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Jacksonville doesn’t win at Denver but does next best thing, and covers the spread

Despite all the jokes about the Denver-Jacksonville game this week, and that NFL record point spread, the teams didn't look that much different.

Jacksonville had more yards than Denver at halftime and was outgaining the Broncos well into the third quarter. After Maurice Jones-Drew scored in the third quarter, Jacksonville trailed just 21-19.

The Broncos pulled away in the fourth quarter and won 35-19. They are, after all, 6-0 and probably the best team in the NFL. And Jacksonville is 0-6, and definitely the worst team in the NFL. But Jacksonville easily covered that record point spread, which was between 26 and 28 points, depending on when you saw it.

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Sunday served as another reminder that the best team in the NFL and the worst team in the NFL aren't all that far apart in terms of talent, unlike college football.

The Jaguars, behind a huge 190-yard effort from receiver Justin Blackmon (who is going to be one of the NFL's best receivers when Teddy Bridgewater is throwing him the ball the next few years), played a competitive game. They are the first team to lose its first six games of the season by 10 or more points since the 1984 Houston Oilers, according to CBS' telecast, so they clearly have a long ways to go as a franchise. However, Jacksonville isn't Temple or Georgia State, either.

The Jaguars did some positive things against Denver's defense, which is becoming more worrisome by the week. The Jaguars had 362 yards. Jacksonville held Peyton Manning to just 295 passing yards, a season low for him, and even got a pick-six off Manning by linebacker Paul Posluszny.

The Jaguars aren't a good team by any stretch. But they showed on Sunday that it's a long shot that they'll go 0-16 this season.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

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