TAMPA, Fla. — With all due respect to the Miami Dolphins, two of Florida’s NFL teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers standing atop the NFL as the defending champs and the Jacksonville Jaguars looking up from the basement of the league.
Monday marks one year to the day since the Jaguars last won a game, a 27-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts to start the 2020 season. During the 15-game losing streak that closed out the 2020 season, the Jaguars lost by an average of 12.9 points per game. After crashing and burning so badly, the Jaguars received the number one overall pick and hired Urban Meyer to try to rebuild the program.
The Jags used the number one pick on quarterback Trevor Lawrence and combined with Meyer, hope for a better record in 2021 was everywhere for the Jags. The team was even set up to post a W in week one with a game against a Houston Texans, that many experts considered to be the worst team in football, at least on paper.
Houston proceeded to dismantle the Texans in a 37-21 victory that saw the Jaguars turn the ball over three times and only rush for 76 yards in the game. While one game doesn’t a season make, which is great news for lots of teams Monday, Jacksonville is approaching some historically bad records.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, after Sunday’s loss, the Jags have now lost 16 straight games and could become just the third team in NFL history to lose 20 straight games if they drop the next four games in a row. Ouch. That would put them, according to PFT, in the company of the Chicago Cardinals, who lost 29 games in a row from 1942-45, and the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And speaking of those Buccaneers, Tampa Bay has won nine straight games dating back to November 29, 2020, when the team lost by three points to the Kansas City Chiefs. Since then, Tom Brady and company haven’t dropped a game including a Super Bowl run through the playoffs.
The Bucs were able to extend that winning streak on the opening night of the 2021 NFL season when Brady led a last-minute drive to set up a game-winning field goal to give the team a two-point win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Continuing the streak will get tougher as the Bucs face some tough games ahead on the road.
The Bucs get a reprieve this weekend with a woeful Atlanta Falcons team coming in. A division win there will help the Bucs path back to the Super Bowl. Then Tampa must play at the Rams, who looked rejuvenated in their Week 1 victory, before traveling to New England for a primetime game against the Patriots. The Bucs then face the Dolphins at home followed by a road trip to the Eagles, home against the Bears, and on the road against the Saints before the bye week.
As for the Jaguars, a lot of winnable games don’t appear to be coming up on the schedule. Jacksonville plays the Broncos this weekend followed by a matchup with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. They then travel to upstart Cincinnati before a pair of home games against the Titans and Dolphins.
If the Jags can’t upset that Broncos this weekend, they may be staring at continuing the losing streak deep into November. Coincidentally, the Jags would tie the Bucs’ 26-game losing streak with a loss in week 12 at Atlanta.