The Jacksonville Jaguars' chances of finishing with a .500 or better record no longer exist, but there's still something to play for: employment.
Losses happen with each season, but the fashion in which the Jaguars have lost could have a significant effect on how owner Shad Khan and executive vice president Tom Coughlin decide to proceed into the new decade. This excellent tidbit from The Athletic's Vic Tafur illustrates just how poorly the Jaguars have played since the calendar turned to November:
The five-game skid that includes such a wide margin of defeat is the first of its kind in the history of the franchise, which began play in 1995.
Marrone currently owns a 22-28 record as head coach of the Jaguars (including playoffs and his stint as interim head coach in 2016), with most of those wins coming in a 2017 campaign that saw Jacksonville nearly reach the Super Bowl. The Jags have failed to come close to such a performance in the two seasons since, and with Jacksonville seemingly headed nowhere in particular down the stretch of 2019, we could be nearing another coaching change.
"I think that's the most important thing and I think when you get to these situations it's not rocket science," Marrone said Wednesday. "Everybody's fighting to maintain, to try to stay in the league. Whether it's players by doing a good job being able to perform so they can keep a job, or whether it be coaches doing a good job with their position group, or whether it be me trying to win football games.
"I think that's something that we've all talked about. And that's why I think when you look at it, and I think it's easy from an outside perspective to say, 'What do they have to play for, what do they have to do?' We're all fighting for our jobs."
Marrone and Co. will have three chances to make their best case for retention starting Sunday, when the Jaguars travel to what will be a rowdy environment in Oakland as the Raiders play their final home game in the Oakland Coliseum before moving to Las Vegas in 2020. From there, they'll meet the struggling Atlanta Falcons before closing the season against the division-rival Indianapolis Colts.