Jags Benefit from Lack of Confidence

It's rare that an NFL team can turn the ball over three times, one of which being an interception returned for a touchdown, as well as miss an extra point and still win. Fortunately for the Jaguars, it's even rarer that a bottom-dwelling team like the St. Louis Rams will take advantage of those mistakes and find a way to get a victory of their own.

Sunday's Rams-Jaguars game is yet another example of the utter ineptitude at the bottom of the NFL, as roughly one-quarter of the league is god-awful. Make no mistake, the Jaguars are not a very good football team, but they aren't one of destitute.

The Jacksonville Jaguars did just about everything they could to give away Sunday's football game. David Garrard routinely threw the football into traffic and on two occasions Rams defensive backs dropped easy interceptions. Garrard finally threw a pass that defensive end Leonard Little held on to, which he promptly returned for a touchdown.

"It was one of those sling screens that the D-end peeled off and made a heck of a play on," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said of the interception. "When you see a guy peel off you have got to either lob it up over or not throw it or throw it away or something but obviously we'd not have that occur right there in that situation."

A play like that would almost ensure victory for a team, but the Rams will to lose was simply too great.

"We just have to learn how to win, how to finish these games off," Rams star running back Steven Jackson said. "Every game is not going to be a blowout and when you have tough ones like this we need to find a way to dig in and pull off a win."

In typical Rams fashion, the defense folded following the pick-six and allowed David Garrard and the Jaguars to move down the field with relative ease, as the Jaguars signal caller continued to throw late and to the wrong side of his receivers, limiting their yards after the catch ability. After Maurice Jones-Drew scored his third touchdown of the game, the Rams offense gave the half-filled Jacksonville Municipal Stadium reason to stick around a little longer. Rams running back Steven Jackson rumbled into Jaguars territory as he took a screen pass 38 yards into Jaguars territory, a play in which it took more than half of the Jaguars defense to bring him to the ground.

"I was just trying to score," Jackson said of the play.

Trying to score may not have been in Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo's plans, as he had a series of play calls near the end of the game that were simply mind-boggling.

Instead of using his final timeout with 22 seconds remaining and a first and goal at the Jaguars nine-yard line, Spagnuolo decided to have his quarterback go to the line of scrimmage and spike the football, leaving him one less down to score.

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio was asked about his counterpart's play calling and end of the game decision making, and the head coach wouldn't give much of a comment or endorsement, "I'm not the one to have to answer that question today. I'm not touching it."

Downs were clearly not an issue to Spagnuolo, as his team ran one play and he decided to kick the game-tying field goal with eight seconds remaining, more than enough time to run off a short passing play.

"It was too close," Spagnuolo said of the clock. "We worked at it before at eight seconds, but we never wanted something (bad) to happen and we just couldn't take the chance. (If there) had been one more second on the clock then you think you can throw one there. I think it was the right thing to do."

So let me get this straight, not even attempting a throw to the end zone from nine yards away with a veteran quarterback and a defense that can't get pressure on anyone was the right thing to do?

Losing teams find ways to lose, and it's no wonder that the Rams have the league's longest current losing streak at 16 games.

I have just one question for Steve Spagnuolo. How do you expect your team to play to win if you are coaching scared?

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