Don’t tell Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith that a Week 17 game between two teams with virtually no playoff hope is meaningless.
“The Cleveland game was a defining game for us,” Smith told Vic Ketchman of the Jaguars’ website. “If the fans need an
indication of why some of the changes were made, they need to go back
and evaluate what happened in the Browns game. To me that was a defining
On that day, the Jaguars were pushed around up front by the Browns. They lost 23-17. The Browns only needed to throw the ball 11 times; they had 49 rushing attempts.
Two starters from the defensive line that day, Quentin Groves and John Henderson, are gone. Jacksonville drafted four defensive linemen to replace them, including first-round pick Tyson Alualu.
That day changed the Jaguars’ offseason strategy, and it may have kept Eric Mangini employed in Cleveland. It’s another reminder that every game in the NFL matters.