The Jacksonville Jaguars’ Sunday season finale in Houston against the (all but certain) AFC South champs Houston Texans lacks drama.
We know that Gus Bradley is keeping his job as head coach. We can assume that defensive coordinator Bob Babich won’t be so lucky.
We know that T.J. Yeldon is out yet again and that Jonas Gray and Denard Robinson will share reps at tailback.
And we know that, despite relative stability at all skill positions this year, the Jaguars will play their last game on Sunday, against a playoff-bound team that has had four starters at QB and a committee at tailback.
It’s as if the Texans have had better coaching.
Assuming such ephemera as “wins” and “losses” retain meaning, that is.
The Jaguars have little to play for, beyond pride and individual stat lines.
It won’t be this way in Week 17 next year; at least, not if Shad Khan bet right in retaining Gus Bradley for Year 4 of the Three-Year Plan.
By the time next season begins, expectations are that the Sports Complex in Jacksonville will be transformed, with $90 million of renovations complete and a new covered practice field and amphitheater in place.
What transformations will happen regarding the on-field product? Will Dante Fowler be the difference on the defensive line? Will scheme adjustments cover up for a secondary that has been burned so many times that Davon House and Johnathan Cyprien have orders in for asbestos jerseys?
There will be time for the hopeful pieces about the draft. For the best-case scenario evaluations of free agent signings. For quotes like “we’re built to win now” and “we’re ready to turn the corner.”
Not quite time yet though.
Before the lulling tide of off-season optimism rolls in, the Jaguars have to wrap another season with double-digit losses first.