After digging out of an 0-2 hole, the Jaguars pulled back to .500 with victories over the Texans and the Titans.
The emergence of receiver Mike Sims-Walker had some believing that maybe, just maybe, the Jaguars are ready to follow a bad year with a good year, which has been pretty much the formula of late.
But Sims-Walker was a surprise scratch for Sunday’s game, reportedly due to a violation of the team itinerary. Since most things of this nature typically are handled with fines, we get the impression that it was something more than missing bed check or taking the elevator instead of the stairs.
And, as we hear it, the absence of Sims-Walker from the lineup threw a wrench into the game plan.
Though his presence likely wouldn’t have been enough to overcome a 41-point drubbing, Seattle led only 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and 6-0 midway through the second. So it’s reasonable to conclude that if the Jags had thrown an extra punch or two early, things could have been different.
Then again, Sims-Walker doesn’t play defense. And the Jacksonville defense couldn’t handle receivers Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who had two touchdowns each from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
So even after practice-squad slappy Kyle Williams landed in the lineup after the latest replacement for left tackle Walter Jones was injured, the Seahawks moved the ball — thanks in large part to the return of Matt Hasselbeck, who as it turns out suffered not one but two broken ribs in Week Two at San Francisco.
The question is whether the outcome was an aberration, for one or both teams. If the Jaguars are better than Sunday’s game suggests, they need to start showing it, soon. For the Seahawks, there’s still plenty of time to contend for the NFC West crown — getting and staying healthy would go a long way toward getting that done.