It took me a while, but I finally have figured it out: it’s Groundhog Day. You know, the movie where Bill Murray wakes up every day and it’s the same day over and over. He knows it, but nobody else does. The Jaguars version involves the other team though.
The Jaguars might be the team going through the same thing over and over, but it’s the other team that seems to know what the outcome is going to be. They don’t panic, they don’t even flinch, knowing that no matter what lead there is or how much time is left, somehow, the Jaguars will give them the opportunity to win the game. You can almost hear the opposing coach’s halftime speech. “Don’t worry that we’re down, they’ll give it to us eventually.”
Of the eight losses this year, six of them have happened with a lead in the second half. Last night was no exception. Up 21-7 and with momentum, the Jaguars gave up long plays to Brett Favre, turned the ball over, had a few key penalties and gave the Packers just enough field position to let Green Bay tie the score and eventually win it with under two minutes to play.
Regrettably, the team has forgotten how to win. “That’s the plan,” Head Coach Tom Coughlin said after the game. “Get into position in the fourth quarter and find a way to win. Instead, we find a way to lose.” That’s a huge statement by the Head Coach, admitting that his team can’t find their way through the darkness. They don’t have a margin of error. The Jaguars have to play a nearly perfect game to win, and they don’t have enough talent through the roster to do that. A missed block here, a blown defensive assignment there and all of the sudden it’s the fourth quarter, the other team has the ball, and eventually the lead.
In the movie, when Bill Murray realized what was going on, he tried to take advantage of it. But until he became a better person, the end result was always the same. The Jaguars are in the same situation, they just have to play better or the end result will always be the same.