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NFL Week 10 Notes: Jacksonville Jaguars Close, Peyton Manning on the Mend and the Carolina Panthers

Blake Bortles has gone on record, saying he thinks his Jacksonville Jaguars are close to turning the corner as a winning franchise in the NFL.

That’s good news since most of us fans have been waiting for that magical turn for the better part of the last decade here in north Florida. The problem with the second-year pro making such a statement is his costly mistakes at times have been the reason this team isn’t 6-2 rather than 2-6.

Call it critical or call it honesty, but Bortles’ play has been both Jekyll and Hyde for these Jaguars. There is a simple solution to the problem – cut down on the errors that have stopped drives or have been so blatant they have turned into pick-6 plays – and this team could have a really successful second half of the year.

As Marc Sessler of NFL.com explains, “Jacksonville has dropped five games this season that saw them leading or trailing by just a score in the fourth quarter. Still, their NFL-worst 13-straight road losses paint the picture of a young team still learning how to finish.”

The Jaguars play one team in the second half of the year with a winning record. Atlanta is currently 5-3 on the season, but has lost their last three games. Jacksonville travels to Baltimore this Sunday where the Ravens are 2-7.

MANNING RETURNS TO ACTION

Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos suffered their first loss of the season last week against the Indianapolis Colts. Ironically, the Broncos defense, which is among the best in the league, put Colts quarterback out of action for the next 2-6 weeks due to a lacerated kidney.

Per a report on NFL.com, Manning did not practice Wednesday with what coach Gary Kubiak called a “really sore” foot injury. It wasn’t a surprise to see Manning get some rest, as was the team’s plan heading into the season.

“Who’s not sore (in Week 10)?” Manning asked the media on Wednesday. “Trying to get better; trying to get healthy.”

He did return on Thursday. This has not been one of Manning’s better years although the Broncos are enjoying one of their finer seasons in team history. It has been the team’s defense (until this past weekend) which has been the calling card for the franchise – something you do not normally see in a Manning-led offense.

He enters Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs just three yards shy of breaking Brett Favre’s NFL record for career passing yards.

SHULA THINKS PANTHERS CAN GO 19-0

It does not get much better than having Don Shula endorse your team for breaking the Miami Dolphins perfect season and going 19-0. Shula, the greatest head coach of all time in terms of wins, told the Charlotte Observer he hopes the team led by Cam Newton runs the table and takes home the Super Bowl trophy in the process.

“That would make me so proud if that happened,” Shula told me, referring to the Panthers’ slim possibility of going 19-0. “I’d love to see the Panthers do it. I’m rooting them on, that’s for sure.”

There is a connection to Shula and the AFC team. His son, Mike Shula is the offensive coordinator for Carolina and part of the reason Newton has had such a successful season so far.

This is a team that was 7-9 last season and made the playoffs. Newton and Shula are a huge reason the offense is so effective this year.

The New England Patriots went undefeated in the regular season and got to 18-0 before the New York Giants upended them in 2007.

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