I did not see this coming at all. I’m not trying to be disrespectful to the team, their players or their fans, but I honestly did not think that the Jacksonville Jaguars would win a game all season. They were getting pretty comfortably beaten each week, didn’t have any real outstanding talent on the team anymore and looked to be playing for that top pick in 2014.
Then, coming off their bye week, they go and win four out of their last five games, including a double over an admittedly-terrible Houston Texans. Who would have predicted that at the start of the season? Many will point to the wins coming against poor teams like the Browns and the average Titans, but this is a side with only one real name player in Maurice Jones-Drew.
It took them nine games to get a win, ten to get their first touchdown at home but finally the Jags seem to have found their feet a little. First of all, in three of their four wins, they haven’t been behind at any stage of the game. This is particularly important to a team with less talent especially at quarterback, so they don’t have to rely on turnovers or plays on offensive to dig them out of a hole.
And because they’ve been ahead in games, it’s limited the amount of turnovers the team have made over the past five weeks. Ignoring the Cardinals game where they were behind for long periods, Chad Henne has only thrown three interceptions and that’s allowed the offence to have more time on the field to be productive.
They are also winning in multiple ways, whether it’s through Chad Henne’s better consistent play, Jones-Drew dragging the team down the field or the defence creating turnovers, they are now finding a way to win each week whereas before they couldn’t get anything from anywhere.
Everything circles back to first-year head coach Gus Bradley and his excellent work with this group of players. He did a great job in Seattle with their defence and many dismiss the Pete Carroll “rah-rah” style of coaching but it’s worked perfectly in this scenario with a downtrodden group that needed that arm around the shoulder.
I’m not saying this team is good, far from it, they have limited talent and will need to be improved personnel-wise in the offseason. But what is positive here is that Bradley can coach despite the talent and if the pool is a little bigger next season, you could see their first positive season in a while.