Del Rio Safe For Now
There was a legitimate chance that Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio's job was in real trouble at the bye week if the Jags didn't win another game.
Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver isn't the type to have a "quick trigger" but an embarrassing loss on Monday night followed up by a loss at Houston May have left him no choice but to part ways with his embattled coach.
Fortunately for Jack Del Rio, he isn't going to have to worry about that and will likely be the team's head coach for the rest of the season.
"(It's) Nice to have validation for what the guys are committing," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said. "The staff and players are working very hard."
Del Rio and company will hope to take the momentum with them to Houston, where the Jags are figured to be nearly a 10-point underdog.
There wasn't a ton to second guess for the Jaguars in Monday night's victory over Baltimore. We did find a few items that need some clarification.
With the return of Mike Sims-Walker to the roster and a run-heavy game plan, the Jaguars were only going to activate five receivers against Baltimore. As expected, Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas, Jason Hill and Kassim Osgood (mostly for special teams) were active but the fifth wide receiver was Cecil Shorts.
Shorts was activated over Jarett Dillard and Chastin West and the reason is unknown, well somewhat. Shorts has as many catches as we do in his pro career and has looked awful in actual game action. Dillard and West are far from stars, but they've caught passes in real games.
Shorts was targeted twice in the game and ran the wrong route once. As for the reason for Shorts playing, the only explanation is the fact he's a fourth-round draft pick and it would look bad if he were deactivated. The team would likely be better off if they kept the most talented players on the roster and actually played them on Sunday's, or in this case Monday.
How Much Was on Harbaugh?
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh pulled some of the right strings in the first half as he won a pair of instant replay challenges, and made an extremely poor decision at the end that may have cost his team the game.
Following the Ravens touchdown to trim the Jaguars lead to 9-7 with 2:02 remaining and two timeouts in his pocket, Harbaugh decided to attempt an onside kick. Perhaps thinking there was a little "Tebow Magic" left over from Miami yesterday, Harbaugh went for broke when there was really no justification.
Needless to say the Ravens onside kick failed as they touched the ball prior to it traveling 10 yards which set up a long field goal for the automatic Josh Scobee which put the Jags up 12-7.
"There are times in the game as a kicker where you think that the team might for for it at the end of the game, and those are the times when you can let your mental focus slip a little," Josh Scobee who's a perfect 14 for 14 this season said. "I was telling myself over and over in my head, 'Stay focused.' I wanted to go back out there and make this a touchdown game. That was my goal."
If Baltimore would've kicked deep, the Jaguars would have likely ran the ball up the middle three times to burn the Ravens times out as they did before. This would have left approximately 1:48 on the clock with the Jaguars punting from deep in their own territory and Baltimore needing just a field goal to win.
"Absolutely, we considered that, but I decided I wanted to go for the onside kick because I felt like we needed the short field and I felt like we were going to get the onside kick," Harbaugh explained.
The odds of recovering an onside kick are roughly 20 percent.
Blame Cam Cameron?In a game in which Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco struggled so mightily, it may not have been in the team's best interests to continue to lean on the fourth-year quarterback from Delaware's right arm.
Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron decided to spurn his Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice who received just eight carries.
"It baffles me that Ray Rice only had six carries," Ravens Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "This is a Pro Bowl running back we're talking about."
Suggs comments serve two divisive purposes- one, to undermine the playcalling of one of his coaches and set a divide between offense and defense. Suggs also displayed no confidence in the abilities of quarterback Joe Flacco, who has come up small in some of the Ravens bigger games.
Coughing it UpThe Jaguars and Ravens combined to put the football on the ground six times and there was surprisingly just two lost fumbles. Sure-handed running back Ray Rice had gone 522 touches without having any ball-security issues, but Rice coughed the ball up in the first period.
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew became the first back to go over 100 yards rushing against the Ravens since Arian Foster last season. Dampening his stellar game was his hands (or lack thereof) which led to three fumbles and one lost fumble at the 1-yard line.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie