The Jaguars know where they've gone wrong the past two weeks: They weren't having fun. So, for this Sunday's game against the Colts, the Jaguars are committed to having fun, which should make for an interesting study on what comes first, fun or winning.
Does having fun result in winning or does winning cause fun? It's similar to the same question about swagger. Does swagger cause winning or does winning result in swagger?
"We just have to have a smile on our face," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. "We're taking it too seriously. We have to go out there and fly around."
Coach Jack Del Rio opened this week by demanding that his players acquire a less-tight approach to the game. After all, the locker room had become a rather grim place on the heels of two 25-point losses. The mood was in need of some lightening.
"We need to let it loose and play," Del Rio said
Personally, I've always felt winning comes first and fun and swagger are the result of winning, but I fully understand the psychology of Del Rio's have-fun approach. It's real simple: The Jaguars' season is on the line against the Colts and the pressure to win could be stifling for a team that's goal is to win the AFC South title.
Goals are good, but they can be suffocating when things go bad. It's time to put goals and expectations away and get back to playing football for the reason every player is first attracted to it, which is to say because it's fun.
What if that doesn't work? Then next week won't be any fun at all.
Here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to have fun on Sunday and beat the Colts.
- Dominate time of possession—You thought I was going to say run the ball, didn't you? I don't care how you do it, just do it. The ball must, absolutely must, be kept out of Peyton Manning's hands as much as possible.
* **Find that missing spark—**I'd look for it in Jones-Drew and the running game. There, I said it.
* **Rally 'round the quarterback—**He needs to feel his teammates' support, which means that should he be sacked, his linemen should help him to his feet.
* **Win up front—**The Colts don't. The Jaguars must press their advantage along the line of scrimmage.
* **Sack Manning—**He's not untouchable. You can get to him and, if you do, he'll sack himself.
* **Win or die trying—**Please, no more of that soft coverage stuff. He always picks it apart; it's a slow death. To be successful with the pass-rush, the coverage must be tight for at least a couple of seconds.
* **Cover—**It's time for the secondary to do what it's paid to do.
* **Win special teams—**Yeah, and win big. The Jaguars must flip the field at every turn. They can't win this game without a dominant performance by their special teams.
* **Be physical—**It's how you beat them. They don't like that kind of game. It wears them down.
* **Feel the desperation—**This is it. This is win or else. Now go have fun.