Say goodbye to a division title! What a terrible evening it has been.
Couldn't even stand up and win at home against a depleted team in prime time even when we get 129 yards of help from the officials. The game would have been a blowout if it weren't for some questionable calls in our favor and that gift of a pick six. Jones drew and Taylor combine for 15 YARDs meanwhile a "depleted" backfield runs all over us for 129 yards. This is totally unacceptable, the defense can no longer wait to the second half to play and I don't care what string you are, can the secondary PLEASE cover someone (I'm lookin' at you Brian Williams and William James)? Can the O-Line maybe block for just a play or two I mean come on, the Steelers back-up d-linemen can't be that good can they? In no aspect of the game did the Jags come out on top, the Steelers out rushed us, out passed us, ruled the time of possesion, got more first downs, and obviously outscored us. Beating the Steelers was one of the only things this team could ever do consistently, but now all we seem to do consistently is show a glimmer of hope and lose. There was once a time that when I saw someone proudly wearing Steelers gear, I got a small sense of pride. I didn't even need to say anything the feeling alone was enough. Without a superbowl victory, or even an AFC South title, owning the Steelers was the one thing that every Jaguars fan could take pride in. Well, after tonight, it won't be that way again for quite some time. This was supposed to be a statement game, the game that turned or season around. The Steelers had a short practice week, a depleted secondary, a banged up quarterback and a road-trip to a team they hadn't beaten in their last 4 matchups. I guess the conditions were just too good. Leave it to the Jags to come up short when all the odds are on their side.
Sorry for all that negativity, but I live on a hall full of Steelers fans who each proceeded to rub their victory in my face and will undoubtably continue to do so for the rest of the year, so needless to say, I'm a bit pissed off.
Negatives, well my entire rant above and...
1. We lost, At home, In prime time, to the Steelers
2. Our secondary (excepting the pick Ben so generously gave us) was completely shredded during the first half. They weren't playing smart, or with too much intensity.
3. Not much out of the linebackers, I was expecting better play especially with the return of Justin Durrant.
4. This is the big one, NO RUN GAME. Where the hell is it? We are opening the field by passing well, we were playing against some back ups on the defense, yet nothing, no holes, no big plays, nothing. Two hard working backs like Jones-Drew and Taylor don't deserve blocking like this.
5. Stupid penalties, though the Steelers got called for a lot more of them, getting called for stuff like taunting is inexcuseable. You're a professional athlete ACT PROFESSIONAL.
6. Another no show for big money reciever Jerry Porter. Was he even playing for most of the game? And on that note, Where were Northcutt and Williamson, and what happened to Reggie Williams? Suddenly we have become a team of only two recievers.
7. The defense got run over by backup running backs. What happened to us? Is it Greg Williams? Or is it our players' lack of effort laying down and giving up leads in the 4th? "The defense is adjusting to a new coordinator" excuse just isn't cutting it for me any more. It's been five weeks something needs to be fixed NOW!
I miss Mike Smith.
And the Positives...
1. Mike Walker played a great game aside from a couple of key drops at key points that would have been tough catches anyway.
2. No turnovers, though we came close on that fumble.
3. Podlesh's punts looked very good. (He's had plenty of practice I guess)
4. We actually put some pressure on somebody, Imagine that? Maybe if we could do that consistently and make a tackle we might have something that could pass for a defense.
5. Pass protection was decent, though slightly inconsistent. They picked up blitzes well but got beat a few times when Pitt. played base.
7. Garrard didn't throw a pick and had an average game overall especially considering that the offense was completely 1 dimensional.
Well, I'm glad I got all that out, we need to get over the loss and improve every single aspect of our football team, go to Denver, and get a DECISIVE VICTORY, not a win in the last seconds by a field goal, not an overtime squeaker, we need a rout. I'm talking 200 plus yds rushing, passing sucessfully to all of our receivers and total defensive dominance. No problem right? This team, especially the o-line and the defense needs to make a statement. In my opinion, that, and only that can salvage our season from going down the drain. Anything less and we might as well pack it in start over-hyping our team for next year, and pray that the franchise stays in Jacksonville. Once again I apologize for all the negative vibes, but I haven't been more disappointed by a game in recent memory. With all that being said, I have not totally lost all hope, we can still make this into a respectable season but it ain't gonna be easy. If we quit on this franchise and don't support this team it will be gone before we know it. A bad team is a lot better than no team at all.
Congrats Steelers, (especially Big Ben) for a VERY well played game that should not have been nearly as close as it was. You certainly wanted it and deserved it more than we did. Please go win your division so we can have a tiny glimmer of hope for a wildcard spot.
[Editor's Note: Thanks for putting this out there for us Rusty. What do the rest of you think. Is this a make or break week again already!? Where was Jerry Porter? Can this team handle Mile High stadium and it's naturally thin atmosphere? Will you still support the team if it becomes clear we aren't playoff contenders? How do you think the Jacksonville community will react to having such high expectations tarnished, can we expect black-outs? Comment on how to handle this unexpectedly poor start to our season and thanks again to Rusty904 for putting up this fan-post!]