Some people are fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This 2019 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: [Duval chant voice] LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-SERS
Your 2018 record: 5-11. Who could have guessed that a team quarterbacked by Blake Bortles would regress to the mean, and then keep plummeting through that mean like Wile E. Coyote smashing through successive floors all the way down to the bottom of an Acme rocket skate factory? Not I. Nossir.
After gifting New England their 8,000th AFC title the season prior, the Jags started last season 2-0, including a 31-20 waxing of those same Pats in Tarzan heat that led to the inevitable and fruitless “What’s wrong with the Pats? Are they finished?” takes that come around every September. After that, the Jaguars fully inhabited their identity once more and lost 11 of their final 14 games. They lost to the Titans 9-6 in a game that was somehow NOT played on a Thursday night. They benched Bortles in a loss to Houston, brought him back the next week, benched him AGAIN five weeks later, and then had to bring him back once more when the rest of the cupboard proved to be nonexistent. See now, that’s the Jaguar football I’ve come to know and avoid.
Is this summary starting to feel like tedious busywork? Well then, that’s how you know you’re in Duval. Four Jags tried to stiff a London nightclub (they crossed the pond just to experience the joy of losing to Philly) out of a $64,000 tab because they believed they deserved to be comped for it. Lemme tell you something, Jaguars: There will never be a time when you’ve earned the right to drink champagne for free. Fucking count on that.
They blew a 16-0 lead against the Steelers because of their perpetually timid playcalling. They lost a game to Josh Johnson and the Skins. It was Johnson’s first ever win as a starter in the NFL. He was drafted in 2008.
They got into a sideline brawl with the Bills (watch Leonard Fournette and Shaq Lawson punch each other but then kinda go right to hugging it out, Ari Gold–style) and summarily lost that game. When the Bills have your number, you are fucked hard and fucked good. “Sacksonville” gave up 16 more sacks than they had as a team last year.
Speaking of Fournette, the Jags spent the bulk of 2018 indoctrinating him into all the clever ways that the Giants systemically alienated Odell Beckham before throwing him out of the boxcar. They traded for Carlos Hyde because they thought Fournette was milking a hammy injury:
Then team president Tom Coughlin, a guy who gets more excited for USO tours of Afghanistan than for being nice to people, went ahead and publicly shat on Fournette for sitting on the bench during a game where he was injured and, well, had to sit on the bench.
What it is with NFL teams so thoroughly despising their own players? You know these guys are gonna die young because they fucking work for you, right? It’s like Coughlin and head coach/floor polisher Doug Marrone spend all offseason building the world’s biggest fucking doghouse to lodge all the players they predict will displease them. When Fournette told the media a Titans fan called him a racial slur, Marrone publicly supported him thusly:
“I trust the player.” Marrone was also asked if Fournette would be disciplined for threatening the fan, to which he responded, “That’s kind of a tough one, when it’s a racial slur, and that’s what the player tells you.”
Can … can you not say the player’s name? What kind of asshole tic is that? “What did that fan say to you? Well then, Generic Player X, I might have to think about not suspending you over this.” Somehow it’s more endearing when the Giants do this kinda shit than when their white trash beach town outlet store does it.
Your coach: Doug Marrone, who seemingly exists solely to lay the groundwork for a massive player insurrection against him. He’s right on track as we speak. Marrone claims that he hasn’t watched the Super Bowl in decades because he’s not interested in the Super Bowl unless he’s in it. Funny how that guiding principle perpetuates itself, isn’t it? Noam Chomsky will watch a Super Bowl before this can of wet bluefish spread ever gets the chance to.
Your new OC is John DeFilippo, who was fired by the Vikings before he had even completed a full season on the job. DeFilippo was fired because he hated running the ball. Good thing the Jaguars aren’t built to do the precise thing he abhors so! The Jags are convinced that what happened in Minnesota was an aberration with Flip and that he’ll become the offensive wizard he tells everyone he is, all because the team has reunited him with...
You know how everyone assumed the Eagles were doomed when they had to turn to Nick Foles in the playoffs two years ago? Everyone was wrong about that, BUT … here’s your chance to watch that original nightmare vision finally play out on the field. This will be the deeply mediocre Foles we all know the man to be. And all it cost Jacksonville was $50 million guaranteed, plus the $16.5 million (the highest single-player dead-money figure in NFL history) they gotta eat for sending Bortles to the great Lemon Bar in the sky. What a coup. During Philly’s title run, Foles was set up to succeed thanks to a deep roster and a shrewd coaching staff. With the Jaguars, he’s got Doug Marrone motivating players by throwing fried bologna sandwiches at them (NOTE: I tried making one of these myself a couple weeks ago and was left oddly disappointed by it) and a fleet of wideouts who are worse at catching the ball than he is.
Your backups are Tanner Lee and Gardner Minshew. I’m sorry but those two men are clearly throw-in players in a midseason NBA trade. A dozen basketbloggers are going ZOMG THE MAVS GAVE UP MINSHEW IN THE DEAL FOR FRITZMAN HOWARD HOLY SHIT.
What’s new that sucks: Here to help Marrone and DeFilippo ditch the ground game are free agents Geoff Swaim (EXCITING!) and former Chief Chris Conley (Not Tyreek Hill but also possibly not a child assault enthusiast!). They signed Alfred Blue to run the ball when they inevitably suspend Fournette for not showing up to a film breakdown five hours early. Oh, and you have Terrelle Pryor now. Just the kind of natural-born leader this discordant outfit needs to finally gel as a unit.
Look, I’m grasping at straws here. The Jags could sign LeBron to play tight end and I’d still have to stick a hairbrush up my ass to feel anything when discussing them. I should just write the rest of this post while high, but already know it would be a waste of weed.
Telvin Smith, age 28, decided to stop playing out of the blue. That’s the Jags for you. They bring out the fight-or-flight response in everyone involved. Literally the only interesting thing about the Jaguars is that a purposely stupid fictional sitcom character is a fan of them. The franchise’s biggest win came when the mascot beefed with Florio on Twitter.
What has always sucked: This is a fucked-up place that deserves a loud, brash, enjoyably stupid NFL team. Everyone in Jacksonville’s got guns and is drunk all the time. One of the local delicacies is lunchmeat in a pita pocket. The 2017 Jags were, Bortles aside, a nice fit of team and town. So it’s genuinely disheartening to watch as Coughlin and Marrone actively work to smother any trace of spontaneity from this outfit. Remember Jalen Ramsey having to play choirboy to a gushing Adam Schefter during the offseason?
A year after trashing nearly every NFL starting quarterback, Jalen Ramsey was given the opportunity to do so again. This time, when asked by Adam Schefter to critique the slate of passers the Jaguars will face in 2019, the All-Pro cornerback passed. “I’m not going to do this again…”
Schefter commended Ramsey for his “maturity.”
Oh god, kiss my flabby white ass, Schefter. Thank God Ramsey showed up to camp in an armored car. The lifespan of an NFL cornerback is like one-to-three seasons long, so the man is probably already washed up. But at least he’s recommitted to enjoying himself. Mark Schlereth says turn in your Man 101 card, young man!!!!
What might not suck: This story…
“I had no idea we were going to draft Blaine Gabbert. No idea. In fact, I left to go get something to eat because our pick wasn’t for much longer in the draft. I go and then I’m sitting there filling my plate thinking, ‘Oh great, we’ve got a couple more hours until we pick.’ Then I see, ‘The Jaguars are on the clock.’ I’m like, ‘What the blank is going on?’ I walk into the draft room, and I could see it on the faces of the people in the room. They knew how uncomfortable that was, how wrong that was.”
Ain’t right to spring Blaine Gabbert on a man who’s just trying to enjoy a ham sandwich.
HEAR IT FROM JAGUARS FANS!
“Of course, the last time the Jaguars showed any semblance of hope, it was immediately crushed and torn away. That’s what really scares me about this team. Regression isn’t just a threat, its what I’m expecting. Another ten years of shithousery.”
Those words are direct quotes from my submission to WYTS last year. Guess fucking what.
I have a Blaine Gabbert jersey and a signed Blake Bortles ball.
Our best player talked shit then got burned by Josh Allen. The QB we paid millions for is known for catching a ball and having a big dick.
Because we’re from Jacksonville.
Our local sports radio hosts have expressed legitimate concern that Nick Foles received a lower rating in Madden this year than Blake Bortles did last year.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl by like 9 to 7. It was like watching an early-season Jaguars game.
I’m from NY. I have no reason to like the Jaguars. I don’t even really like sports, but I’m a sucker for some drama and I’m also a gambler. So when the bookies were giving the Jaguars an over/under of ten games for the whole season, of course I jumped on the over. Cue a hundred dollar bet. I don’t need to tell you how the season actually unfolded. Cue me texting my brother, who cares much more about football, every single goddamn weekend to complain about these Florida cesspool fuckers. Fuck this team with a Molotov cocktail.
No words are needed, only this extremely culturally relevant video:
Our defense went from paramilitary death squad to US men’s national soccer team in less than one calendar year. Hating ass Jalen Ramsey is “exposed” every time he gives up two catches for 26 yards according to the football media. Our front office is at open war with our best offensive player, who coincidentally is our worst offensive player by many advanced metrics.
It gives me no pride to say that we are the Bills fans of the south. Even London doesn’t like us. Imagine a culture that enslaved most of the known world, eats cold beans for breakfast, and can’t even properly execute its own political and economic suicide pact thinking that they are too good for your 90s expansion franchise.
As a brown person I can say we have all been told at some point to “Go back where you came from” but there’s no fucking way I’m ever going back to Jacksonville.
Being a Jags fan in DC has proven just how pathetic and insignificant this franchise is. One Sunday afternoon a few years back I went to a sports bar, and after asking if they could put the Jags game on one of their 50 televisions, the manager laughed at me and said they couldn’t spare a TV for such a game.
A year later, I attended the Jags-Ravens game at M&T Bank in which Ravens fans didn’t even give me shit, they were merely perplexed of the existence of Jags fans outside of the armpit of America which is Jacksonville, Florida. One guy asked me for my autograph cause I was the first Jags fan he’d ever met.
On the rarest of occasion when the fucking solar system aligns and do meet a fellow Jags fan, it becomes the saddest conversation about a team that continues to find the dumbest ways to lose every Sunday. Fuck this team. Big Dick Nick will schlop his massive dong around for exactly three games before snapping his ACL, voiding his contract and getting the fuck out of the First Coast.
I hope Blake Fucking Bortles chokes on his dip.
The Jaguars have already ruined this season by selecting a non-“B” quarterback and therefore I fully expect a series of disasters.
I’d also like to point out that the big thing currently happening in Jacksonville is they are gonna fucking sell off the city utility system for cash. Fucking peak moron Republican.
I grew up in Central Florida, and the Jaguars came to being just around the time that the concept of sports fandom really took hold in my adolescent consciousness. I immediately became a fan of one of the most consistently boring teams in professional sports, who play their home games in a city that is as close to a toilet as we have in this crumbling shambles of a country. I am also a fan of the Mets and the Magic because reasons, and I am so tired. Just... So tired.
I’ve been submitting these blurbs to you almost the entire time you’ve been doing them, and at this point WYTS is the high water mark of the season. I want to believe that the team can rebound back to form and climb atop a messy AFC, but we won’t. This team has genuinely great fans, but we get overlooked because “it’s a small market”, or “LOL Good Place.”
Fuck Clete Blakeman, the 1999 Titans, the 2017 Patriots, the 1996 Patriots, and all the assholes on the Seahawks defense who tried to blow out OL knees when they were already beat. If I had my say, we’d build a statue of Quinton Jefferson getting beaned in the head by a Gatorade bottle and stick it in front of the stadium.
Myles Jack wasn’t down. Duval til we die. And fuck everyone who clowns on the pools; it’s hot as shit down here.
The defense has maybe one year left before they have to start cutting guys for the cap.
Guess who the Jags’ week one opponent is? The Chiefs. That’ll end well!
I got married on September 15th, 2019. The next morning, we held a game-watch party at one of the restaurants in our hotel. I was surrounded by friends and family and my new bride. Food was everywhere. Drinks were flowing. It was the AFCCG rematch. I had $200 on JAX. I was going on precisely zero hours sleep, but I had that nice 2nd-wind energy flowing through me.
Needless to say, I was pretty hype. The game started out great. Then it started rolling. The Jaguars were stopping NE everywhere! Our play calling included pass plays! Receivers were catching those passes! Bortles was orchestrating consecutive first downs! What a treat!
Then this happened...
...and I absolutely lost my shit. I screamed and whooped and hollered like an absolute mad man, high-fivin’ everyone within eye-sight. What a magical moment. If you don’t love this image, you don’t love sports.
Anyways...the Jaguars won and ended the season undefeated. 2-0.
I can’t wait for next season to start.
I won my fantasy football league last season with the second fewest cumulative points. I’ve wondered many times what kind of satanic deal I made to let that happen, and I finally decided that the price was having hope in the Jaguars. On some dark, stormy night I don’t remember, Doug Marrone, wreathed in flame and eyes glowing, looked at me and said “A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy… And suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.”
Submissions for the NFL previews are closed. Next up: Detroit Lions.