CHANDLER'S CROSS, England – Senior writer John Oehser offers 10 things the Jaguars must do to beat the Dallas Cowboys at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday …
1. Protect the ball.We didn't make it No. 1 last week; now we will, and so it will remain until it is so. Blake Bortles did this most of the game Sunday – and yes, in some cases, the Bengals dropping interceptions helped. Then, at the end of the game, the Bengals didn't drop one. It was a killer, as they usually are in close games. Keep getting better at this. Ya gotta protect the ball.
*2. Keep grinding … *The Jaguars have been oh-so-close. Shoot, they've even been oh-so-close against good teams. They haven't given up on themselves yet, and there's no reason they should. Keep grinding. There's no other choice.
3. … and break through.This was a topic a week ago, and it will remain a topic until it happens. At some point, you have to make a bigger play than the opponent at a critical time to win. That didn't happen last week. It eventually will. Then they'll break through.
4. Hit Tony Romo.His back has nothing to do with this. The Jaguars' defense has been good in recent weeks. A lot of that is because of a consistent, balanced pass rush. The back seven is beat up. The front is a lot less beat up. That means the front needs to play well, and a whole lot of that is hitting the quarterback.
5. Stop DeMarco Murray.This is easier if Romo's back keeps him out, but it's not easy either way. The Jaguars' defense for the most part has been pretty good against the run this season. To stay with Dallas they'll have to be better than pretty good.
6. Run Denard Robinson.This is getting to be a staple of "10 Things." That means Denard Robinson and the running game are to the point where they can be relied upon. That's good.
7. Focus.This is a tough task. New country. New venue, New environs. The Jaguars seem to have done a good job of focusing so far this week. Finish it out. You'll be home soon enough. Play the game first.
Take a look at images from Thursdays practice as the Jaguars prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys in London.
8. Savor the moment.An NFL game at Wembley Stadium has a different feel than a regular-season game. Way different. There are lights. There's fog. The Cat will leap from something. The moments just before and after kickoff are electric. Last year's Jaguars team wasn't good enough to take advantage of the energy. This year's team is better. Use the energy, feel the buzz.
9. Hit the quarterback? Did we mention this? Did we mention the back had nothing do with it? We did? Good, then let's throw in, "Get a Turnover" because it's hard to imagine the Jaguars beating Dallas without one and "Hit a Big Play to Allen Hurns" because the offense works better when that happens before we move on. Oh, and "Stay Healthy on Defense" because you're getting a little thin there. Tally forth.
10. Protect the ball.Whatever the side of the pond, this is No. 1 and No. 10 and maybe more.