Nearly eight months after the Patriots stormed back from a fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC Championship game, one particular play still stands out in the minds of Jacksonville fans. And it could result in a flyover banner prior to the Week 2 rematch with the Patriots on Sunday.
The original incident
The controversy stems from a play in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship, as the Jaguars led 20-10. After a trick play, Patriots running back Dion Lewis was stripped of the ball by Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack.
The already dramatic turnover could’ve loomed even larger had Jack run it back for a touchdown. Instead, the play was blown dead by officials, meaning Jacksonville got the ball at the point of the fumble recovery.
The @Jaguars force the fumble and RECOVER after the Pats pull off a little trickery.
— NFL (@NFL) January 21, 2018
The Jaguars offense went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, giving the ball back to Tom Brady and the Patriots (who promptly marched downfield for a touchdown). Eventually, the Patriots took the lead and held out for a win to send the team to Super Bowl LII.
The controversy becomes popular
In the minds of Jaguars fans (though not the NFL’s league office), the officials’ ruling was a pivotal turning point that unfairly cost their team. This was summed up in April from the fan behind the popular Twitter account @BortlesFacts.
Myles Jack wasn't down. pic.twitter.com/vqSR2V4YF3
— Mike Tiscione (@mjtiscione) April 3, 2018
Both before and after, this sentence became a rallying cry for Jaguars fans. Jack himself humorously referenced it in his Instagram story in May, spotting a sign with the sentence at a professional wrestling event.
“I love it,” Jack told ESPN during the offseason about the ongoing subplot. “I’m a B-list celebrity on this team. We got Blake, Leonard [Fournette], Jalen [Ramsey]. Anywhere I can get my name in there, I’m cool with it.”
This is the funniest thing I’ve seen all year ??? https://t.co/sDCZIYR22V
— Myles Jack (@MylesJack) April 29, 2018
At a high school graduation in Jacksonville, Jack’s name made an appearance at the end of a valedictorian’s speech.
— Johnny Watts (@johnszc) May 26, 2018
The planned flyover for Week 2
Now in the 2018 season, Jaguars fans haven’t forgotten about the “Myles Jack wasn’t down” controversy. This is especially true considering the Patriots journey to Jacksonville for Week 2.
A Jaguars fan group, Generation Jaguar, began a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay or a flyover banner. The plane will drag a banner reading, predictably, “Myles Jack Wasn’t Down,” with a reference also to the fan group’s website.
— The Teal Towel (@TheTealTowel) September 2, 2018
The group eclipsed their goal of $1,500, and promises to donate any additional money to Tom Coughlin’s Jay Fund Foundation (Coughlin is a team executive).
“The only thing that would potentially stop our pilot from successfully flying the ‘MYLES JACK WASN’T DOWN’ banner on Sunday is inclement weather,” says Generation Jaguar on the GoFundMe page. As kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m., there’s a possibility for thunderstorms on Sunday afternoon.
But if the weather holds, the banner will fly.
“The banner will fly for at least 1 hour prior to kickoff, but the more we raise, the longer we can fly.”