The Jaguars achieved play-calling nirvana this past Sunday. Not only didn't the Seahawks know what was coming, neither did the Jaguars.
Is that the epitome of unpredictable play-calling? Was that fancy enough for you?
The Jaguars couldn't have been any less successful if Mark Brunell had come out of the huddle bearing a megaphone, then pointing and announcing to the Seahawks: "Fred's going to run right there."
Now that's predictability, and here's the kicker: They probably would've scored.
Obviously, we are referring to the final play of the game, when Brunell called an audible at the line of scrimmage that called for a pass to Alvis Whitted. Unfortunately, Whitted didn't recognize the call and the game ended with Whitted watching a pass sail 10 yards over his head, and with the Seahawks so stunned that they momentarily wondered, "What?"
If ever there was an example of what the problem is not, it was that play. The Jaguars' problem is not play-calling. Fans love to harp on it because, quite frankly, they have some kind of fascination for gadgetry and trickery, and they love to draw plays in the dust of their minds. Be that the case, they had to love Sunday's final play. The Jaguars even managed to trick themselves.
So, what is the problem? Come on, you haven't figured it out, yet? Tony Boselli has. "We're not very good," Boselli told us.
That's right, this team is not very good. It is weak at almost all of the basic fundamentals of the game, which lean hardest on blocking and tackling.
When the Jaguars needed to gain a yard on third-and-goal and fourth-and-goal at the Seahawks one-yard line early in the fourth quarter, they gained nothing; couldn't move the Seahawks defensive line, 27th in the league against the run, an inch.
Then, when the Jaguars needed to stop the Seahawks with the game tied late in the fourth quarter, Rickey Watters ran through them like prune juice, in an offensive series of play-calling that would've made Knute Rockne look conservative. The ball went to Watters on five of the drive's last six plays. How's that for unpredictability?
The fact of the matter is that the Jaguars are finding out they lack players. We had come to identify this team as having been abundantly talented, and for good reason: They won a lot. Now, they're losing a lot. Figure it out.