By: David Lamm
The NFL loves clichés.
One of the most popular is: “You are what your record says you are.” Another one is: “The only thing that matters is winning and losing.”
I disagree with both. The Jaguars prove my point.
Just as the Jaguars’ season-opening loss at Minnesota left me more encouraged than discouraged about the team, Sunday’s victory at Indianapolis left me more convinced than ever the Jaguars are a bad NFL team and not headed in the right direction. Kudos to quarterback Blaine Gabbert and wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who deserves the bulk of the credit for the game-winning, 80-yard touchdown pass play. They made a play under intense pressure.
But if you look at the entire game, Jaguar fans have to be concerned. They saw a mediocre team led offensively by a quarterback who looks like he’s in over his head. Gabbert’s lack of accuracy is a major issue. Finding his open receivers is another weakness. You also saw a team that still has issues with its receiving corp. Where’s rookie Justin Blackmon? What’s happened to tight end Marcedes Lewis? Defensively, why can’t they put pressure on the quarterback? Why can’t they create turnovers?
Maurice Jones-Drew had a spectacular day, but hasn’t it been proven that he can’t run the Jaguars to victory?
When you examine all of the parts, it comes down to one thing: The Jaguars lack the talent of a playoff-caliber NFL team. That’s on General Manager Gene Smith, whose team is 20-31 since he became in charge of acquiring the players. Are Gabbert, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu, left tackle Eugene Monroe and Blackmon performing like top 10 draft picks are expected to perform? It isn’t that they are all bad players. Monroe has become a solid tackle. It’s too early to judge Blackmon. But are they difference makers?
Even in victory, the Jaguars look like another 5-11 team -- at best.
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