They need a signature win. The Jags didn't get that win Sunday against the Dolphins, but they'll have another chance, an even greater opportunity, Thursday night against the 13-0 Indianapolis Colts.
More than a playoff berth, it's what the Jaguars desperately need to take out of this season. They need a signature victory. They need something on which they might hang their hat this offseason.
As it stands, the Jaguars' signature moment in this season is Maurice Jones-Drew kneeling down at the one-yard line in New York and Josh Scobee following with a walk-off field goal to beat the Jets. That's it.
Most would say winning a playoff berth would provide that signature victory, but what if it's a one-and-done job? Yeah, it would be meaningless, especially since the Jags would likely be criticized for backing into the playoffs.
No, the Jaguars need something better than that to take out of this season, and they have two remaining opportunities to get it. They can get it against the undefeated Colts, or they can get it in New England a week later, or maybe they can get both.
Would you settle for one, especially if it was the first one? I thought so.
If you wanna make a statement about the ground you've covered and the gap you've closed this year, Thursday night is the time to make that statement, against the winningest team of this decade and the dominant force in the AFC South.
What could be better than making that kind of statement on national television? It's the feature game. It's the game from which ESPN will show its endless highlights on Friday, and the Jags will be the star of those highlights if they win.
This is it. This is the signature win of all signature wins. Forget about the playoffs. Just win this one. This is one on which the Jaguars could truly hang their hat.
Here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to beat the Colts.
- Run the ball—It's how you beat the Colts. You run for 375 yards, dominate time of possession and keep Peyton Manning on the bench.
- Tackle—Manning is going to complete passes, but his receivers must go down where they catch the ball.
- Be savage—The Colts have everything clinched. Do you really think they wanna play a brutally physical game against a desperate and savage team?
- Look at the scores—Miami had them beat. Houston missed a field goal. Baltimore and New England blew it. The Colts are not unbeatable.
- Ignore the run—If they're runnin', you're winnin'.
- Load up against the pass—They win with the pass.
- Feed off the crowd—Finally.
- Pose for the camera—It's focused on you, Jags, and Jacksonville. Show 'em your best side.
- Out-coach 'em—Because out-playing them may not be good enough.
- Attack the ends—Freeney and Mathis may not play.