Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keeping the Faith Players Say Playoffs Still a Possibility

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keeping the Faith Players Say Playoffs Still a Possibility

Article excerpt

The Jaguars, who haven't won a game in over a month and whose only two victories came against the AFC Central bottom feeders from Ohio, talked about winning all nine of their remaining games hours after their 27-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans Monday night.

"Yeah, why not," running back Fred Taylor said. "We've done it before. We've gone on streaks. We can do it."

"I'm optimistic about it," wide receiver Jimmy Smith said. "I think we're going to win the rest of our games."

That may be the only chance they have to get into the playoffs. The loss to the Titans at Adelphia Stadium dropped the Jaguars to 2-5, four games behind the 6-1 Titans in the AFC Central. Four of those losses have come to divisional teams.

The Jaguars have nine games left, beginning with the Washington Redskins Sunday at Alltel Stadium.

"It starts with the Redskins," Taylor said. "They're first. Let them put that on their [bulletin] board."

The Jaguars went on a five-game winning streak in 1996 to make the playoffs for the first time, so a streak is possible. And they won 14 games last season, including 11 in a row, on their way to the best record in the league.

But this team now has another injury to worry about. The Jags may have to do without Smith for a period of time after he suffered a sprained right knee in the first quarter of Monday night's game.

Smith did not return to the lineup and X-rays were negative, but he underwent an MRI exam yesterday to determine the severity of the injury. The team did not release the results yesterday, but Smith said late Monday he didn't expect to miss any games. He is key to an offense that has scored just three touchdowns, one by the first team, in the last 14 quarters.

"We have to get to 3-5," tackle Tony Boselli said. "We can't worry about anything down the road right now. We have to crawl before we can walk. We're not even crawling right now. We're not good enough."

Said quarterback Mark Brunell: "All you can do is think about the next game. We can't think about the playoffs, next season or anything like that. All our thoughts have to be on the here and now."

Despite the losing, the players insist the team is still together and still behind coach Tom Coughlin. …

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