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Will this be a tipping point?


There are those moments in great teams' and great franchises' histories that the tide turned and a run of good fortune began. Will Sunday's game in Indianapolis be one of those moments for the Jaguars?

The Baltimore Colts were in the "moment" and didn't even know it. The day Johnny Unitas was cut, even though it would take a season to find Unitas on a Pittsburgh sandlot, the Colts' fortunes were radically reversed.

That "moment" arrived for the Green Bay Packers the day Vince Lombardi was hired, as the despair of a one-win season was replaced by five NFL titles.

It was even more sudden for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as that "moment" arrived when Franco Harris made the "Immaculate Reception" and 40 years of futility were replaced by four Super Bowl titles.

More recently, the "moment" arrived for the New England Patriots the day a second-year, sixth-round draft choice named Tom Brady was made the starting quarterback to replace Drew Bledsoe for a week-three game in 2001. The Patriots were 0-2 at the time. They are now pursuing their fourth Super Bowl title.

Always, there have been those tipping points, which is to say the point at which a loser becomes a winner or a winner becomes a loser and this Sunday's game has that kind of tipping-point potential for both of its combatants. Will this be the Jaguars' first, true move upward? Will it be the end of the Colts' reign in the AFC South?

Will this be one of those moments?

Here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to beat the Colts.

1. Run the ball all day—It's how you beat the Colts.

2. Pressure Manning—He's only invincible when he has time to throw.

3. Win the battle of the hitting—It does wonders for a team's esteem and confidence.

4. Be special—Jaguars special teams should enjoy a huge advantage and they must press that advantage.

5. Convert third down—That's David Garrard's responsibility. It's his job to sustain drives so the running game can continue to pound away and dominate time of possession.

6. Play with great energy—There's no reason for the Jaguars not to be the team with the greater energy. This is new and exciting stuff for the Jaguars.

7. Look them in the eye—Watch for signs of despair and resignation. The Colts have long been above having to defend their turf this late in the season. Look for signs of doubt.

8. Play loose, play fast—As the coach has said, "Let it rip."

9. Get 31 and two—That's 31 points and plus-two in turnovers. It was the formula that won for the Jaguars on Oct. 3.

10. Block Freeney and Mathis—Use as many people as it takes to do it, but make sure you do it.

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