Not Much Hope Left in Jacksonville
Instead, the situation in Jacksonville looks as dim as ever.
The Jaguars opened the season with a Week 1 loss at Indianapolis, then got smoked in their home opener on Sunday -- in front of an announced crowd of less than 47,000. Things only got worse on Monday, with the announcement that veteran wide receiver Troy Williamson is likely out for the season with a shoulder injury.
"I was sick," receiver Mike Sims-Walker said of learning about Williamson's situation. "I didn't wake up prepared for that. ... That's a bad loss for us."
And just to make sure Monday was totally miserable in Jacksonville, the Jags also cut a pair of players.
One was wide receiver Nate Hughes, who dropped a fourth-down pass in the end zone with Jacksonville trailing Arizona by 14. Tight end Greg Estandia, who committed a costly illegal motion penalty Sunday, was the other player handed a pink slip.
It's hard to imagine the situation getting much worse for Jacksonville -- which is almost certain to go without selling out a game this entire season -- but the schedule might pile it on. Jacksonville heads to Houston in Week 3, hosts Tennessee in Week 4, and travels to Seattle in Week 5 before welcoming in the Rams for what could be one of the most poorly-attended NFL games in recent history.
As it often does, the blame for this complete meltdown -- remember, Jacksonville finished 11-5 in 2007 and won a playoff game at Pittsburgh -- will almost certainly land on the head coach, in this case Jack Del Rio. The axe could fall sooner rather than later, too. It's one thing to be a losing team. But to be a losing team that's not generating any fan interest is the kiss of death.
Heck, even the Lions sold out their home opener, a game that marked their 19th-straight loss.
There's really no way around a major rebuilding project at this point for the Jaguars. There are some pieces here and there, most notably stud running back Maurice Jones-Drew. But the AFC South is quickly turning into a beast -- Indianapolis is 2-0 with Peyton Manning at QB, the Texans still have the look of a sleeper, and Tennessee is the best 0-2 team you're going to find. Quite simply, the Jaguars just don't have the talent to stack up against any of those teams.
Worse yet, their fans appear to realize what a lost cause this looks like. When there's ineptitude on the field and apathy off it, you can bet significant changes aren't far behind.