Here we are, two hours away from game time!
Where: Raymond James Stadium in the fantastic city of Tampa Bay. I've got many a memory of Tampa, hanging out at the Univeristy of Tampa, Ybor City, and most importantly Gasparilla. So I tend to wax poetic a bit when I see Tampa. I can go so far as to say I have sympathies for the Bucs, though not nearly enough to question my Jaguars. It's close to 90 degrees with a 30% chance of thunderstorms. In other words, its just like playing in Jacksonville.
What's at stake: For the Jaguars this is a chance to prove that they can survive the change at quarterback. This game will come down to the ability of the Defense and Running Game to take over a game and relieve the pressure off of Gray. Gray needs to let the game come to him and playing from behind against an ultra-hot Jeff Garcia is not the best way to keep the ship afloat.
Frankly, if the Jaguars can't come together against the Bucs in what's practicaly a home game, they won't do well on this three game road trip.
The Bucs are, somehow, a contender in the NFC. They're playing mistake free football and hanging a victory against what should be a solid AFC team like the Jags really gives them momentum as a contender. Considering the state of the NFC, that's a big boost.
When: Two hours from now, give or take a few min.
Who's the Man?: Paul Spicer, that's who. He'll be replacing Reggie Hayward today. He's been the best defensive player on the Jags so far this season, which is no light praise considering who we've got on our defense. Also, Brian Williams is inactive because of a strained hamstring, CB Aaron Glenn will be starting opposite Mathis.
Yeah, that's a great start to a game against a near perfect quarterback.
Why will the Jags win?: Because the team understands what they have to do in order to remain relevent in the AFC. Mistake free football, solid defense, lots of forced 3 and outs, and simple mistake free quarterbacking will take us to victory. Everyone in the world thinks we're going to lose this game. We're a team that could have beaten the Colts, and now we're an underdog to beat the Bucs, that has to motivate the team to step up and start this road trip with a win.
I think this will turn into a battle of wills for the Jaguars as they attempt to maintain control of their season.
I think we'll win.
Update [2007-10-28 15:34:1 by River City Rage]: I forgot to list the inactives. The Jaguars have David Garrard, Josh Scobee, John Broussard, Brian Williams, Derek Landri, Richard Collier, Uche Nwaneri, Tony McDaniel inactive.
The Bucs: Luke McCown (third QB), Brian Kelly, Michael Pittman, Jeremiah Trotter, Patrick Chukwurah, Dan Buenning, Michael Clayton and Alex Smith.