In case you missed the Week 5 score ticker, know that "Jacksonville 0, Seattle 41" rolled across the bottom of television screens everywhere. No, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't the worst team in the NFL (though "worst defense" is one more bad game away from becoming accurate), but something was definitely missing this past Sunday, just one week after a 37-17 beatdown of the Tennessee Titans.
That something goes by the name of Mike Sims-Walker, the Jaguars' 6-foot-2, 3rd-year receiver out of Central Florida. In the two games he has started, the Jags outscored their opponents 68-41. Over this past weekend, when Coach Del Rio benched Sims-Walker due to an unknown "team violation," the Jaguars did nothing but surrender a fat 41 on the scoreboard.
Now, one could argue that the Jags' offense struggled due to a lack of preparation (Sims-Walker's deactivation came right before game time), but I believe there's a deeper issue: This Jaguar offense can hardly function without MSW.
First of all, consider the state of the Jaguars season before MSW becomes a starting wide out--just as receiver Troy Williamson goes down with a shoulder injury. The Cardinals are romping, the Jags are wallowing around with no credit other than a silly Scobee field goal, and no one is making plays. Sound familiar? Of course it does. It's the same story Jaguars fans suffered through this past weekend. Without Sims-Walker on the field, opposing defenses stack the box and key in on running back Maurice Jones-Drew, forcing Garrard to throw to his choice of Torry "Better Days" Holt or Marcedes "Maybe-I'll-Catch-This-One" Lewis. In other words, Garrard is better off scrambling for 6-yard gains.
Jags fans, it's clear as day: Mike Sims-Walker is the receiver we've been praying for since Jimmy Smith retired following the 2005 season. After the string of failed experiments that included the friendly faces of Reggie Williams, Troy Edwards, Cocaine Jones, Dennis Northcutt, Jerry Porter, and Troy Williamson, we finally have a guy who can not only get open, but also wrap both hands around the ball and record a mythical stat-figure known as a "catch." And better yet, MSW records these "catches" consistently.