A weekly examination of the Jaguars’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 32 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
Defending the league’s top offense better than any other team so far and keeping the game close until midway through the fourth quarter may have gotten the Jaguars some respect, but it didn’t get them out of the cellar in the ESPN.com Power Rankings. They’re still last.
There was some disagreement among the six voters over whether the 0-5 Buccaneers or the 0-6 New York Giants deserve to be No. 31, but all had the Jaguars No. 32 on their ballot.
It’s hard to blame them. The Jaguars lost their 11th consecutive game dating back to last season and haven’t lost a game by fewer than 10 points this season, and the defense gave up at least 34 points for the fourth consecutive game.
But the Jaguars were 28-point underdogs in Denver and went into halftime trailing 14-12, and it was an 11-point game early in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Chad Henne threw for 303 yards and Justin Blackmon caught 14 passes for 190 yards. The defense made Peyton Manning settle for underneath passes and forced him to throw a season-high 14 passes to running backs. Linebacker Paul Posluszny picked off a Manning pass and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.
That wasn’t enough, however, to jump the No. 31 Giants or No. 30 Bucs.