How many times in the first half of Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Chargers as a Jacksonville Jaguars fan did you mutter the phrase “Same ol’ Jaguars...”? How many points did the Chargers have to score before you completely gave up any chance of a comeback?
I’ll be honest, as soon as the punt bounced off of Chris Claybrooks’ head I turned to my friend and I said, “Well, I guess it’s just not in the cards today huh?” That was when the Chargers went up 27-0 and it was just after Trevor Lawrence’s fourth interception on the night.
Think about that for a moment. It wasn’t until after the fifth turnover of the first half that I lost the frame of mind that a win was still on the table. When was the last time you could say that? I was a dumb kid during the 90’s run, so maybe that was the feeling back then. During the early Jack Del Rio years we had a dominate defense, but it never felt like they could just comeback and win from any deficit.
Through the course of just a single season, which isn’t even over yet, it seems that Doug Pederson and in turn quarterback Trevor Lawrence, have completely shattered that feeling in Jaguars fans and instead injected them with hope.
When the Chargers went up 10-0, I turned to my friend and said “Oh nice, down 10. We have them right where we want them.”
I wasn’t joking. The Jaguars on the season at that point were 4-0 when starting out the game trailing 10-0. I genuinely believed at that point it was a good thing for the Jaguars to be down 10-0.
Can you believe that?
When, ironically, American Authors were setting up to play “Believer” at halftime while the Jaguars trailed their first home playoff game in five years, no one left. People stayed until the bitter end and they were rewarded with one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of the NFL Playoffs.
Everyone still believed, until the bitter end, they could win.
In less than a year, the Jaguars have completely evaporated a lot of fandom PTSD.
The Jaguars, somehow, have inspired hope again.