Once again, the Jacksonville Jaguars lost today. And once again, it was a close game. I never felt as if the Jaguars should have won the game, but it's a heart breaker none-the-less. I've been optimistic throughout this season, but it's getting harder and harder to do so. Regardless of my personal feelings, the Jaguars could very possibly be cleaning house this off-season, at least in the front office.
Don't blame this loss on Jack Del Rio. Who do you blame? Well, I know you have to blame someone; so, you can blame GM Gene Smith for this one. The Jaguars couldn't handle the Steelers' blitzes all game. Early on, they struggled to cover the Steelers' receivers or stop the Steelers' running game. The defense stepped up to the challenge. The offensive line didn't.
One of the big problems the Jaguars have on their offensive line is that they never seem to start the same five guys in the same five positions for more than a couple of weeks in a row. They're constantly in a state of flux, and that prevents them from playing as a unit. Instead, they play as the sum of five players. I can assure you of this. That total sum of those five players isn't too high either.
There's no doubt that the Jaguars have some great building blocks on both sides of the ball. Blaine Gabbert, Maurice Jones-Drew, Marcedes Lewis, Terrance Knighton, Tyson Alualu (who has been off this season so far), and really much of their defense. There's talent on this team. They lack some serious components though.
Do you remember how Vic Ketchman used to say that WRs were "a dime a dozen." Well that may be true, but it appears that the Jaguars don't have any dimes. The Jaguars are starting a great slot guy as their #1 receiver in Mike Thomas. I know that many of you think that Del Rio should be fired immediately, and maybe he should, but Gene Smith should follow Del Rio out the door as well.
The Jaguars' season is virtually lost. Yes, they could still go on a crazy rampage and win the division, but that seems pretty much impossible at this point. Many of the Jaguars' current players will likely be back next season, especially on defense, but don't be surprised if there's an entire new cast of characters working behind the scenes in 2012. Everbank field could be a quiet, quiet place once this season raps up.