JACKSONVILLE – This was fun. And that was cool.
The Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts, 38-20, at TIAA Bank Field Sunday afternoon. They won in joyous and raucous fashion, with the defense dominating in the second half and the offense playing its best game in months.
The result? A come-from-behind victory – and a one-sided one, too.
That's something that hadn't happened enough in the last two months, and the Jaguars – and their fans – celebrated accordingly. And everyone had fun on a wet, sloppy day at the 'Bank.
This wasn't about draft status, though the Jaguars will select slightly later in the 2020 NFL Draft (ninth overall) because they won. This also wasn't about the long, painful season that ended with the victory. It wasn't even about the future and what that will hold for a lot of players, coaches and others.
No, this one was about winning – and enjoying it. And for a day at least, the Jaguars had fun.
And that was cool.
Let's get to it …
Mike from Jacksonville
This has been a topic and will remain a topic, and the Jaguars no doubt will want to retain defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Fans also undoubtedly will want them to retain Ngakoue, as evidenced by the chants of "Pay Ngakoue" that could be heard at TIAA Bank Field Sunday. I believe Ngakoue will play for the Jaguars next season, be it with a long-term deal or under the franchise tag. But I also believe the same issues that led to Ngakoue holding out last offseason remain very real issues. At the core of those issues is that Ngakoue wants to be paid like an elite pass-rushing defensive end and the Jaguars want to pay him like a very good pass rusher who is not nearly as good against the run. Those two views left the sides far apart enough last offseason that they couldn't agree to a deal. I anticipate the sides remaining far apart for some time – no matter who is representing the Jaguars in the discussion.
Thomas from Williamsburg
PAY THAT MAN!
This is going to get very, very emotional.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
Woof, the stadium is empty. I don't blame anyone for skipping this game, but man oh man is this a terrible look for a franchise in the end of a terrible season. Enjoy the offseason, O!
This was the much-ballyhooed, oft-witty, always-anticipated First Email of the Game. TIAA Bank Field indeed was relatively empty on Sunday, but let's not overplay this as some resolution on the Jaguars' fan base. Regardless of market, NFL stadiums are empty these days late in the season if the home team is out of playoff contention. Mercedes-Benz Stadium was very empty last week in the Falcons' victory over the Jaguars. Most non-contending teams have had the same situation. It's an NFL issue, not a Jaguars issue. And for what it's worth, the 'Bank really wasn't all that empty Sunday compared to a lot of late-season situations around the NFL.
Erik from Knoxville, TN
Zone, all I'm going to say is that if Minshew was a first rounder and highly touted, we'd all be saying we'd found our quarterback. He certainly must get better, but he's done more than enough to warrant a chance next season. He's earned it. This team has some big holes to fill, but in the 2020 draft, quarterback shouldn't be a priority. And, for the love of all things funk, pay Yann his money.
Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II remains the Great Mystery. Just when you think he can't be the franchise quarterback moving forward, he does something that makes you think maybe he can. And just when you think he can be the franchise quarterback moving forward, he does something that makes you think he probably can't. Sunday followed suit because of course it did.
David from Orangedale, FL
How fitting that Calais gets a fumble recovery for a touchdown in quite possibly final game as a Jag! Great person on and off the field! Hopefully we can find a way to keep him!
I believe it's likely that Sunday's game was defensive end Calais Campbell's last with the Jaguars, though I sincerely hope I'm wrong. If so, a fumble return for what essentially was the game-winning touchdown … yeah, that was a cool way to go out.
Dan from Cary
I sat in the North end zone and on one drive Josh Allen was pumping up the crowd. We cheered and roared as loud as we could for 3 downs, each down with Allen pumping up the crowd. Then Calais Campbell grabs the ball and scores a defensive touchdown right in front of us. What's cooler? This was my two sons first NFL game. #WinningIsFun
Winning indeed is fun. And cool. Fans like it.
Jeremy from Jacksonville
Mr. O: As you have said on this site often, it has been a weird, strange season, but let me just say that this was as good a way to end it as any. Nice game, Jaguars!
Double G from DTWD
O-Man: this should not save anyone. Clean sweep or empty stadium. Surely Jaguars Owner Shad Khan knows this?