The final score was ugly, and moral victories are for chumps, but Jacksonville was about impressive as it could possibly have been on Sunday, though still falling, 42-20. Even when at perfect health, a road win against the Chiefs would be tough for the Jags to come by. Without both David Garrard and Trent Edwards at the quarterback position, however, Jacksonville’s odds were hardly favorable. And while Jacksonville managed to keep the game close for a while – it trailed by just one at the half – the Jaguar secondary struggled late, and Kansas City scored two big passing touchdowns and 28 second-half points as a result. Below are some thoughts and observations from Jacksonville’s admirable, but disappointing Sunday performance.
-While most people figured the loss of Garrard and Edwards would kill the Jags, Todd Bouman actually played pretty well, finishing the game 18-of-34, for two touchdowns and two interceptions. He played much better in the first half than the second, and the interception he threw in the third, which was returned for a score, was brutal, but Bouman still played much better than anyone could have anticipated.
-The Jacksonville defense was the huge disappointment on Sunday. In the fist half, the run defense was surprisingly bad while the pass defense was about as good as ever. In the second, both were miserable, and Kansas City’s seven offensive touchdowns were proof.
-Again, I wasn’t surprised that Matt Cassel had some success through the air, but was definitely shocked that Kansas City was able to dominant the game on the ground to the extent it did. And boy did the Chiefs dominate, to the tune of 236 rushing yards. Thomas Jones carried the ball 20 times for 125 yards and a score, while Jamaal Charles carried it 15 times for 71 yards and a touchdown of his own.
-Things got out of control late, but Jacksonville was actually able to move the ball pretty consistently against the Chiefs. The team didn’t run the ball particularly well today, though, and the red zone offense was not nearly as productive as it needed to be.
-Bouman’s second-quarter touchdown pass to Maurice Jones-Drew was a thing of absolute beauty. In fact, the difference between Bouman, Garrard and Edwards is negligible. That says good things about Jacksonville’s backups, but is a huge knock on Garrard.
-As always, Jones-Drew played like a champion today. The Jags struggled rushing the football, and so did Jones-Drew – carrying the ball 16 times for 47 yards – but he did lead Jacksonville in receptions and receiving yards with five and 74, respectively.
-Mike Sims-Walker was also on the receiving end of a beautiful touchdown pass from Bouman. Sims-Walker, however, was mostly non-existent for the rest of the game.
-Kansas City did about as good a job as any team of slowing down Marcedes Lewis. The top tight end finished the game with just three catches for 44 yards.
-Defensively, Aaron Kampman was Jacksonville’s best player, totaling five tackles, one sack and two tackles for a loss.
Fortunately, that’s all I’ve got for today. Be sure to return to this space on Wednesday, though, as I will have a complete preview of Jacksonville’s upcoming showdown with Dallas. Until then, be good and keep reading.
Janovitz can be reached at Scott.Janovitz@gmail.com
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Written by Scott Janovitz