The Jacksonville Jaguars 2011 season has been a complete disaster, but they have a chance to end the season on a high note with a home victory over the division rival Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Even though on the surface the game looks like a meaningless end of the season match up between a 4-11 team and a 2-13 team, the outcome of this game will have a major impact on the top of the NFL Draft.
A Jaguars win on Sunday would potentially drop them out of the top five picks in April and would lock the Colts in for the number one pick. On the other hand, a Colts win would likely prevent them from getting the number one selection in the NFL Draft and would cement the Jaguars position in the top five come draft time.
On the surface it would appear that losing on Sunday would be more beneficial to the future of the Jaguars, but to suggest that losing a home game to a division rival to end a season is a positive is pure insanity.
The Jaguars have a lot on the line on Sunday that does not involve the NFL Draft. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is looking to win the NFL rushing title and break the Jaguars record for most rushing yards in a season. A win on Sunday would also prevent the Jaguars from having their worst season since their inaugural season in 1995.
It would also break their disturbing recent trend of finishing the season with three consecutive losses. The Jaguars have a young team who still has not learned how to win late in the season when it counts.
Sunday’s game will also serve as the end of an era in Jacksonville. It will be the last game in Wayne Weaver’s 17 season tenure as Jaguars owner. Weaver is largely responsible for the arrival of professional football in Jacksonville and he deserves a positive send off.
It is a shame that there are fans that would rather see their team lose this game on Sunday in what has evolved into one of the best rivalries in the NFL, but I have to say that despite all that both teams will be trying to win when the opening whistle blows on Sunday.