When the Jaguars are winning, this town is electric. When they are winning the way they have this year, the place is simply humming.
These Jags are so much fun to watch, so infectious in how they go about their business. In 2009, the first year of Gene Smith's full stewardship of the personnel, the Jags had thirty-three new players. Thirty-three! Of the past two drafts (fifteen total players), ten are making regular contributions on the field.
Pot roast Knighton and Tyson Alualu are anchors on the line. Mike Thomas is a livewire on reverses and on the perimeter. Deiji Karim is burning kick returns and Zach Miller and Rashad Jennings are turning in excellent efforts each week.
David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew, the heart and the soul of this team (along with Aaron Kampman who, sadly, is on IR), have turned in great seasons. David tied Mark Brunell's franchise mark for most touchdowns in a season yesterday with his twentieth throw. He's also run a bunch of them in. Maurice now leads the NFL in rushing and awesome. This kid is too much fun to watch, and I'm glad we have him long-term in Jacksonville.
The Jags have always proved their mettle on the defensive side of the ball, and this year they are improving. Yes, they've been blown out a bunch of times this year. But in this current push for the playoffs (five wins in six games), they are both shutting down the run and responding offensively to match their defensive deficiencies. Our pass rush is much improved (Derek Harvey even gobbled up a sack yesterday!) and we are opportunistic in forcing turnovers.
This was supposed to be a stepping-stone year, but because of Indy's struggles and the Jags' resurgence, this team's efforts have pushed them into first place in the AFC South. It's the latest we've been in first since 1999. It's a great feeling, but it could all slip away if the Jags don't play well this weekend up in Indianapolis.
Seriously, we need to go up north and whoop those baby horses' ass. Let's work the play action to Mike Sims-Walker and Marcedes Lewis and gobble the clock with MJD and Rashad. Let's put Peyton on his butt and hold that anemic running attack under twenty net yards.
As they say in Big Cat City, we're just one week away from FEEDING TIME!