A couple of wins in Ohio has everyone wanting to play the what-if game. What if the Jaguars had won some of those close games they lost? What if they had held on to win in Baltimore and Tennessee, and at home against Green Bay?
What if the Jaguars had not allowed a then-winless Buffalo team to rally for a game-winning field goal? What if the officials had made the right call on a Jason Brookins fumble at the goal line, or hadn't allowed Elvis Grbac his only heroic moment of the season? Or what if the Jaguars hadn't lost Mark Brunell to a concussion early in the week-three loss to Cleveland?
You can make the point there are six losses on the Jaguars' record that very well could've been wins. Admittedly, Tom Coughlin is struggling with that notion.
Yes, it is a struggle.
The Jaguars have three games remaining. I'll agree to play the what-if game if the Jaguars win at least two of those three games. If this team finishes with nothing worse than a 7-9 record, I'll look back and say, "If they had just won three of those six close ones, this team would've made the playoffs."
As for now, I won't allow my mind to drift into that kind of thought merely because the Jaguars have back-to-back wins in Ohio.
Here's "10 things" the Jaguars have to do to win in Minnesota this Sunday.
- Convince Randy Moss he shouldn't want to play--When he does play, he's unstoppable.
- Run the ball--It worked well last week, and the Vikings are 30th in the league against the run.
- Kick field goals--The Jaguars hadn't done much of that this year until last week. It was nice to see.
- Imagine it's real grass--The Jaguars have only played one other game on artificial turf this season, in Seattle.
- Lead at halftime--The Jaguars are 43-9 in their history when they lead at halftime.
- Avenge 50-10 loss in 1998--The revenge theme worked last week.
- Score on first possession--The Jaguars are 28-11 when they score on their first possession of the game.
- Win turnover battle--The Jaguars are 39-12 when they win the turnover differential.
- Win time of possession--The Jaguars are 40-19 when they win the time of possession battle.
- Don't sleep in--This game was moved from a 4:15 p.m. to one o'clock (noon Minnesota time), which is good because the Jaguars are 39-25 in one o'clock starts.