Among all of the angst of an 0-3 start, the most encouraging of possibilities has emerged. Maybe, just maybe, the Jaguars are developing a run-the-ball, stop-the-run personality.
Nothing's for certain, yet. We're only talking about three games. But look at the league rankings: The Jaguars are 14th in the league in rushing and 10th in rush-defense, and that after having been 23rd against the run following the season-opener in Carolina.
There's more: The Jaguars are 12th in rushing average and a sensational third in rush-defense average.
You gotta be lovin' this. Is it really possible this team is embracing these most fundamental of football acts? A reporter referred to it as "big boy football," which brought a chuckle from Jack Del Rio. Or was that a gloat?
So, how has this happened? You could say you're supposed to stop the run when you draft defensive tackles with the ninth and 13th selections of consecutive drafts, and you're right. But you don't play defense with just two guys, and Mike Peterson isn't exactly your prototype middle linebacker.
Maybe it goes back to something Del Rio has said: "We WILL stop the run," he promised. Maybe he made that point so perfectly clear to his players that they had no choice but to do it.
Yeah, you're thinking it sure would be nice if Del Rio would say, "We WILL stop the pass, too," but let's take it one step at a time. If this, in fact, is truly happening, these first steps of the new era in Jaguars football could be more accurately described as giant leaps.
Maybe this is all just wishful thinking. Maybe it'll all evaporate over the next couple of weeks. But what if it doesn't? What if this becomes this team's true personality?
Oh, baby! Bring on the Titans. After all of those years of being out-muscled and physically whipped by Jeff Fisher's smug bunch, wouldn't it be worth whatever miserable record this season might produce just to be able to stand toe-to-toe with the Nashville boys and wipe that smirk off their faces?
You know what I mean. That's always been the Jaguars' problem with the Titans. The Titans have always been the neighborhood bully and the Jaguars have always limped home with a fat lip.
This is how you get the attention of teams of the Titans' ilk. They could care less about all of your pretty passes and glitzy formations. They get their kicks out of coming to your house and pushing your nose in your dirt.
What if it all stopped this season? Forget about the scoreboard. What if, all of a sudden, the Jaguars developed a reputation for being a "big boy football team?" Could you live with that?