It took a trip across the Atlantic Ocean and a downright putrid effort from the Miami Dolphins for it to occur. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Jaguars are officially on the board.
Winning your first game as a head coach in the NFL is never easy, even more so when you’re struggling to keep your personal issues private (looking at you, Meyer).
The Jaguars won by leaning on a crucial philosophy
Heading into their Week 6 overseas matchup with the Dolphins, the Jaguars had yet to make a field goal this season.
A somewhat baffling statistic considering the Jaguars’ abysmal start to the year; you’d figure Meyer and the rest of the team’s coaching staff would be desperate to grab points whenever they can. Instead, we saw a Jaguars team that went out of its way to avoid field goal attempts.
Between Week 1 and 5, Jacksonville only attempted a total of four field goals. That’s less than one attempt per game.
With all of that said, Meyer appeared to experience quite the philosophy shift in London. The Jaguars finished the day with three field-goal attempts, including a game-winning one as time expired.
Meyer learned a very important lesson during the win
A coach’s first win is a memorable experience. However, Meyer needs to take the extra steps to make sure this victory stays ingrained in his head for a very long time. The controversial head coach learned a vital lesson:
Sometimes, you need to take the points.
Had Meyer changed his mind about any one of his team’s three field goal attempts, we could be looking at a completely different outcome for the Jaguars this weekend. As boring as field goals are, they happened to be the difference between Jacksonville securing their first win of the year and going to overtime.
There’s no telling what would have happened had the game gone to OT. The Dolphins could have easily won the coin toss and marched down and scored in one drive.
In fact, to make matters even more dramatic, Meyer’s initial play call had the Jaguars going for a hail mary instead of attempting to set up a last-second field goal attempt (Pro Football Talk). The Dolphins called a timeout which allowed Meyer to think things over, ultimately changing his mind in favor of the special teams ending.
Meyer’s first “good” decision as an NFL head coach directly resulted in his team’s first win.
What’s next for the Jaguars?
Moving forward, the Jaguars are likely going to continue struggling. Their roster is simply not up to speed with the rest of the league.
However, Sunday’s win over the Dolphins should still serve as a crucial learning moment for Meyer and the rest of the coaching staff. They’re slowly starting to piece together what it takes to win in the NFL.
Considering the state of the Jaguars at the moment, solid learning experiences are the best they can ask for.