Sometimes good teams lose. The Philadelphia Eagles are living proof of that statement.
When the Jaguars line up against the Eagles at The Linc on Sunday, they will be facing the league's number one offense and second-rated passer. The Jaguars will be playing against a team with a defense on the rise that has 25 sacks.
The Eagles are a rather ordinary 4-3, but don't be fooled by the record. All three losses occurred on the final play of the game and the most recent defeat was the result of a 62-yard field goal.
In Philadelphia, the Jaguars will be facing a team that very easily could be 7-0; that's how well the Eagles have played this season.
So what does it mean? It means that sometimes good teams lose. That's the way it is in the NFL. We really don't get a handle on who's what until the second half of the season, when the good teams that happened to lose some games in the first half of the season they shouldn't have lost all of a sudden get on a winning roll.
Look at the Patriots last year. They were 4-4 at midseason and then won six of their next seven. Look at the Steelers. They were 7-5 and a loss away from extinction when they all of a sudden went on an eight-game winning streak that included the Super Bowl title.
Nothing is for long in this league. Circumstances change dramatically from week to week. Just when you think a team is dead, it finds life, and just when you think you're great, you stink.
The Jaguars are 3-3. At this point, we can't be sure whether this is a good team that sometimes loses, or a bad team that sometimes wins. The direction they choose in the remaining 10 games of this season will determine how history will record them.
Here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to beat the Eagles.
- Limit McNabb—He's thrown a league-leading 16 touchdown passes and has a 101.7 passer rating. What was T.O. worth to him? Nothing. He's better off without him.
- Focus on Westbrook—He's McNabb's man. Westbrook is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and he's caught 30 passes. If you stop Westbrook, you stop McNabb.
- Excel at quarterback—Whether it's Byron Leftwich or David Garrard, the Jaguars quarterback has to be at the top of his game to match their counterpart.
- Run the ball—It's always the best way to keep a great quarterback on the bench.
- Do something sudden—The Jaguars need to get something out of their return teams. They need a bonus.
- Be stout—Because The Linc and its fans are tough on visitors.
- Feel it—Look at the leaves and take your first full breath of fall in the northeast. It's football season.
- Use a new weapon—Marcedes Lewis is ready to go. Let's see what he can do.
- Win the line of scrimmage—The Eagles' two lines are very good. To win this game, you gotta win up front.
- Keep your eyes on the ball—Because the Eagles cheerleaders can be a terrible distraction.