Prior to Sunday's 24-19 victory over the Tennessee Titans the Jacksonville Jaguars had lost seven straight games on the season, including every game at EverBank Field. Not only did the Jaguars lose at EverBank Field, but they were completely demolished in every game.
Sunday's game looked like it might go that direction, when Chad Henne's first pass attempt was tipped in the air and picked off before a lot of fans even sat down in their seats to watch the game. A few plays later, the Titans had zero yards but three points of another silly turnover at EverBank Field and most immediately let out a groan with the thought of "Here we go again..."
Here we didn't go again, however, as the Jaguars offense ripped off three plays of 10+ yards on their next four and quickly got to midfield and then near the redzone. The drive disappointingly ended with back to back sacks of Henne, but the Jaguars offense didn't go into it's normal shell when they start out with a mistake, as we've seen in games past.
The Jaguars offense came back out and marched right down the field to score a touchdown to take a 7-3 lead over the hated Titans, and never looked back, holding a lead for the remainder of the game.
"Obviously you can tell. They needed that, a lot of people needed that," Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey told reporters after the game. "It was well earned, they earned it based on the way they come to work every day. We want to see steps, as we talked about a couple of weeks ago, we want to see progress and again we’re seeing progress the last couple of weeks. We’ve got to keep doing that for the next five weeks."
Mularkey didn't want to call the feeling after Sunday's home victory relief, but everyone could tell there was some sense of that afterwards, with the coaches, the players, and most importantly the fans.
"It felt good. Before the game, coach said that if we win he would give everybody on the team a chest bump. We came in and he was out there giving everybody chest bumps," Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III, who had a long touchdown catch, told reporters in the locker room.
"It was good to win for Jacksonville the city."
Losing wears on everyone, but when you lose at home and get destroyed in every game, it's difficult on the fans who show up week after week to watch their team get their faces pushed in.
Not Sunday, though. On Sunday the Jaguars won. They're still bad and a 2-9 football team, but they won. And they beat the Titans.