In Myles Jack’s two-year NFL career, his signature moment is a play whistled dead in the AFC title game in New England last January.
Jack is on the cusp of becoming an NFL star, but unless the Jaguars win a Super Bowl, that play might overshadow the rest of his career.
With 13:53 left in the game, Jack knocked the ball out of Dion Lewis’ hands and recovered the fumble.
He got up and seemingly was going to score a touchdown to put the Jacksonville Jaguars up 27-10 when the officials blew the whistle and ruled he was down.
Jack and the Jaguar Nation vehemently disagree, and the phrase “Myles Jack Wasn’t Down” has become a thing in Jacksonville.
When the Patriots come to Jacksonville for the second game of the season in September, plenty of fans will be wearing “Myles Jack Wasn’t Down” T-shirts.
CBS Sports pointed out there’s even a craft beer named for the phrase, as well as an ice cream flavor.
“I definitely wasn’t down,’’ Jack said recently. “I made an acrobatic play and they blew the whistle. Somewhere, in an alternative reality, I wasn’t down, ran it back and we won.’’
We will never know if Patriots and Tom Brady could have overcome a 27-10 deficit in the final quarter, although no one has forgotten 28-3.
Jaguars fans are convinced that play — as well as a questionable pass interference call on A.J. Bouye — cost them the game.
While it may be that the Jaguars were the better team, they also made too many mistakes themselves — and the coaching was questionable — to ultimately prevail.
For example, quarterback Blake Bortles didn’t get a play off in time late in the second period. The delay penalty wiped out a first-down play that could have put them in field-goal position. Instead, it gave Brady time to score a touchdown before the half ended.
And with 55 seconds and two time outs left in the first half, coach Doug Marrone directed the team to take a knee and didn’t try to put more points on the board. A team can’t waste a possession even if it only lasts a minute when facing Brady.
In the second half, they had four first downs with the lead. Despite the fact that the Patriots were selling out to stop the run, the Jaguars ran Leonard Fournette four times. They didn’t go much yardage all four times and faced second and long each time. They got only one first down and no points out of those four first downs.
Tony Romo even called the shot with about seven minutes left, saying the Patriots were playing a Bear front (to stop the run) and were going to make Bortles beat them. He didn’t.
Then there was the defense giving up a third-and-18 play to keep a Patriots touchdown drive alive.
All this will be the backdrop to one of the most anticipated games in franchise history when New England comes to Jacksonville in the second game of the year. The lower bowl is already sold out, and there is no doubt the game as a whole will be a sellout.
The Patriots haven’t had a typical offseason and seem vulnerable. A Jaguars win would send a message to the league that they are ready to make a Super Bowl run.
Still, even though Jack wasn’t down, there is another fact to remember: Brady has never lost to the Jaguars in eight games, including the playoffs, the most times he’s beaten a team without a loss, although only two of the games were in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars not only have to prove they can beat Brady. They have to prove they won’t beat themselves the way they did last January, even if the Patriots had some help from the officials.