Winless heading into their game in London and on the heels of a highly publicized judgment error by their head coach, the Jaguars were reeling. But instead of continuing the woeful cycle, Jacksonville fought back.
The Jaguars earned an improbable win over the Dolphins in Week 6, sending them on a happy flight home and giving coach Urban Meyer his first victory. According to owner Shad Khan, it was a pleasant but not surprising development.
"I couldn't ask for anything more from the players," Khan told NFL.com this week, following the NFL's Fall League Meeting. "The cohesiveness and the strength to pull it out. This is where the impression from the outside is very different from the inside."
As the Jaguars get ready to face the Seahawks today at 4:05 p.m. ET, they will do so coming off a bye but also following a tumultuous start. A string of five losses to start the season was part of it. But so was a viral video showing Meyer in Columbus with a woman who wasn't his wife dancing on his lap -- after the coach didn't take the team flight home.
Khan released a statement rebuking Meyer, who apologized several times. But a source informed of his thinking reiterated strongly this week that Khan is behind Meyer and the coaches. "He is all in," one source said.
This week, Khan went further than his statement on what he learned about Meyer and the situation.
"I think this is NFL football," Khan said. "You're on stage all the time and you have to be absolutely self-aware. But I've gone over this so many times there's very little to add."
That all preceded the win over the Dolphins, which offered a reason for him to remain optimistic about things turning around. He was asked if his positive impression came just from watching the game.
"I can see that being part of the team, versus picking up the paper and reading the media," Khan said. "I mean, there are a lot of times and I'm not just talking about football, in business situations, what you read is so different from what the reality is and this was one of those cases. I wasn't surprised, I believe in us."
The Jaguars had been in some close games during their losing streak, including leading the then-undefeated Cardinals late and being right with the Bengals.
"You got to remember we've been in a lot of close games," Meyer said. "The difference in London was it went our way. OK? A few games, we were right there. But the fact is you only measure it not by how close you are but by wins and losses. And you got to be able to cross that (threshold). I've had faith in Trevor (Lawrence), I've had faith in the players and how the team is coming together and I am continually optimistic."
Khan said he "absolutely" has faith in Meyer and that he feels the team's desire to win. As for his rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Khan was effusive in praise.
"He's even better than what you think he is," Khan said. "I really met him by Zoom before the draft when the season ended and we started (doing research). I got off the Zoom and it's like, 'He's too good to be true.' I'm not just talking about the athletic. I mean him as a human being when you look at the whole collective package. I really feel good about the Jaguars, and for the city of Jacksonville, we have a football player, a leader, a great human being in Trevor."