Wednesday Morning QB (Week 7)

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A year ago the Jacksonville Jaguars were riding high looking like a legitimate challenger to the New England Patriots.

They rode that high all the way to the conference finals where they took on the Patriots but came up just short.

Despite the finish, they were a team that everyone was looking towards this year as a contender for the Super Bowl.

They were the sexy pick heading into the 2018 season as a solid defence supported by a devastating ground game and a QB coming into his own had them as a good bet.

They seemed to be buying into the hype as the preseason saw players like Jalen Ramsey take headlines with trash talk.

Ramsey claimed to be the best corner in the game and went on record with an opinion about every quarterback in the league.

It was a lot of talk but judging on their performance a year ago they had the right to talk about how good they were.

The 2018 season started and they looked good, not great but good taking their first two games of the season.

They beat a Giants team that nobody knew was going to be terrible and then got revenge for their AFC title loss against the struggling Patriots.

After that second game, their running attack took a major hit as they lost Leonard Fournette to a hamstring injury.

He was unable to play in Week 3 and that happened to coincide with their first loss of the season.

Things have gone downhill from that point on as the once might Jags are now stumbling and looking like anything but a playoff team.

They have lost four of the last five games including a beating against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago and their latest loss this week against the Texans.

Things have not been going right and this is where the true test is for a team that had the attitude that the Jags brought into the season.

Jacksonville was a team that everyone loved this year and for them, it seemed to get to their heads.

Then again that attitude of being the best can be extremely important for a team that knows how to play that way.

The Jags were that team a year ago as when they were on they were one of the best teams in the league.

An attitude that includes believing that they are unbeatable was a part of that helping them gain the confidence to take those risks and get away with it.

The problem with having that attitude is that there are a lot of big egos in the same room and big egos don’t do well when things go wrong.football-sidebar

A player like Ramsey who truly believes he is the best can begin to look at everything a different way when he can no longer cover as well as he did a year ago.

There are a lot of those players in Jacksonville and when they are playing well they come together to be a truly scary group.

That isn’t the case right now and for the Jaguars it is beginning to take a toll off of the field.

This week reports surfaced around arguments in the locker room after their third straight loss on the season.

It might only get tougher as Blake Bortles is becoming cannon fodder after being benched in Week 7.

More players will try to find something wrong and when things are being done right they will call them out.

That could either bring this team together and galvanize them for a run at the end of the season or could tear them apart.

The reports coming out of Jacksonville are very similar to the reports coming from Seattle years ago.

That was a locker room full of players with big egos that regularly argued but they did get all of those egos aligned to win a Super Bowl.

Whether the Jaguars can do that or not will depend on how they recover from their three straight losses as another loss could put this team in turmoil.

It will be interesting to watch as the Jags try to recover from their slide and make good on the promise they had at the start of the year.

 

Fifth Quarter

Lighting a Fire

It has been a rough season in the Meadowlands as the New York Giants are suffering the same issues they did a year ago. Despite a change at coach and an attempt to reload the Giants are sinking to the bottom of the league. Much of the blame is falling on the shoulders of Eli Manning who has struggled this year leading some to wonder how bad an idea it was to bench him last year. Still the Giants are to going to get rid of their star QB so instead, they are sending a message in a different way. The Giants traded Eli Apple who was a cause of issues in the locker room last year. The move was likely an attempt to show that the Giants are ready to get rid of people and to avoid the same issues as the struggles continue in New York.

Hair Tackles

Two weeks ago the NFL world was launched into a debate that had been seen before but never really took off until now. In Week 6 Chris Ivory was hauled down when Jadeveon Clowney grabbed his hair in a desperation tackle. To many it seemed like a terrible tackle but it has always been purely legal to tackle someone by their hair should they choose to grow their hair out. It didn’t look great though and because of that the NFL rules committee seems to be taking this rule on. They are reportedly looking at making that tackle illegal and there is some precedent as it can lead to tackles similar to horse collar tackles that have been outlawed for years.

Deadline Deals

Eli Apple wasn’t the only player to be traded as the trade deadline is coming up and it has been more active than usual. With Apple and Amari Cooper marking a few big names there have been other teams willing to move top players. The Cleveland Browns cashed in on a veteran back as they traded Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville for a fifth-round pick. That move will give Nick Chubb the starting role after proving that he could carry the load in his first year. While the deadline deals heat up there are still questions around other players like Le’Veon Bell and Eli Manning that could rock the NFL.

Seahawks Selling

Last week the NFL lost a long time owner and fan in Paul Allen who lost his battle with cancer. His sudden passing brings a serious issue with it as Allen was the sole owner of the Seattle Seahawks with no heirs. That means that the Seahawks are now without an owner and that will lead to a new owner in the league. Without heirs, Allen had reportedly prepared for this situation with a succession plan in place. It will likely follow the same path as the Bills when Ralph Wilson required that the new owner would keep the team in Buffalo should pass away and the team need to be sold.

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