I know what you’re thinking: How am I going to find 10 things the Packers have to do to beat the Jaguars? Don’t you worry; I’ll find them.
I’ll begin by reminding you that the Jaguars are on a two-game winning streak against the Packers. Did you forget about that?
The last time the two teams met, on a rather non-descript mid-December day in Jacksonville in the 2008 season, the Jaguars won the game, 20-16. The Packers finished 6-10 that season; the Jaguars were 5-11.
One team, the Packers, was in its first season of rebuilding. The other team, the Jaguars, were at the end of the line.
The greatest difference between the two teams back then was that the Packers had their quarterback of the future. The Jaguars wouldn’t invest in one until three years later.
It was, by and large, a forgettable game for both teams. The game the Jaguars and Packers played in Lambeau Field in 2004, however, remains one of the most memorable and celebrated games in Jaguars history.
The Jaguars won that game, 28-25, in front a national television audience on a bitingly cold Wisconsin night. Defeating the cold might’ve been the Jaguars’ greatest source of pride, that a Florida team was able to go the “Frozen Tundra” in December and win. Frankly, the game wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.
Here’s the point: Winning at Lambeau Field is a big deal for visiting teams, especially for ones looking for a headline win that might define their season and begin their rise. The win at Lambeau in ’04 did that for those Jaguars, and the 1-5 bunch coming here this weekend, though they don’t pose near the threat the ’04 Jaguars did, will be attempting to achieve the same kind of victory.
All right, here are 10 things the Packers kind of have to do to beat the Jaguars.
1. Be professional—A true pro never looks past an opponent. His goal is always to play his best.
2. Avoid turnovers—Loose play is always at the root of an upset.
3. Continue the improvement—It’s not just about winning the game, it’s about advancing the cause. At midseason, teams need to be on the verge of playing their best football.
4. Block Posluszny—On a team void of stars, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny is playing at a Pro Bowl level. You wanna see tackling? Watch this guy play.
5. Attack early—Don’t let them hang around. Get a lead.
6. Maintain intensity—That’s what it takes to protect a lead the right way.
7. Rush the quarterback—Blaine Gabbert is a young guy with a sore shoulder. He’s trying to rally his team with his toughness. Don’t let him.
8. Welcome the cold—It appears this will be the Packers’ first kind of cold-weather game of the season. For the Jaguars, it’ll feel like Siberia.
9. Block and tackle—They’re good habits to form.
10. Focus and finish—This is a Marty Schottenheimer favorite I’ve always enjoyed. I needed one more thing. Additional coverage - Oct. 25