The Jaguars fell to 1-2 on the season after falling to Philly on Sunday, 28-3. The Jaguar rushing game was no more than average, its passing attack was nearly non-existent, and the team’s usually suspect pass defense was as vulnerable as ever. Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick put together a superb all-around performance (391 yards passing, 3 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD) as he continues to write his incredible comeback story, and Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson was as explosive as always, which we predicted in pre-game discussion last week. Below, I include some other observations from what was another disappointing Jacksonville performance.
-I’m not saying much, but the Jaguar offense, or lack thereof, really killed the team Sunday. The 130 rushing yards look deceiving, I think, and David Garrard has to throw for more than 105 yards in any football game he hopes to win.
-It wasn’t all Garrard’s fault. When he did drop back to pass, it was rare that his offensive line gave him ample time to throw with success.
-Still, Garrard was terrible Sunday. Just terrible. In addition to completing just 43 percent of his passes, he threw a huge interception at his own 45-yard-line with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter. The next play was a 45-yard touchdown pass from Vick to Jeremy Maclin, and put the game out of Jacksonville’s reach. Garrard also derailed Jacksonville’s first good drive of the game by throwing a terrible pitch pass to Jones-Drew, which ended as a negative play rather than as a positive one. It sounds like a small mistake, but the Jaguars ended up having to punt, and an extra first down there could have led to a touchdown for all we know. It’s little mistakes like this that must be avoided, and are avoided by good teams.
-I HATE to say I was right, but DeSean Jackson killed the Jaguars Sunday, which I predicted. He is a nightmare matchup for just about any corner, and his 153 receiving yards Sunday were huge, including the 61-yard TD he scored to give Philly a 7-0 lead.
-Watching guys like Jackson and Jeremy Maclin for Philly makes clear just how much big-play firepower Jacksonville is missing on offense. The team needs to really address this void when the draft comes around, because, right now, it has no quick-strike ability.
-Pat of Jacksonville’s defensive line was impressive Sunday. Both Terrance Knighton (1.5 sacks and three tackles) and Aaron Kampan were superb. It’s tough to say anyone was superb in a 25-point loss, but both guys were active, disruptive and consistent.
-Actually, rookie Tyson Alualu was pretty solid Sunday as well, contributing three tackles and half a sack.
-The Jacksonville secondary was again miserable. Despite what I said above, Jacksonville’s defensive line could have helped the defensive backs more than it did, but the secondary was still really disappointing, allowing Vick to throw for three scores. Unfortunately, Philly did most of its damage on third and long.
-Sean Considine was terrible Sunday. Enough said.
-It’s really no fun to lament the Jacksonville secondary, mainly because there is really nothing management can do about the problem at this point. NFL Draft 2011, here we come.
-Maurice Jones-Drew was hurt (ankle) and far from great Sunday, but Jacksonville is lucky to have the guy. He rushed for a TOUGH 88 yards against a physical Eagles D.
-If there’s a positive from the game it’s that kicker Josh Scobee remains Mr. automatic, as his 51-yard field goal on Sunday made him three-for-three on field goals for the season.
Fortunately, that’s all I’ve got for now. Looking ahead, Jacksonville’s miseries from this Sunday can be redeemed next week when Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts visit EverBank Field for a 4:05 kickoff. Check back here on Wednesday for complete pre-game converage. Until then, be good and keep reading.
Janovitz can be reached at Scott.Janovitz@gmail.com
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Written by Scott Janovitz