The Jacksonville Jaguars, coming off two straight AFC South losses and falling to 4-6 on the brink of being virtually out of the 2019 playoffs, of course are set to head on the road Sunday to take on the Tennessee Titans. It’s do or die time for the Jaguars, and of course they face it on the road against the team who traditionally has just ripped the Jaguars guts out.
Of course it’s against the friggin’ Titans and of course running back Derrick Henry is licking his chops at a defense coming off two awful rushing performances. I’m sure all he’s thinking about is that 99-yard run he had in 2018 and the way he was shut down earlier in the season on national TV and eagerly looking forward to facing the Jaguars again, especially when they’ve been gashed in the run game since.
Jaguars starting quarterback Nick Foles laid an egg last week against the Colts and his box score looked a lot better than the actual on-field performance, but he has to rebound this week against a tough Titans defense. This is why you paid that money to Foles and why you made the switch from rookie Gardner Minshew II back to Foles. Foles is supposed to win these types of critical big moment games.
Not only is it a critical game for Nick Foles, but really it’s a critical game for the Jaguars franchise as a whole. If you blow this game, while you’re still “in” the playoff hunt, for all intents and purposes you’re out of the playoffs and certainly staring down another losing season and perhaps another double-digit losing season and spiraling out of control, again.
Well, given the history, maybe this is control.
Regardless, the coaching staff and front office need to view this as a do or die type of game as well. I’m a fan of head coach Doug Marrone, but if the team heads into another big game and blows it, it certainly means the end of the line right? We saw in Week 1 the plan to sit everyone all preseason backfired, as the Kansas City Chiefs blew their doors off out of the gate and the team seemed flat. The same thing happened last week against the Indianapolis Colts, coming off a bye and you just got flat out dominated.
There’s an issue there and it’s been a consistent one.
The two biggest decisions this offseason, signing Nick Foles and retaining everyone, is more or less on the line in Sunday’s game against the Titans. The Jaguars cannot afford another loss if they want to salvage the 2019 season, or it will just be another in the long line of losing seasons over the past decade.