina probably have enough talent that we don't need to waste our energy rooting for them, but for the worst of the worst teams (mainly Kansas City and Cleveland) they're a serious threat to never win again, and we don't get a head-to-head matchup to help them along. That's why we must cheer for them. Give them support, build up their confidence; do whatever we can as fans to cheer them to victory. Because a win for them is actually a win for us.
So there you have it. As it stands, the Jaguars are in pretty good position in the Battle to the Bottom; the 30th ranked defense, a bottom 3 QB. The Jaguars can't press; they just have to stay calm and play one game at a time, but I get the feeling that we can do something truly exceptional this year and land a top 3 pick in the draft. I'll be watching this year with that in mind, and it should help keep my excitement level up through what would otherwise be a dreary season.
So what do you say, BCC? Who do you think will win the Battle to the Bottom? And more importantly, are you with me in rooting for an extraordinary season?