The smell of funnel cake wafted over from The Greater Jacksonville Fair and throughout EverBank Field last Sunday. Like the Fair, the Jaguars’ slim-to-none mathematical chance of ending the season at .500 also left town that day after a 27-14 defeat at the wings of the Arizona Cardinals in what I labeled the “Shut Carson Palmer Up Bowl.” Earlier in the week, Cardinals QB Palmer infuriated Jaguars fans (well, #JaguarsTwitter anyway) by taking an underhanded cheap shot at the Jags paltry attendance. By game’s end, Palmer had quieted the Teal Faithful by putting his 419 yards and 2 TDs where his mouth is. By beating up the Jaguars in Jacksonville, so-so Arizona revealed just how much of a desert mirage last week’s win against the Titans truly was.
Chad “Less Bad” Henne & his not-winless Jags jumped out of the locker room with a noble first quarter on a flame ignited by a noble gas as—wait for it—Danny Noble caught a 62-yard TD pass that was the first catch of his career as well as his only catch of the game, naturally, #BecauseJaguars. That Noble TD ended up being the Jaguars’ first touchdown of the season at home (yes, you read that correctly and, yes, the “no cheering in the press box” rule was deactivated for that play). Maurice Jones-Drew added a short TD run in the first quarter to make it 14-7 Jaguars, but the rest of the highlights belonged to the Cardinals—unless you count Defensive End Jason Babin ripping a handful of dreadlock extensions off of the head of a Cardinals player a “highlight.” I actually might, seeing as how that may have been the overrated Babin’s most productive play of the season.
Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (NOT Larry Fitzgerald) made mincemeat of the Jaguars D with a ridiculous 193 yards receiving that included a 91-yard TD catch and run during which four Jaguars missed tackles on him. Henne further helped the Cardinal’s cause with 2 more INTs on the day (his 8th & 9th of the season vs. only 4 TDs). Jacksonville now sits at a cringe-worthy, NFL worst 1-9 record for the second consecutive year. On the bright side, at least we can now stop hearing national sports anchors sarcastically begin every Jaguars-related story with, “Red hot Jacksonville, owners of a ONE GAME winning streak…”
Speaking of the “bright side”…
“It’s all smiles and business these days and I’m indifferent to the loss.” ~ Ben Folds Five, form the song “Evaporated.”
Those words from singer/pianist Benjamin Folds kept going through my head after last Sunday’s game, because that pretty much sums up the demeanor of Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley in post game press conferences, no matter how torturous the loss.
“We weren’t afraid to fail. We were bold,” said Bradley after the game, referencing the team going for it on fourth down early in the game and trying a franchise record field goal, both failed attempts.