There is one thing I never thought I would hear on ESPN or read in any newspaper this season: “Jacksonville wins again.” But after all, in the words of Kung Fu Panda, “There are no accidents.” Last night, The Jacksonville Jaguars managed the pull off a 27-20 win at home against their AFC foe, the Houston Texans, and now have won four of their last five games. It is hard to believe that just one month ago, the Jaguars were 0-8 and were dubbed as the laughing stock of the NFL. Now they are 4-9, and believe it or not, are the hottest team in the AFC. I guess it’s safe to say that Tim Tebow can now kiss that hometown starting quarterback job opportunity goodbye.
Jags’ rookie head coach Gus Bradley must have mustered up a heck of an inspirational comeback speech after their Bye week, because his team is looking rejuvenated right now. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is back to his “Pocket Hercules” form, quarterback Chad Henne has tossed four touchdown passes in the last two weeks, and the creativity on offense has been better. Jags offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch has fostered up a couple of trick plays that have made the statement that his offense has the fearless mindset. Fisch’s adjustments in the offensive scheme have resulted in Jones-Drew and wide receiver Ace Sanders each recording a touchdown pass in the last two games. The Jaguars’ red zone efficiency has also improved by 60 percent in the last four games. That’s not bad for a team with an inconsistent offensive line and an inexperienced wide-receiving corps.
Jacksonville’s defense has also played significantly better. According to ESPN.com, the Jags’ defense has gone from allowing an average of 392.2 total ypg to 358.8 total ypg, but the major improvement on defense has come in terms of average points allowed. In the last four weeks, the Jaguars have only allowed a 12th ranked 22 ppg.
At this point, it is pretty obvious that the worst team in the AFC, and possibly the NFL, is the Texans. They have lost 11 straight, and at 2-11, are now major competitors for the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. This debacle of a season has also resulted in the firing of Texans head coach Gary Kubiac.
I am not saying Jacksonville’s current hot streak will earn them a chance to make the playoffs, because let’s face it, they would not only have to win out for the remainder of the season, but also hope for the miracle that the majority of the AFC will go on a losing streak. But I cannot ignore the fact that the Jaguars have been playing with a lot of positive energy. For now, these “Cardiac Cats” can enjoy their short-term success.