I spent some time this week reflecting on this season. I recalled how it began in tragedy for Richard Collier, which makes everything that's followed seem trivial by comparison.
Suffice to say, it hasn't been the kind of season we expected. It certainly hasn't been a good season for Fred Taylor or Mike Peterson and, frankly, there are very few players on this team who would tell you that 2008 has been a good year for them.
Matt Jones' numbers are up, but can we honestly say this has been a good year for him?
The more I thought about this season, the more I started to wonder if there was anything for which to be thankful when we bit into our turkey on Thursday. I mean, come on, the Jags are 1-5 at home this year. You know what mean?
Well, it was Peterson who snapped me out of my funk. Here's a guy who's really had a bad year – you know the story – but when I asked him if there was anything about which to be thankful, he didn't have to think twice.
"I've got plenty of things," Peterson said. "Who would've ever thought I'd play 10 years in this league; retire with money in my pocket. I play this game because I love it."
Peterson went on to tell about his humble beginnings. He talked about going back to where he was born and raised, looking around and wondering how he got to where he is from there.
That did it for me. Hey, this is just one season. There have been plenty of good ones and there will be plenty more of them. That's why we had reason to be thankful on Thursday, because this season is just a blip in our lives. It's just a few weeks of disappointment. This, too, shall pass and soon hope will spring eternal again.
Now here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to beat the Texans on Monday.
- Be professionals—Professional football players give their best at all times, regardless of the circumstances.
- Slow 'em down—The Texans are moving the ball. They're up to number four in the league in total offense.
- See red—It's time the Jaguars get angry at being made the subject of "Battle Red Day" or, in this case "Battle Red Night."
- Show the nation—This one is on Monday Night Football, which offers the Jags an opportunity to show the football world that they have not quit.
- Run the ball—It's week 13. It's time to be true to their identity, against a Texans team that is 23rd against the run.
- Stop Slaton—He's the difference-maker for the Texans. Steve Slaton's speed and breakaway running ability has opened the field for the Texans' passing game.
- Do it again—The Jaguars held Andre Johnson to a harmless three catches for 38 yards in the two teams' last meeting. He currently leads the league in receptions and yards receiving.
- Rush the passer—Especially Derrick Harvey. It's time for him to have a breakout game against a rookie tackle, Duane Brown, who leads the league in sacks allowed, 10.5.
- Throw it to Maurice—Jones-Drew is the Jaguars' new go-to receiver. Finally, this team has found a receiver who can do something with the ball after he catches it.
- Have pride—The playoffs are out of reach, but it's never too late to be proud.