Over the past two seasons, we've watched the Jaguars fall apart late in the season. In 2009, the Jaguars stood at 7-5 before dropping their last four games, and similarly, the Jags dropped 3 in a row to finish 8-8 in 2010. In 2009 many people, myself included, thought Del Rio would lose his job. I was actually in favor of splitting ties with him at the end of 2009, but in my eyes, he redeemed himself in 2010. I also now realize that the team of 2009 really shouldn't have finished 7-9. They just didn't have enough talent. That being the case, Del Rio has to find a way in 2011, to keep the wheels on the wagon throughout December.
Jack Del Rio has been given an ultimatum by Wayne Weaver, and by all accounts, Del Rio is confident that he can meet the terms of his ultimatum. Wayne Weaver has shown an incredible level of patience with Del Rio, and that may stem from observing other more successful franchises. Pittsburgh hasn't fired a coach since the late 1960s, even thought they sometimes go through stretches of just being okay.
Wayne Weaver's patience is fine with me, but there has to be a point where you move on. It's entirely possible that the CBA situation spared Del Rio this year. This year more than most, it's important that an organization is stable to be competitive coming out of a lockout.
In 2009, it became apparent that the Jaguars had overachieved to reach a 7-5 mark, but in 2010, the team simply collapsed. The rush defense, which had been quite stellar in previous weeks, fell apart during those final three games. After the Colts game, Maurice Jones-Drew didn't play, and that produced a largely ineffective running game. I guess the message here is that the Jaguars still lack the depth of the elite teams.
The Jaguars need to avoid a late-season-letdown to make a playoff push, and to do so, they'll need a little luck. Staying healthy will be key for the Jaguars because they lack the depth of many of the elite teams in the rest of the league. The Jaguars should be in contention going into December once again in 2011. Time will tell if they can turn December into a winning month.