Merry Christmas, Jaguars…

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Jacksonville Jaguars
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve always maintained the most difficult thing for a commentator is trying to determine if a game was won or lost. Case in point: Did the Jaguars beat the Bucs with stellar play or did the Bucs lose because they stunk up the place?

Obviously, it is always a combination, to a degree, but on Sunday at Everbank Field, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling the Jaguars’ 41-14 victory over the Tampa Bay was more about the Bucs than the Jaguars.

Absolutely, the Jaguars did some good things in overcoming a 14-0 deficit 51 seconds into second quarter with 41 unanswered points (more than doubling its previous high points total this season).

Maurice Jones-Drew, as usual, had an outstanding game, running for 85 yards, catching six passes for another 51 yards and scoring four TDs to establish a franchise career record.

Pro Bowl special team ace Montell Owens had two vicious hits that caused fumbles and basically accounted for 14 points.

Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert played perhaps his best game — which isn’t to say he had a great day.

But the Jaguars did a lot of things that seldom lead to a blowout victory. Gabbert threw two interceptions and both were horrible decisions. There were, as usual, too many dropped passes. The run defense, so stout for much of the season, was shaky in the middle.

Still, it was the bumbling, stumbling Bucs committing seven turnovers, five of which were unforced, that determined the outcome of this game on a windy, rainy, cool day. QB Josh Freeman, who showed so much promise last season, continued to struggle with accuracy. Tampa Bay had 80 yards in penalties. The Bucs tackled like they were cheerleaders.

Tampa Bay looked every bit like a team losing its seventh straight game. The Bucs, in fact, looked a lot like the Jaguars have looked most of the season. Both are 4-9. The similarities with the two teams may include firing the head coach. The Jaguars already have sent Jack Del Rio packing; the Bucs’ Raheem Morris now tops the list of coaches on the hot seat.

It was a special victory for Jacksonville’s interim coach, Mel Tucker, although he downplayed it. According to several players, Tucker shed tears in the locker room. I don’t blame him for being emotional. He now has an NFL victory on his coaching resume. That’s a big deal. What confuses me is why he chose to rattle off a string of clichés in describing his feelings.

Two bad teams playing on a miserable day best describes what happened.

Or, in keeping with the holiday season, you could say Christmas came early for the Jaguars.

  1. LeanMeanMachine says:

    May I point you back to
    You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about old timer.
    Merry Christmas indeed.

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