The Jacksonville Jaguars came into week 15 of the 2013 NFL season with just a 4-9 record. However, considering that this team started the season with eight consecutive losses, 4-9 doesn’t sound too bad at all. What’s crazy, though, is the fact that the Jags still had a possibility of making the postseason coming into Sunday.
As the Jaguars faced the Buffalo Bills, if they could take down Buffalo and score victories in their final two games of the year while three other teams lost their remaining games, the New York Jets lost in weeks 15 and 16, the Oakland Raiders lost in either week 15 or 17 and the Pittsburgh Steelers lost one of their remaining three games, Jacksonville would be in the playoffs.
Obviously the Jags really didn’t have much of a shot of making the postseason, but it was still a possibility, no matter how astronomical the probability of it happening was. Now, though, the Jags are eliminated from making the playoffs after they fell to the Bills.
Playing without Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon and Maurice Jones-Drew against Buffalo, you might assume that it was the Jags’ offense that cost them their far-fetched chance at the postseason. However, it was their defense regressing back to their days of 0-8 that really cost them.
After having the worst defense in the league by a mile in the first half of the year, Jacksonville’s defense had been better over their last five games before Sunday. By no means were they leading the league in any defensive category over that time, but they had played well enough to stop the shaky Bills’ offense. They didn’t play on that level on Sunday, though, allowing Buffalo to run all over them and allowing E.J. Manuel to have a nice day as well.
Let’s be honest, it would have been a mockery to have this Jaguars team in the postseason, but it had to be something that this team was clinging to in terms of pride for this season. We shall see over the remaining two games of the season if they continue playing for that dignity, or if they just concede the year and start playing for the draft.