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They saved their season, at least


One of the two teams always seemed to win, especially these kinds of games, the ones that go down to the wire and leave one team numb with heartache. Almost always, it was the other team.

The other team in this game was at one of the low points in its history. It was coming off consecutive 25-point losses and everybody in its organization, from the owner to the coach to the idiot website writer, were under attack. Does anyone need to be reminded of what Monday might've become had another one of those 25-point losses resulted?

Then, suddenly, the Jaguars found that elusive spark about which their coach spoke in the days leading up to Sunday's game. They got a spark from their star running back and a spark from their embattled quarterback, and then their kicker looked down the barrel of a 59-yarder to win the game. He might as well have been trying to kick the ball into the river; that's how far it was.

"Scobee was the ultimate spark," coach Jack Del Rio said as he savored the most significant, greatest, most important victory of his coaching career. You don't measure this win by its 31-28 score. This is one of those wins that you remember as a date, a moment in history.

Come on, Ketchman, cut out the drama, huh?

Sorry, not this time. This one is deserving of drama. This one has a chance to be one of those turning points.

Are you in love with your Jaguars today, again, as you were following the opening-day win over Denver? Are you more in love with them than you ever thought you could be?

Jacksonville's answer to those questions will determine the real importance of the Jaguars' win over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Make no mistake, this is a game that can be one of those watershed moments.

Go back to Dec. 17 of last year. That was one of these games. It was a game that kicked off a ticket-sales movement that may save the franchise. It was a night that Jacksonville discovered how much it missed the Jaguars. It was also a game the Jaguars lost, with the kind of heartbreak to which they had become accustomed.

Maybe that's why the Colts were so sure they would win this game. They seemingly always have won these kinds of games. Hey, they have Manning; everybody else has somebody else. It's not a fair fight.

So why did they lose this one? Why did one of their players feel certain enough about victory to make a senseless remark for the Jaguars to hear during pregame warm-ups? Hey, here's a better one: Why did they call that time out with 36 seconds to play, following an eight-yard run by Maurice Jones-Drew to the Jaguars 31? It was second-and-two. How arrogant can you get?

"It helped us," Del Rio said of the time out.

You bet it helped. Let's put it this way: Had the Colts not called that time out, the game almost certainly would've gone into overtime, instead of being decided by a walk-off field goal, and what if the Colts had won the coin toss?

Arrogance has toppled empires.

Sometimes teams get too comfortable with winning, and sometimes teams get tired of losing. Maybe that's what happened in this game. Maybe the world of a team that always wins collided with the world of a team that had lost six of its last seven games, and fate favored the desperate.

"Let's see if we can get one of these easy ones out of the way," Del Rio said in quoting an anonymous Colts player. "I want to thank that young man."

The reporters in Del Rio's press conference immediately wondered which Colts player had shot his mouth off to an Indianapolis reporter. It was worse than that.

Safety Anthony Smith explained that middle linebacker Kirk Morrison had overheard the remark made during pregame. Of course, he felt it necessary to inform his team of the remark. Hey, maybe Morrison was lying. Maybe he was pulling a veteran trick. Does anyone care?

So it is that four games into the season the Jaguars are 2-2 and tied with the Colts and Titans for second place in the AFC South. It's not the fast start the Jaguars sought, but it's only a win shy of a fast start and 2-2's not bad against the Jaguars' opening month of schedule.

"It was a great mood in that locker room. I said, 'Guys, you want to savor this.' We went through a couple of real tough weeks. The guys hung together, showed some grit," Del Rio said.

They saved their season. Maybe they saved even more than that.

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