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Rubino: Desperate for inspiration, winless Jaguars could go Mad

  • There's not much to cheer for this season if you're a Jaguars fan, but take heart — the 5-0 Broncos are only 3-2 against the spread. (PHELAN M. EBENHACK / Associated Press)

Imagine that Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley comes across an old Mad magazine sketch.

One panel shows a football team wildly celebrating its field goal, kicked as time in the game expired.

Another panel shows a sports writer asking the coach the reason for the celebration, considering his team needed a touchdown and ended up losing 12-10.

The coach says: “We beat the point spread!”

Now imagine Bradley posting that old Mad sketch on the Jags' bulletin board today. For inspiration.

And imagine his pregame speech going something like this:

“OK, Jags, listen up! We've got our work cut out for us. We're facing a future Hall of Fame quarterback who's flying that Denver offense like it's a predator drone, destroying all enemies, most of whom don't even know what's hit 'em.

“Last week the Broncos scored 51 points. They haven't lost a game this year. Meanwhile, we've scored 51 points all season and haven't won a game. Those stats tend to leave some folks in a cold sweat. Me, it makes me hot for some action.

“Bring it on!

“Yes, sir, Vegas oddsmakers have made Mr. Peyton Manning and Company 28-point favorites, and I understand that the folks who make it their business to know such things are saying that it's the biggest mismatch in NFL history, point-spread-wise.

“And that's good news, men! Why? Because when we take the field in front of a rabidly hostile crowd in a few minutes, we'll have a 28-0 lead! No foolin'!

“Of course, the scoreboard is going to say 0-0, at least at the opening kickoff, but I want you to look at that 0-0 on scoreboard and see 28-0 in favor of us!

“And after the Broncos score a touchdown, I don't want you to see 7-0 in favor of them, I want you to see 28-7 in favor of us! And when they score again, I don't want you to see 14-0 in favor of them, I want you to see 28-14 in favor of us!

“And so on and so forth.

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