JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Now that they’ve won three of the last four games, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t a joke any longer.
Unless you listen to the some of the comments from players on the teams they’ve beaten. Losing to the Jaguars is apparently the worst thing they’ve experienced in their careers.
That has some Jaguars players amused -- and a little miffed, too.
"It’s not annoying," guard Uche Nwaneri said. "It’s ridiculous. Really? Are we a high school team playing ya’ll? You have to apologize to your city because you lost to us?
"It’s the NFL. Every win is a hard-earned win. There’s rarely just easy sailing for any team throughout the course of the season so when you’re able to pull out a win you celebrate it. When you lose you try to be as gracious as you can in defeat but don’t trivialize our win because we came in here with a record that wasn’t as good as yours."
The Jaguars were 0-8 when they beat the Titans 29-27 on Nov. 10 in Nashville, Tenn. The Jaguars forced four turnovers and got a safety because of a holding penalty in the end zone, a play that turned out to provide the final margin.
After the game, tight Delanie Walker was almost in disbelief that the Titans -- who were 4-4 with a game against the Jaguars before one against the division-leading Colts -- somehow lost the game.
"It’s disgusting," he told Nashville media. "I’m disappointed. I’m embarrassed. A team that’s 0-8 comes in here and beats us? Beats us on our home field, that’s 0-8, the Jaguars? Come on. ... Talking about first place? We just got whooped by the Jaguars."
It got worse two weeks later when the 1-9 Jaguars went into Houston and upset the 2-8 Texans 13-6. Running back Ben Tate said he was embarrassed for the city, cornerback Johnathan Joseph said there was no way they should have lost the game, and offensive tackle Duane Brown apologized to the city.
Receiver Andre Johnson called it the lowest point of his Texans career.
Cleveland’s players were much nicer after last Sunday’s 32-28 loss in which the Jaguars drove 80 yards to score the game-winning touchdown with 40 seconds remaining. But cornerback Joe Haden, who was beaten for the winning TD, went on an emotional, expletive-filled rant about being tired of losing -- the implication being the Jaguars were a team the Browns (4-7 entering the game) should have easily beaten.
"I don’t care what the opposing team thinks," said Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts, a Cleveland native who beat Haden for the touchdown. "It’s the NFL. You’re going to win or lose each week. You’ve got to bring your best that week. For us, we’re getting better.
"We’ve been 3-1 since the bye week so if they’ve got a problem with it come see us. That’s how I feel about it."
Not every Jaguars player was bothered by the comments made by the Titans, Texans and Browns. Linebacker Paul Posluszny just shrugged his shoulders.
"You know, it is what it is," said. "From their [the Titans’] perspective we were 0-8 so they think we’re the worst team in the league. What are you going to do? That’s not something we worry about.
"It’s an NFL team against an NFL team. Regardless of our record we still have Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis. We have Pro Bowl players. For them to say that to me it’s … just one of those things you blow off."
Not Nwaneri, though.
"There’s so many things that happen on the field, chitter-chatter in between players about so many different things, that it didn’t surprise me necessarily when they started talking," he said. "I was more like, this sounds like a child complaining because they can’t have their way."