Jaguars within sight of all-time consecutive loss record

·4-min read

The Jaguars are close to making history, and you already know it's not going to be the good kind of history.

Jacksonville lost its 20th consecutive game Sunday, yet another cavalcade of errors, misfires and curious coaching decisions. Twenty games comprise a long stretch of time, so long that only one other team in the entire history of the NFL — the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers — has ever reached the 20-straight mark. 

Tampa Bay reached 26 losses before finally beating the equally woeful New Orleans Saints. That Bucs team was what inspired its coach, John McKay, to offer up one of the greatest (possibly apocryphal) quotes in sports history. Asked about his team's execution, McKay replied, "I'm in favor of it." 

Urban Meyer has no such pithy quotes to sum up the futility of his team this year, unless you count "I don’t micromanage who is in the game" or "A coach should not be a distraction." If anything, Meyer's off-field antics have taken a good share of the spotlight off Jacksonville's enduring futility. 

Ironically, this is only one-fourth Urban Meyer's fault. He inherited a team already on a 15-loss streak. But as a result of that streak, the Jaguars ended up with the No. 1 overall pick ... a pick that drew Meyer to Jacksonville, a pick he hasn't quite figured out how to use properly. 

In Sunday's most egregious example of Meyer not aligning, to put it politely, with the demands of the NFL game, the Jaguars faced a fourth down on the four-inch line. Four inches! That's less than the height of your phone. Instead of handing the ball to that No. 1 pick, the six-foot-six, national championship-winning Trevor Lawrence, the Jags went with a backup running back ... and got stuffed. 

Now that's the kind of bold playcalling that gets you to 20 losses. 

So what are the chances Jacksonville passes Tampa Bay for the record? Let's take a look at the Jags' upcoming schedule and size it up:

Week 6: Miami, in London. Statistically, this is the Jaguars' best chance to get a win; Miami ranks below Jacksonville in most major offensive and defensive categories. Even so, BetMGM currently has the Dolphins listed as three-point favorites ... which gives you an idea of how much faith the books have in Jacksonville.  

Week 7: Bye. Posting an L during a bye week would be a tough challenge for most teams, even the Jaguars, but if any team could do it ...

Week 8: At Seattle. Russell Wilson may still be out, and Seattle's proving to be the Jacksonville of the NFC West, so ... maybe?

Week 9: Buffalo. Lock of the week will be Buffalo, probably by double digits. Next. 

Week 10: At Indianapolis. Still not entirely sure whether the Colts are a good team with off weeks or a bad team that occasionally steps up. If everything aligns for Jacksonville, this is a winnable game. 

Week 11: San Francisco. The 49ers' quarterback situation ought to be resolved by then, but this is a San Francisco team that's better than Jacksonville by every conceivable statistical assessment. 

Week 12: Atlanta. The pro version of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, though both the Jaguars and Falcons would be buried deep in the SEC East. Along with Miami, this is the best on-paper (on-screen?) matchup for the Jaguars' streak-killer hopes. 

At that point, should it lose those next six games, Jacksonville would be tied with those Creamsicle Buccaneers with 26 straight losses. (Technically, the 1942-45 Cardinals lost 29 in a row, but several of those were as part of a combined Cardinals-Steelers team during World War II, so they don't count for the purposes of this "honor.") 

To avoid setting a new record, Jacksonville would then need to beat the looking-like-a-Super-Bowl-contender Los Angeles Rams on the road. Not an ideal scenario. At that point, the only real question would be whether Meyer is still in charge of the team. 

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 10: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars throws the red challenge flag during the game against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on October 10, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 10: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars throws the red challenge flag during the game against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on October 10, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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