Week 16: Jaguars (27), Patriots (17) JAGS TO CONTINUE THEIR IMPROBABLE SEASON COMEBACK INTO THE PLAYOFFS By: Harry Stone, Jacksonville Post-Intelligencer ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Although it wasn't the way they drew it up, the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the AFC East leading New England Patriots 27-17 to secure a wild-card playoff spot. The win completes an improbable regular season comeback that will see the Jags in the postseason after a horrendous start. Although it seems like a distant memory, the Jaguars started the season 1-3, three of those losses to division opponents. Written off by most prognosticators, the Jaguars began to click and Maruice Jones-Drew began to show the dominance that helped put him in the conversation of potential league MVP. In a flash, the Jaguars won 9 of 10 games, including key victories over the Bills, Patriots, Texans, and Titans to clinch their playoff spot. This game was all about the defense, as these coaches know each other well, having coached MEGA teams in the same division as well as a handful of 'unofficial' scrimmages. Both teams knew what the other liked to do, and it would be up to the role players to step up. For the Jaguars, that would be oft-maligned quarterback David Garrard who finished the day 16-24 with 1 touchdown and no interceptions. "David really did a great job of managing this ballgame. You couldn't ask for a better pressure packed performance from him. He's definitely the MVP of this one," said coach Dunlap. Jones-Drew was held to 40 yards on 20 carries, but did have a touchdown to increase his season total to 20. The loss of Tom Brady to the Patriots was really evident in this game with Andrew Walter having a rough time, overthrowing open receivers often and being picked off twice with no touchdown passes. The Jaguars defense and their excellent game plan held the Pats to their lowest scoring output of the season at 17. Their previous low was 24. "You talk about a great team defense, and that is what we have here. They have gone back to back weeks in holding juggernaut offenses to their lowest point totals of the seasons," said Dunlap referring also to last weeks game against the Colts where the Jag defense held Indianapolis to a season low 24 points. "Some people say we do it with smoke and mirrors, I say we do it with hard preparation and a great team-first attitude. If you ask me there isn't a better defense in the OMFL right now. They are the reason we are headed to the playoffs." That seems a fair observation, with the Jaguars defense now in the league's top 5 in points allowed, yet their offense ranks in the lower middle half. An incredible run in the regular season will be complete next week against the Browns before the Jaguars go on the road for Wild-Card weekend with a potential rematch against the Patriots looming. "We'll be ready for whoever we play. Our defense will be ready. Our guys will be healthy. This is an exciting time for Jaguars football." Yes it is.