Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Would Be Hot Team with Win over Colts

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags Would Be Hot Team with Win over Colts

Article excerpt

Byline: vic ketchman

It's a tale of two systems. There's the college way, which is to line everybody up, examine them and then select two teams to play in the title game. Then there's the NFL way, which is to let 'em all kill each other until there are only two standing at the end.

The difference is that the NFL system, aside from being a more inclusive and fairer of way of determining a champion, allows for two months of weekly drama and excitement. College football, of course, meekly steps aside during December and turns the football stage over to the NFL, which the NFL greatly appreciates.

So, which system do you prefer? If you say you prefer the college way, please stop reading right now and go breathe on a mirror. You might be dead. At the least, you're brain-dead.

The Jaguars are one of five teams tied at 7-5 in the AFC wild-card race. As we head into week 14 of the NFL season, only two teams in the league, Oakland and Detroit, have been eliminated from playoff contention. Heck, half of college football was eliminated from title contention after the first week of the season, and that's only if you consider every team has a chance to win it all, which they, of course, don't.

This is December, the month when true playoff contenders emerge. This is when we find out what the Jaguars really have under the hood. Are they one of December's dukes or dogs?

They have the look of a January-like team. The Jaguars have those beat-you-in-the-cold ingredients: A stout defense, strong running game and a hot quarterback. They were built accordingly, to win in the northeast in January. That's the playoff formula.

Don't make the mistake of thinking their schedule is a negative. Yeah, it's a tough one, but it's the kind of schedule that can harden a team for January. It's the kind of schedule that can make the Jaguars a hot team heading into the playoffs. Hey, if you can't win at home against Indianapolis and New England in December, why bother going to either of those two cities in January, right?

I've studied the schedules of the five tied teams and frankly I keep coming up with 9-7. The Chiefs didn't make the playoffs at 10-6 last season, but it's possible both of this year's AFC wild cards will be 9-7. …

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