A monumental collapse of the Jaguars

Just a month and a half ago, the Jaguars were sitting atop their division with a record of eight wins and three losses. A playoff spot was almost in the bag barring a cataclysm. The season has just ended with five defeats in six games and this team is redefining the term “shocky”.

In sport, it is known, we talk about a team which “shocks” to explain that it collapses under pressure. In the case of the Jaguars, we simply speak in good French of a landing of epic proportions.

With their record at 8-3 on November 26, the various probability models estimated their chances of making the playoffs somewhere between 96 and 99%. It was necessary for the Jaguars to be able to thwart such strong odds!

In late November, no one was talking about the playoffs in Jacksonville. Instead, we dreamed of first place in the conference and home-field advantage with a first-round bye. Go for the holiday, but it will be until next September rather than for a short week.

Their last blunder was fatal, against the Titans, who finished their season with a record of 6-11 and who were not dominant. This 28-20 defeat not only confirmed their elimination from the race, but also the title of the American Conference South division to the surprising Texans.

It also allowed the Steelers and Bills to secure playoff spots.

Ironically, the Titans were 7-3 a year ago before collapsing and being knocked out of the playoff picture by the Jaguars in week 18. A year later, the roles are reversed.

Tough end of season

Trevor Lawrence didn’t find any solutions to the Titans’ defensive schemes.

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The Jaguars therefore lost five of their last six games of the season. The only victory was recorded at the hands of the sad Panthers (2-15), the worst team in the league. There’s plenty to put a bag over your head for the months to come.

Some will say that Trevor Lawrence played the last few games despite various injuries, including the one against the Titans with a shoulder injury. That’s true, but the excuse doesn’t hold water.

The Texans were without quarterback CJ Stroud for two games and they will be in the playoffs. The Browns have been forced to use five quarterbacks and they will be in the playoffs. The Steelers have been juggling three quarterbacks and they will be in the playoffs. Such is life in the NFL…

Questionable decisions

A monumental collapse of the Jaguars

Head coach Doug Pederson will certainly be criticized in Jacksonville.

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Lawrence, who seemed on his way to becoming one of the league’s great quarterbacks after his stellar finish last season, has not been up to par this season.

In a duel without outcome, he was the victim of two interceptions. The offense has therefore committed 12 turnovers in the last five games.

However, he is not the only culprit and head coach Doug Pederson will be held accountable. The Jaguars’ play management on the final sequence left something to be desired and the offense did not convert any of its three fourth down attempts. Only one of the three presences in the paying zone resulted in a touchdown. That’s a lot of points left on the field.

On a critical fourth down with a little more than a yard to go to reach the end zone, it is rather surprising to see Lawrence attempt a long “sneak” of the quarterback. This game, except for the Eagles who have mastered it to perfection, is mainly used when there are only a few centimeters left to gain.

Pederson said after the game that the decision came from Lawrence, who himself would have changed the play at the line of scrimmage. Regardless, the result was pitiful.

One thing is certain, the Jaguars will not be able to sit idly by telling themselves that they are banking on a potential prodigy in Lawrence.

A few weeks ago, we thought the Jaguars were alone in this division. We forgot that they are no better at getting tangled in their own boots than they are.


1. Goodbye, Bill?

A monumental collapse of the Jaguars

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Was it Bill Belichick’s last game at the helm of the Patriots, in Foxborough, in the snow? The head coach mentioned after the game that he would speak with owner Robert Kraft and in the meantime, he would not answer any questions regarding his future. If this is the end, it’s an incredibly sad conclusion for the Emperor, who saw the Jets end the Patriots’ 15-game winning streak against them. Belichick is in his 49th season in the NFL at various coaching positions and for the first time ever, he is experiencing a 13-loss season.

2. Poor Goodson…

A monumental collapse of the Jaguars

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The Colts saw their season end in dramatic fashion against the Texans, in a 23-19 loss. They were moving briskly with the ball when quarterback Gardner Minshew tried to connect with running back Tyler Goodson on a fourth down and a yard to cross at the Texans 15 line. The pass, slightly behind Goodson, slipped through his hands. To show the extent of his dismay, Goodson said in tears after the match that he was going to call his parents. “They’re probably the only ones in the world who love me right now.” Phew… heartbreaking!

3. A gesture that goes wrong

A monumental collapse of the Jaguars

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The Saints manhandled the Falcons 48-17 to take them out of the playoff race. They certainly didn’t make any friends at the end of the meeting. With the game in the bag at 41-17, they lined up in “victory formation” with the goal of taking a knee to run out the clock. Except that in the huddle, the players deviated from head coach Dennis Allen’s orders to surprise the Falcons with a Jamaal Williams run for a touchdown. Allen apologized after the fact, but the Falcons will remember it in 2024…

4. King Henry’s farewell?

A monumental collapse of the Jaguars

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Another who may have been on his last legs with his team is Titans running back Derrick Henry. He has just turned 30, his contract is about to expire and we don’t know what the future holds for him. Against the Jaguars, King Henry was responsible for reminding us that he is still capable, with a game of 153 yards on the ground and a touchdown, for an average of 8.1 yards per carry. This average was notably helped by a superb 69-yard run, his longest this season. He finished with 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns.

5. A salutary return

A monumental collapse of the Jaguars

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With their offense in neutral against the Dolphins early in the fourth quarter and trailing 14-7, the Bills needed a heroic play to come back strong. It was a 96-yard punt return from Deonte Harty that brought the team back into contention. It was the longest punt return in the history of the Bills, who subsequently scored an offensive touchdown and saw their defense bottle up the powerful Dolphins offense. An interception by safety Taylor Rapp ended the Dolphins’ hopes, saving a secondary greatly affected by injuries.


1. The Texans

What an incredible turnaround in one year! To go from 3-13-1 to 10-7 and win a division championship is phenomenal. It’s not just due to quarterback CJ Stroud, but still… What a difference a franchise quarterback can make!

2. The Buccaneers

It really wasn’t a convincing victory against the Panthers, but it was enough to confirm a third division title in a row and at the same time, a place in the playoffs. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin became the eighth receiver duo with each over 1,000 yards in three different seasons.

3. The Bills

The Bills were in trouble at 6-6 a few weeks ago and no one predicted a fourth straight division title. They won a fifth straight game against the Dolphins and inherit a playoff game in Buffalo against the Steelers. We were once again treated to the best and worst of Josh Allen.

4. The Packers

The Packers find themselves in the playoffs with a quarterback who is in his first year as a starter in Jordan Love and whose roster is the youngest in the league with an average of 25 years per player. The future is very promising.

5. The Cowboys

The Cowboys win the Eastern division of the national conference and will therefore host the Packers next week. Since 2004, this division has not crowned the same team two years in a row.


1. The Eagles

The Eagles looked very bad in a loss to the Giants, their fifth in their last six games. Quarterback Jalen Hurts injured his finger and receiver AJ Brown injured his knee. The team, which seems broken, will have to travel to Tampa next weekend.

2. Sam LaPorta

LaPorta set a record for a rookie tight end with 86 receptions this season, but in the second quarter, in a meaningless game for the Lions, he suffered a knee injury. This is tough news for the Lions on the eve of a playoff duel against the Rams.

3. The Seahawks

Despite the last-minute victory against the Cardinals and a 9-8 record, it’s too little too late for the Seahawks, who are banging their noses at the playoff door. It’s a very disappointing conclusion for this team which seemed to be on the rise.

4. Quebecers

There were three Quebecers this season in the NFL and the three will have to be content to observe the series from their sofa. Matthew Bergeron (Falcons), Sidy Sow (Patriots) and Benjamin St-Juste (Commanders) all finished on a tough note.

5. The Dolphins

The Dolphins have dropped their last two games and now they are forced to hit the road to Kansas City for a playoff duel against the Chiefs next weekend. This is far from an ideal scenario with a defensive front decimated by injuries.

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