Even though this season has been a tumultuous one, we ended our season on a high note. This win was important not only to the fans but also as a send off to former owner Gene Weaver. Our defensive efforts sometimes lacked the pep necessary to stop the Colts pass play, but our secondary held on long enough in the end. Our star RB Maurice Jones-Drew took the NFL rushing title with this game as well as surpassing Fred Taylor’s Jaguars franchise record. Although the majority of the scoring came from K Josh Scobee field goals, QB Blaine Gabbert completed a 23 yard touchdown pass to WR Chastin West. Gabbert’s total yards were low, finishing with 92 yards, but the composure Gabbert showed in the pocket was encouraging going into the offseason. While the Colts QB Dan Orlovsky was battling to gain a third win, our defensive line made sure he had to work to get the ball in the air. The D Line also limited running yards from Colts RB Joseph Addai, sealing the game.
RUSHING – Jacksonville, Jones-Drew 25-169, D.Harris 3-12, Karim 2-6, Owens 1-3, Thomas 1-3, Gabbert 3-(minus 3).
RECEIVING – Lewis 3-33, Osgood 2-19, West 1-23, Dillard 1-8, D.Harris 1-4, Jones-Drew 1-4, Cloherty 1-3, Thomas 1-(minus 2).
PASSING – Gabbert 11-19-0-92.
With the big news this week being the finalization of Shahid Khan’s new ownership, Jaguars fans are ready to welcome in a new era of Jacksonville football. A key to making next season better will be to get all of our players healthy again. Having to immediately start players off the practice squad left us with no practice squad at all by the last game.
Thoughts on this season and what to look forward to for next season:
There isn’t any question the sudden release of our previous QB David Garrard left a bad taste in this season’s mouth. Yes, the team needed a change at the QB position but I still think the move was ill-timed. Not only did an under prepared Blaine Gabbert have to take over after losing valuable experience time as the team tried out Luke McCown at QB, Gabbert also had to face the harsh light of the media and fans. Fans are hungry for more touchdowns, more reasons to cheer, and another face to place on the Jaguars. While Blaine Gabbert is pretty good looking, he did not have the best chances handed to him. With that said, Gabbert’s performance cannot be written off. In the offseason, Gabbert must work on his confidence in the pocket and learn when to throw the ball away instead of simply starting the falling down process as he sees the sack coming. I am confident a full offseason will do our young QB wonders, so hold fast Jags fans.
We also must consider the upcoming free agency of our kicker Josh Scobee. While there are plenty of really great kickers in the NFL, Scobee has become a bit of a star in Jacksonville. I would love to see him stay, but even kickers want to win. The new ownership and changes at the coaching position are the driving forces in this franchise’s rebuilding. Hopefully it’s enough to keep Scobee in a teal uniform.
Keeping our RB Maurice Jones-Drew will also be key to our success. Last year, MJD made some autograph appearances at local banks. While I stood in line, other Jags fans were already questioning how long MJD was willing to stay in a win starved organization. As far as I can Google interviews and prowl over every post game word, MJD has made no indication of leaving. There is no doubt a well built team can win a championship with MJD on it’s roster. Even from briefly meeting him at the bank appearance, I could tell MJD’s ego is only humble. Let’s not give the media a reason to speculate by feeding social networking with doubt.
This leads us to the coaching predicament. A new head coach, or even coaching staff in general, will help retain the solid and developing talent we have now. Rumors are flying faster than I can even type “Jaguars coaching prospects” into the search engines. Everyone from Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to legendary QB Dan Marino have been mentioned in the press as possible candidates. Whomever we end up with, we must forget the past years under Jack Del Rio and give the new coach(es) a chance.
In fact, I think a majority of the problems in the Jaguars franchise can be solved by simply giving the right people a chance. Primarily, drafting or signing new WR talent and giving them a fair chance instead of expecting instant results out of two or three pass plays will bring us miles of improvement.
Until next season!
Lauren Mack: Co-founder of The Well Written Woman is an aspiring writer, blogger, and overall enthusiast of brainstorms. She is currently attending Flagler College as an English major with no intentions to teach. Lauren spends a lot of time reading novels and hoping she can one day finish her own. She often wonders how they made blue cheese so delicious. Really, she is just imposing her elitist attitude on everyone. You can find her pennings at her blog and follow her on Twitter.