Jacksonville Jaguars - Team Report
December 30, 2011
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The Jaguars finally end their nightmarish season on New Year's Day against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Jaguars go into the game with a 4-11 record in a season in which their coach, Jack Del Rio, was fired and Wayne Weaver, the team's founding owner, sold the team to Shad Khan.

And their fans have tuned them out. Their TV rating for the game last Saturday against Tennessee was just 10.4, which means only 10 percent of all the TV sets in Jacksonville were tuned to the game. Granted, it was a Saturday and Christmas Eve but most of their games get a TV rating in the 20s although they been in the 17 range twice.

They also figure to have thousands of empty seats although the game won't be blacked out because Weaver will send a check to the league for 34 percent of the value of the unsold non-premium tickets.

On top of all that, many Jaguars fans think it would be a good idea to lose the game to get a better draft spot. And a loss would likely cost the Colts the No. 1 pick and the chance to take Andrew Luck, a player they would have to play against for at least the next 10 years.

The Jaguars, though, scoff at the idea of being happy with a loss.

"The benefits of not winning. I didn't know people were talking about not winning the game," said guard Uche Nwaneri. "Why wouldn't you want to win the game? Who cares about that (draft order)? We're trying to win a game. What would you say about yourself as a competitor if you go out there trying to lose a game?"

Said defensive end Jeremy Mincey, "That sounds stupid. That sounds dumb. That completely goes against what we do this for. You never play to lose. That's like asking ask some of them you go to work to get fired. Exactly. It's the same thing. I'm not going to work to get fired. I'm going to work to keep my job. I'm going to play to get a pick. Nobody plays like that. We play to win. Regardless of the record, we play to win. We play hard. As long as you can say you gave your all, you can look yourself in the mirror and go to sleep. I'm sure a lot of us can do that."

The Jaguars, though, are capable of losing even when they are trying. They rank 32nd in the league in yardage, 29th in points and their rookie quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, ranks 34th in the league with a 64.3 passer rating.

The Jaguars did beat the Colts in the first game, 17-3, but Dan Orlovsky has led the Colts to consecutive victories over the Titans and Texans. He has an 84.8 passer rating, which would rank him 15th in the league if he had enough attempts to quality.

And the Jaguars have a secondary riddled with injuries.

Win or lose, the good thing about this game is that it is the last one of the year.

They are looking to a fresh start next year.

SERIES HISTORY: 22nd regular-season meeting. Colts lead series, 15-6, but lost the first game this year, 17-3. In that game, Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 125 yards and a touchdown. Curtis Painter started at quarterback for the Colts and threw two picks and was replaced by Dan Orlovsky. Rookie Blaine Gabbert threw for only 118 yards and had one touchdown and one interception.


--Running back Maurice Jones-Drew became the fourth player in Jaguars history to be voted to the Pro Bowl for the third year in a row. And he was the only Jaguar named to the squad.

Special teams player Montell Owens was a first alternate, fullback Greg Jones was the second alternate and kicker Josh Scobee the third alternate.

The other three players to be named for three or more consecutive seasons are Tony Boselli (1995-2000), Jimmy Smith (1997-2001) and Marcus Stroud (2003-2005).

Even though Jones-Drew is leading the league with 1,437 yards, Ray Rice of Baltimore was voted the starter.

Jones-Drew, though, brushed that off and said he was just excited he was named.

He was more upset that none of his offensive linemen were named.

"It's very disappointing because we have been the most consistent team throughout the year running the ball," he said. "There is no one else in this that are seeing some of the fronts that we're seeing, no other team. To still be at the top of the league in rushing, you would think that would garner some type of respect," he said.

He also complained that their defense is ranked fifth in the league and all the defensive players got snubbed. But that is what happens when a team is 4-11.

Guard Uche Nwaneri said, "You've got to be a little bit disappointed. You've got the No. 1 running back in the NFL and none of his linemen or his fullback are being considered Pro Bowl caliber."

--With a 128-yard lead over LeSean McCoy, Jones-Drew has virtually wrapped up the rushing title. But he said it'd be more of an honor to top Fred Taylor's single-season team record of 1,572. He is at 1,437.

"I think that would be more special. This guy taught me how to play the game, showed me the way in the NFL, how to be a player and how to be consistent. And in this league, that's what it is all about, is consistency. If you have one big year and then you have a down year, you're labeled as not a great player. To be consistent throughout your whole career, doing things the right way and playing at a high level, that's when you get those Hall of Fame guys or whatever you want to call it. It would be awesome to do that," he said.

--Jones-Drew thinks concussions are an occupational hazard and he admits he would hide one rather than risk being labeled as being concussion prone.

"And then the team won't sign them because you're saying he's injury prone or something. You have to feed your family. You have to find a way," he said.

Of the risk, he said, "If you want to make the big bucks, it's something that a consequence is going to come with that."

--The Jaguars will honor Wayne and Delores Weaver, the team's founding owners, at their last game as owners. Their sale of the team to Shad Khan becomes official on Jan. 4.

Wayne Weaver has called his departure "bittersweet," but said it is time to leave, especially since he found an owner willing to keep the team in Jacksonville.

BY THE NUMBERS: 107 - Montell Owens' special teams tackles, which is a franchise record. Brant Boyer is a distant second at 94.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't think that has ever happened." -- Running back Maurice Jones-Drew on trying to sweep the Colts, who have yet to be swept by an AFC South foe.


The Jaguars signed fourth-year cornerback Trumaine McBride and promoted defensive end Jammie Kirlew to the active roster from the practice squad. McBride has played in 47 games with 10 starts since being selected as a seventh-round pick by the Bears in 2007. He played in 33 games with the Bears in three years and then played in 14 games with the Cardinals in 2010. He was cut by the Saints on Sept. 3.

Kirlew was signed to the Jaguars practice squad on Dec. 9. He was a seventh-round pick of the Broncos in 2010 and was on the Bills practice squad for part of his rookie season. He was waived on Sept. 7.

The Jaguars now have 17 players on their roster who were not on the 53-man roster on kickoff weekend.

They now have 53 players on their active roster, 25 on the injured reserve list and only two on the practice squad. They are allowed eight on the practice squad, but would have to made more injury settlements to add players to the practice squad because they can only have 80 players under contract.


--OT Cameron Bradfield may make his second consecutive start because Guy Whimper was limited with a knee injury.

--S Akwasi Owusu-Ansah may make his second consecutive start because Dwight Lowery was limited with a shoulder injury.

--CB Kevin Rutland may return to the starting lineup because he was a full go in practice with a calf injury he suffered in pre-game in Tennessee when he was stepped on by a teammate.

--RB Maurice Jones-Drew has 1,437 rushing yards and a 128-yard lead in the battle for the rushing title. He is within striking distance of Fred Taylor's franchise record of 1,572 set in 2003. Jones-Drew didn't practice Wednesday with an ankle injury, but it was a precautionary move and he will play. He usually doesn't practice much on Wednesdays.

--QB Blaine Gabbert is still struggling as a rookie quarterback and is the 34th ranked quarterback in the league with a 64.3 rating.


--FB Greg Jones was limited with a hamstring injury Wednesday but is expected to play.

--TE Marcedes Lewis was limited with a hamstring injury but is expected to play.

--WR Cecil Shorts was limited with a hamstring injury and may not play.

--S Dwight Lowery was limited with a shoulder injury and may not play.

GAME PLAN: The Jaguars' game plan is always the same. Since rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert is so shaky, they will run Maurice Jones-Drew. And he gets his yards, but the problem is the Jaguars are 29th in scoring because they don't have a passing game to complement his running.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Jaguars OTs Eugene Monroe and Cameron Bradfield or Guy Whimper vs. Colts DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. This could be a tough matchup for the Jaguars if the Colts get the lead and force the Jaguars to throw.

Jaguars CBs Kevin Rutland and David Jones vs. Colts WR Reggie Wayne. Wayne caught 20 passes against the Jaguars in two games last year and has a history of playing well against the Jaguars. And now he's playing against backup corners.

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