By Ray Hamill
Remember Buster Douglas? How about the miracle on ice? Or Villanova and Georgetown, the Miracle Mets, Super Bowl III?
Each of them represent a shining example of just why you should never say never when it comes to sports, and that’s exactly why the Jacksonville Jaguars should head into Sunday’s mismatch against the high-flying Denver Broncos proudly singing the war cry of the legendary Lloyd Christmas, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
It’s been a tough year for the poor old Jags, who are off to an 0-5 start and already expected by many observers to match the 2008 Detroit Lions squad as the only team to finish a season 0-16 since the NFL expanded to a 16-game regular season in 1978.
How bad has it been so far?
Well, let’s put it this way — you know it’s bad when your entire team is scoring less points than the Broncos kicker, when you give away free beer and your fans still don’t want to watch your game, and when you’re forced to start a back-up to Blaine Gabbert.
Now, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest the playoffs are probably out of reach for poor old Jacksonville, but fret not Jags fans (all 10 of you), your team has something much bigger to play for.
How does a place in history sound?
Because that’s exactly what the Jags can achieve with a win over the Broncos on Sunday, and technically speaking this weekend they’ve already booked their place in history before they even set foot on the field.
You see, the Jags have the notoriety of being 28-point underdogs, the biggest line ever in the NFL, surpassing the 27 points the expansion Buccaneers gave up to the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers back in 1976.
On paper, it’s easy to see why.
The Jags have scored just 51 points this season. The Broncos scored that many in just one game last week.
The Jags are 0-5, just lost their injured No. 1 draft pick for the season, and have no offense, defense, or fans to cheer them on.
The Broncos are 5-0, getting players back from injury, and on pace to score more points than any team since the AFL merger.
But, as Chris Berman has said many times, there’s a reason they play the game, and the Jags can take heart from a handful of examples throughout history.
On the other hand, the 1976 Bucs lost that game to the Steelers 42-0 and finished the season 0-14.
“So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
Yeah, but not much.