As the Jaguars get set to take on the Steelers Sunday afternoon in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs, they know that an upset win could complete a “Twilight Zone-esque” match-up in two weeks.
That’s because 10 years ago, in the 2008 Playoff season, the circumstances were these: Jacksonville shocked Pittsburgh in the opening round with an AFC Wildcard win, and their reward? A date the following week against….the New England Patriots in Foxboro, MA.
That year the Patriots had completed the first “perfect” 16-0 season in NFL history and were waiting on bye for the Jaguars to come calling. The names surrounding Hall of Famer Tom Brady were Randy Moss, Kevin Faulk, Wes Welker, Rodney Harrison, and Vince Wilfork, etc. And, the Pats looked almost invincible.
As we wrote, the names for that 2007 Jaguars team were David Garrard, Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew and even, Marcedes Lewis, who remains on this current 2017 team.
Now fast forward 10 years and the Jaguars victory over the Bills in the AFC Wildcard last Sunday, has set them up to be in the same scenario, again.
The Patriots hammered the Titans 35-14 in their Saturday night AFC Divisional game and that victory assures them of hosting the AFC Championship Game.
And the Jags know that even with another upset of the Steelers, that names like Blake Bortles, Leonard Fournette, Calais Campbell, and Jalen Ramsey will be forced to do what their counterparts in Teal and Black did a decade ago- head to Foxboro trying to stay alive.
The phrase “the more things change, the more they remain the same” comes to mind. Like for example, this is the seventh consecutive year New England has played in the AFC Championship Game. That’s an NFL record.
Of course if you are Doug Marrone and his upstart Jaguars, it doesn’t matter if the AFC Championship game is in New England, or Guatemala or on the Moon.
You will just be thrilled to be in “Twilight Zone” and still alive in the playoffs.
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