In Jacksonville’s Sunday showdown with San Diego, all that could go wrong for the Jaguars did, as they were solidly defeated on the road, 38-13. The lopsided affair was not without themes, and none of them were positive in Jacksonville’s favor. As predicted last week, Philip Rivers had a field day with the Jaguar secondary, passing for 334 yards to go along with three touchdowns. And, to make matters even worse, the Jaguars committed a whopping six turnovers, including three David Garrard interceptions. Below are my notes from what was a mostly depressing affair, from a Jaguar perspective of course.
-Let’s start with the most obvious and basic: Jacksonville’s secondary remains sieve-like. As discussed in previous blogs, the issue is entirely talent-based and, unfortunately, can’t truly be resolved until next season. Outside of two fluky interceptions – which were actually nice plays – the unit can still perform better than it did today. Most notably, Malcolm Floyd killed the Jags through the air, finishing the day with 95 yards and a score through the air.
-Aaron Kampman had a really nice game and Jacksonville’s pass rush, while still not a weapon, has at least improved to a level of respectability.
-As I thought it would be, the Jacksonville run defense was pretty stout on Sunday. Though, if not for an injury to Charger running back Ryan Matthews late in the first quarter, San Diego may have been far more productive on the ground. Still, if the Jags have any strength at all on defense, it’s here.
-Garrard was unfortunate on two of his three interceptions Sunday, but he was replaced by backup Luke McCown for the fourth quarter and, while I know it was a change only for the moment, I’m not sure that’s the way it should be. The way I see it, Garrard is never going to win Jacksonville a game, at least not this year, and if he’s throwing multiple interceptions an outing he is a total waste back there. I’d give David one half against Philly. If the offense isn’t producing by then, I’d give Luke a chance.
-As bad as the score looked, and Jacksonville was in fact thoroughly outplayed, the game would have been much more competitive if not for some Jacksonville turnovers at really unfortunate moments. Down 14-3 in the middle of the second quarter, Garrard derailed a positive Jacksonville drive with a tipped-pass interception, and Mauice Jones-Drew had an equally costly fumble on the opening drive of the second half. Both may have cost the Jaguars points, and at the very least lost them momentum.
-If there was a bright spot today is was Jacksonville’s special teams. Josh Scobee went 2-for-2 on field goals for the day and Tiquan Underwood had six returns for 112 yards.
-Upon closer consideration, there were actually two bright spots, as Mike Sims-Walker hauled in an impressive 10 passes for 105 yards and a score.
-Last Wednesday I stated that San Diego’s advantage in the passing game would outweigh Jacksonville advantage in the run department. On Sunday, that was the case and then some, as the Chargers’ 326 passing yards far surpassed the 71 yards the Jaguars managed on the ground. This, coupled with an un-godly amount of turnovers, was no doubt the difference in the game.
Until next Wednesday, when I forecast Jacksonville’s upcoming matchup with Philadelphia, be good and keep reading.
Janovitz can be reach at Scott.Janovitz@gmail..com
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Written by Scott Janovitz