Jags Finish 8-8; Del Rio Given One More Chance

January 6, 2011 by

The Jacksonville Jaguars ended their season on Sunday with a 34-17 loss to the Houston Texans.

The Jags, led by Trent Edwards, just could not manage to find a way to beat the Texans, mostly due to injuries.  Both David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew were out for the game.

Edwards struggled throughout the whole game, and made it very clear that he is not the quarterback of the future for this team.  Garrard will come back next season as the starter.

Rashad Jennings played very well, carrying for over 100 yards and a touchdown, but may have been the lone brightspot for team that has witnessed its second late season collapse in the past two years.

Here are the awards for week 17’s loss to Houston:

Most Valuable Jaguar – Rashad Jennings had a big game, and was the only reason why they were able to get it back to 17-17 before the defense gave up the game.

Least Valuable Jaguar – Defensive secondary.  A lot of players did not play too hot on Sunday, but the defensive secondary was pretty bad this whole season, and Schaub finished the year doing what every other QB has done to them.

Surprise Jaguar of the Week – Jason Hill is the surprise once again.  He may not be as surprising next year because it will be expected, but he finished with the most receiving yards.  Hill has been a very good pick up for the Jags.

Now that we know the Jaguars are finished for the year, the team can start preparations for next season and it all started with the hot seat that Jack Del Rio’s bum has been on for a little while now. 

After finishing up a meeting on Monday with owner Wayne Weaver, the Jaguars decided to hold on to Del Rio in the middle of this rebuilding process with one goal in mind: get to the playoffs and you will maintain the position of head coach.

So now, with one more opportunity, Del Rio will have to get this team over the late season slumps and Peyton Manning domination in order to save his job next season.  Can he do it?  It will be very tough, especially with the Jags’ schedule, but they can do it with some help this offseason.  One thing I do agree on is who would this team have brought in if Del Rio was fired?  Perhaps it may have been a setback, but if this team does not improve from a .500 team, it will be rough 2011 season.

A brief look at this team going into next year will include many questions. 

Will they re-sign Marcedes Lewis?  How about Mike Sims-Walker?  What do we do with Derrick Harvey?  Who can be added to the defensive secondary to help from getting dominated by decent quarterbacks?  Will this team select its’ future QB in this year’s draft?  Or how about, will there even be a next season?

One thing is certain, the Jags have a solid core of players on both the offense and defense.  Something that was lacking years ago.  Garrard is a capable starter who will need another receiver, and MJD is a top three running back.  Tyson Alualu and Terrance Knighton and going to be a force for years to come, and Aaron Kampman will be welcomed back when he recovers from his trip to the IR.

The big changes will be on defense.  This team will need to bring in some new players via free agency and the draft who can contribute quickly.  This year proved, once again, that the Jaguars are not a defensive team anymore.  They need to get upgrades at safety and cornerback, and provide more of a pass rush. Kirk Morrison and Justin Durant will both be free agents if not re-signed, will we add a new linebacker as well?

Who knows as it is very early, and we still have a month of playoff football to enjoy.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t include our Jaguars.

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