This weekend the Jaguars will be home to host the Green Bay Packers, a team that just lost their last two games at home while being right in the middle of their own Division race.
Jacksonville has turned into a team that makes mistakes early and often to start a game, gets behind early, then faces a totally uphill battle trying to look halfway decent. In losing their last four contests (and six of their last seven), the Jags have played quite poorly. Whether it’s on offense, where the passing game is atrocious, or on defense, where opposing teams have consistently scored, it seems as if the team has accepted the identity of not being able to break out of a losing spell.
For all intents, the remainder of this season will be nothing more than a time for evaluation. There’s no question Jack Del Rio will be trying his best to figure out what he needs to do with this group of players, while also giving serious thought to who he wants to keep on his own coaching staff heading into next season. Fans want to always blame players for what they do or don’t do on the field. But I believe there’s no question the coaching staff has not come around to bring out the best in who they have on the field. And to me, both the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators have to be looked at seriously. Dirk Koetter has done a poor job with his play calling. While I know it’s been very tough considering the injuries and depletion of the linemen, it just seems as if we are continuously looking at some very ineffective, boring calls. Please, call me naive’ if you’d like, but I believe there are other things that can be done besides taking the RB’s straight up the middle.
Up until this season, Mike Smith was the Defensive Coordinator for the Jags. He then went to Atlanta, and this season has the Falcons on a nice upswing, with the potential for even getting a playoff spot. He deserves a lot of credit.
This year, Gregg Williams was brought in to handle the Defense. While he has a great resume from his past seasons of handling various teams, most recently the Redskins, this year Williams has not done a good job with his side of the ball. You may blame personnel not matching his style or schemes if you’d like. Maybe he needs different ‘types’ of defensive players to fit his ways. Whatever the case, things certainly haven’t worked up like they did in the past.
And so, while we watch these two teams play on Sunday, your best thoughts might be in simply gaining an opinion on who the Jaguars should keep on their roster, and who they should get rid of. Perhaps that’s your best of way of watching what could be a lame brand of professional football.
The 5-8 Packers are not in good shape at all. They’ve lost their last three games, including two at home by four and three points. They’ve lost five of their last six since coming off their bye week. Their run defense has been very week, as they rank 27th overall in the League. On top of that, they gave up over 400 passing yards in their last game against QB Matt Schaub and the Texans.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
With three games left in the regular season, there are a number of teams jockeying to earn a playoff slot for the postseason.
The marquee game of the weekend will be in Dallas, where the reeling Cowboys will take on the New York Giants. Things are nuts in Dallas right now, with the team coming off a tough loss to the Steelers. People are talking about QB Tony Romo and his ineptness especially, while even owner Jerry Jones is saying his injured RB, Marion Barber, should’ve been playing. Dallas is gonna have a tough time with a Giants squad that is also coming off a loss, at home to the Eagles. Dallas has to win to keep pace in the playoff race, while New York has clinched a spot. This should be a good contest.
In Baltimore, the Ravens will host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Only one game separates the two teams in the AFC North. Head Coach John Harbaugh has done a great job reviving a team that once had a feared Defense. That, combined with the play of rookie QB Joe Flacco and the running attack, has Baltimore looking very good at this point of the season. This game will showcase the two top Defenses in the NFL. Pittsburgh hasn’t won in Baltimore in a while. This game might come down to one or two plays here a mistake is made at the wrong time. It will be fun to watch and see who does what.
On the other end of the spectrum, we find the Detroit Lions, who are doing whatever they can to stop from becoming the first NFL team in history to go 0-16 (the Bucs once went 0-14). Detroit will ;go to Indy to face the Colts, who have won their last six games. I would say their chances of winning this game are quite slim. After this, they host the Saints, before the finish the season at Green Bay, where they have not won in almost two decades.
This weekend, the Heisman trophy will be presented up in New York. Last year, we all know Tim Tebow won it. He has a shot at winning once again. Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell, and Texas QB Colt McCoy are also in the running.
Personally, I could care less. To me, they have all had great seasons, and their teams have respectively gone a long way. Whoever wins will be deserving.