Imagine that Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley comes across an old Mad magazine sketch.
One panel shows a football team wildly celebrating its field goal, kicked as time in the game expired.
Another panel shows a sports writer asking the coach the reason for the celebration, considering his team needed a touchdown and ended up losing 12-10.
The coach says: “We beat the point spread!”
Now imagine Bradley posting that old Mad sketch on the Jags' bulletin board today. For inspiration.
And imagine his pregame speech going something like this:
“OK, Jags, listen up! We've got our work cut out for us. We're facing a future Hall of Fame quarterback who's flying that Denver offense like it's a predator drone, destroying all enemies, most of whom don't even know what's hit 'em.
“Last week the Broncos scored 51 points. They haven't lost a game this year. Meanwhile, we've scored 51 points all season and haven't won a game. Those stats tend to leave some folks in a cold sweat. Me, it makes me hot for some action.
“Bring it on!
“Yes, sir, Vegas oddsmakers have made Mr. Peyton Manning and Company 28-point favorites, and I understand that the folks who make it their business to know such things are saying that it's the biggest mismatch in NFL history, point-spread-wise.
“And that's good news, men! Why? Because when we take the field in front of a rabidly hostile crowd in a few minutes, we'll have a 28-0 lead! No foolin'!
“Of course, the scoreboard is going to say 0-0, at least at the opening kickoff, but I want you to look at that 0-0 on scoreboard and see 28-0 in favor of us!
“And after the Broncos score a touchdown, I don't want you to see 7-0 in favor of them, I want you to see 28-7 in favor of us! And when they score again, I don't want you to see 14-0 in favor of them, I want you to see 28-14 in favor of us!
“And so on and so forth.