The Jacksonville Jaguars won what is, in all respects, a meaningless game. That’s not to say it’s meaningless in the hearts and minds of the players — hell, the defense played lights out and Blake Bortles finally ran some read option runs after five seasons of refusing to do what would ultimately move the ball on offense.
But it was meaningless. This team was knocked out of playoff contention in November. All that’s left to do is get some tape on your backups and play out the string.
However... there is that whole NFL Draft thing, hovering in the minds of fans as a specter of temptation to purposely not put your team in the best position to win so that your pick is higher than if you did sneak out a late season victory or two.
With the win yesterday, the Jaguars moved from the No. 5 pick in the first round to No. 9 overall. They would have stayed at No. 5 overall had they lost yesterday, but now they have the quarterback-needy Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants picking ahead of them.
So, the question of the day...
Are you glad the Jaguars won yesterday?
The case for winning
You play to win the game no matter what. Players are (and should be) worried about themselves and the performances they put on tape. Coaches are not guaranteed their job next year. These are men who have spent decades knowing that to win is everything and to lose is not a failure of team or sport, but a failure of self. There is no tanking because they literally cannot bring themselves to do it.
The case for losing
While the players may not be tanking, the coaches and front office can (and should) be treating these meaningless games as a head start on next year’s preseason. Get some tape on backups, protect starters from serious injuries — the natural result will likely be lesser talented players on the field, but it serves the purpose of additional evaluation while moving you up the draft order. If the playoffs are not a possibility, why wouldn’t you want the highest possible draft picks you could get?
What do you think? Are you happy we won or would you like to have seen us lose and secure a higher draft pick?
If it were up to you, would you have rather the Jacksonville Jaguars won or lost against the Miami Dolphins?
This poll is closed