That sound you heard is the collective groan from Jacksonville Jaguars fans at yet another late season swoon by the team. While many didn't have a lot of hope the Jaguars would beat the Houston Texans, not many thought that the loss would be such a punch to the stomach. The Houston Texans set the pace of the game right out of the gate, marching right down the field on their opening drive. Running back Arian Foster cruised to capture the NFL rushing title. and Matt Schaub did his typical carve up job of the Jaguars rotten secondary.
There was no Hail Mary to be had this time.Arian Foster nearly had 100 rushing yards in the first quarter. The Jaguars passed the ball maybe 5 times before the half, and were down only 3 points. Then the flood gates opened and the Jaguars offense got stuck in the mud. The Texans keyed in on Rashad Jennings, who was having a nice day, and force back up quarterback Trent Edwards to pass the ball, which he did in a very unsuccessful and tentative fashion. While he was able to hit Marcedes Lewis for a touchdown, there wasn't much else to be happy about. The Jaguars continued their trend of losing when the quarterback has to throw the ball more than 22 times, pushing that arbitrary number to 2-8.
The defense Jaguars fans came to expect showed back up these week. Free
safety liability Don Carey continuously took horrible angles on nearly all of Foster's long runs. The linebackers got eaten up by blocks and the pass rush was non-existent. The Jaguars didn't even register a hit on the quarterback.
It's going to be a trying time for Wayne Weaver the next few days. I still think Jack Del Rio is back next season, but this loss and another late season swoon will have to weigh heavily on Weaver. Despite the fact that in most people's eyes, this football team overachieved, it's hard for fans to welcome Jack Del Rio back. Under Del Rio, since the last time the Jaguars made the playoffs in 2007, they've closed out the season a combined 4-12, including losing the final three games in the last two seasons while being in playoff contention. The Jaguars even had a chance to lock down the division with a match up against the Colts and failed.
"I believe in Jack, that's he's the guy," Weaver said back in January, when Del Rio's job was also in question. "After going through this process, Jack is the guy that can get us there. The fans have to have enough trust in me to believe that I'm making the right decision for the franchise." Many think Del Rio is safe, largely due to his remaining contract, "Money is never a factor," Weaver also said in January. "It's a lot of money. I'm not going to say it's not, but money is not a factor. I want to win. I want one of those rings."
"The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result," Weaver said after the 2009 season. "I don't think we're at that point."
They might be.