It's a good thing the Cleveland Browns didn't need a win in Jacksonville to stay alive in the AFC playoff chase.
If that had been the case, the 24-20 loss to the Jaguars would continue to sting long after Thanksgiving Day.
How does a team that wins the turnover battle by a plus 5 (6 to 1) lose? It should never happen in the NFL, where parity is so prominent that a plus-3 in turnover ratio usually secures a win.
A 73-yard pass play to Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew on a screen pass led to his go-ahead touchdown run, but the game was lost by the Browns long before then. The defense did everything it needed to do to produce a win - including a fumble return for a touchdown by safety Abram Elam - but the offense didn't do its job, other than a 16-play, 92-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown by Peyton Hillis in the second quarter.
Two things stand out about the offensive problems. Pass protection was poor most of the game, resulting in six sacks of quarterback Colt McCoy, but questionable play calling by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll didn't help.
We've been told the last couple of weeks that the coaching staff has grown confident in McCoy's ability to handle everything that's asked of him. Yet there were times after another in what was a steady stream of Jaguars' turnovers when the first two plays were inside handoffs to Hillis.
Hillis has been the story of the season and unquestionably a big part of the offense, but it was obvious that the Jaguars weren't going to let him be the reason for a defeat. The box was stacked with defenders, making sure Hillis was going to have to run over multiple defenders to have significant gains. He finished with 48 of the offense's meager 88 rushing yards.
Daboll has made strides in his second season as coordinator, but the ingenuity that was there in previous weeks was absent. He made a statement when McCoy threw passes on the first three plays off the opening script, but creativity was absent the rest of the way.
There's not much to fault about McCoy's play. He finished 17-of-28 for 241 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The interception came on the final drive on a desperation pass with time expiring and no timeouts at the Browns' disposal.
McCoy, who was under pressure most of the game, showed resiliency when he escaped a sack and tossed the ball to Hillis for an 11-yard touchdown play. He led the way on a drive that produced a 41-yard field goal by Phil Dawson that gave the Browns a 20-17 lead with 2:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.
McCoy played the second half with what appeared to be a leg injury. On an 18-yard scramble on the drive that led to Dawson's field goal, McCoy began limping as he ran out of bounds.
It might be nit-picking, but why didn't coach Eric Mangini instruct McCoy to spike the ball after a pass to Mohamed Massaquoi that moved the ball into Jaguars' territory on the Browns' last possession? McCoy was able to get the ball to Evan Moore for a gain that put the ball into range for two passes into the end zone with 13 seconds to play, but there should have been a few more seconds on the clock at that time.
The Browns faced a difficult challenge against the Jaguars, who had won two straight and needed a win to stay competitive in the AFC South Division. They knew that Jaguars quarterback David Garrard and Jones-Drew is a dynamite one-two punch.
Still, that punch didn't deliver a definitive blow until Jones-Drew's big play at the end. Considering the Browns had a plus-5 edge in the turnover ratio, that play should have been inconsequential.
It was a good thing that a playoff spot wasn't riding on this game.