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The real football season is here


There's something about cooler air; especially in Florida. It says football; especially in Florida.

This isn't to suggest that you'll need your arctic boots at "The Jack" this Sunday, but you know what I mean. The sauna that is summer is over. Temperatures recently have dropped deliciously into the 70's during the day and delightfully into the 50's at night. The air-conditioner is actually able to take breaks. You carry a light jacket with you now.

It all says one thing: Football season is here. Yeah, the real football season. The one without leg cramps. The one when nobody cares what color jersey they're wearing.

Please, forgive me, I just can't help but gush when this happens. I just love football season so much and I happened to catch the weather forecast for Sunday's game against the Browns: sunny skies, 75 degrees, humidity one percent.

The way I look at it, the season starts now. The Jags are 3-3, which is the same as 0-0. They're rested, healthy and looking at a 10-game schedule that'll determine whether this team makes it into the playoffs and has an opportunity to make good on its preseason promise.

I like the opponent on Sunday. The Cleve Brownies are in a similar situation. They trail their division leader by three games, too, and their playoff hopes are also on the line. Folks, this is an AFC game, which means it can have major tiebreaker implications. The Jags have already lost three AFC games and can't afford to lose a fourth.

This one, as I like to say, has bite, so here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to take a bite out of the Browns.

  1. Restart your engines—The Jags are coming off a bye week and teams have been known to lose their edge during their bye.
  1. Run the ball—Because that's Jaguars football; that's how this team wins.
  1. Stop the run—Because that's Jaguars football; that's how this team wins.
  1. Disguise coverages—Derek Anderson is struggling. He's thrown six interceptions and has completed just 49.2 percent of his passes, and the popular theory is that he's not seeing the field, the defenders or his receivers.
  1. Rush the passer—The Jags are 29th in the league in sacks per pass play. That must change.
  1. Be prepared—Cleveland runs a version of the "Wildcat" offense with Joshua Cribbs taking the direct snap. The Jags might also want to be prepared for Brady Quinn because coach Romeo Crennel might be close to giving Anderson the hook.
  1. Think Pittsburgh—The Browns are an AFC North team and they play AFC North-style football. This will be a physical game. Good!
  1. Focus on Edwards—Yeah, Braylon Edwards drops passes, but Edwards possesses big-time big-play ability. He's a game-breaker and he's deserving of extra attention.
  1. Block Shaun Rogers—The Browns defensive tackle is disruptive and plays with an attitude. If he has his way in the middle, he can make it a long day.
  1. Feel it in the air—It's football season. It's time to get real serious about what the Jags want this season to be.
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