Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Hangover Part II- Week 2 (Jaguars vs Texans)

The Jaguars entered week 2 with disappointment from their overtime loss to the Vikings. Instead of using that as motivation, it carried over into this week against the AFC South division favorite Houston Texans. The Jaguars lost 27-7, falling to 0-2. From the start to the finish, the Jaguars looked overmatched. The Texans didn't do anything special, but execute. Unlike the Jaguars, which looked beat up and broken down. Granted, the Texans are one of the best teams in the league so far, with a great defense and a prolific running back in Arian Foster. Yes, there were injuries.  But this is not how the Jaguars wanted to play in their home opener.

Both sides of the ball just didn't perform when play was needed to made. Offensively, the wide receivers couldn't get open enough and the offensive line, missing some starters, didn't give quarterback Blaine Gabbert time and consistently give running back Maurice Jones-Drew holes to run through. The defense keeps having problems with tackling and the secondary doesn't look good in coverage along with the linebackers. No matter how much progress was made in recent weeks, this was a step in the wrong direction.

Next week, the Jaguars travel to Indianapolis to go against number one overall draft pick Andrew Luck and the Colts (1-1) after their victory against the Minnesota Vikings, 23-20. How does Jacksonville respond from an underwhelming performance? The hangover can't continue.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jaguars vs. Vikings ( Week 1) "Missed it by that much!!"

The Jaguars came into the opening game of the 2012 season with a sense of optimism and a fresh start. Gone was the disappointment and failure of the past. It was a clean slate. A chance to make a statement with new head coach Mike Mularkey. Jacksonville started the game well, but couldn't finish, allowing the Minnesota Vikings to get the victory in overtime,  26-23. Starting the season 0-1. Let's take a look at a few observations from the game.

Where did you go, defense?
Up until the end of second quarter, when Vikings running back Adrian Peterson scored a touchdown on a 2-yard run, the defense kept the Vikings offense in check. After that, they weren't the same. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder had a resurgance in the second half after getting wide receiver Percy Harvin involved in the offense and the Jaguars defense didn't really find the answers to containing him. Then when the Jaguars offense got the lead late into the fourth quarter, the defense allows the Vikings to drive down the field for the game tying field goal. The defense looked slow at times and had troubling tackling. The secondary has some issues to work out. Cornerback Derek Cox and linebacker Daryl Smith were definitely missed for today's game.

The return of the offense.
From the start, the offense hit the ground running. Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, looked very good early. Gabbert kept spreading the ball to everyone, finding wide receivers Laurent Robinson, Cecil Shorts, and Justin Blackmon. Tight end Mercedes Lewis contributed as well throughout the game. The offense didn't capitalize on some red zone opportunities in the middle of the game. But when faced with adversity to drive down the field late in the game, Gabbert and the offense got it done. Shorts caught a great throw from Gabbert against single coverage to score the go ahead touchdown. This is a completely different offense from last season. Can they keep it up?

This was disappointing. Now what?
The Jaguars had many chances to win this game. They should have won. No question about it. But where do you go from here? The offensive line is dealing with injuries along the secondary having issues. Can the Jaguars move forward from the missed opportunity and recover in time for next week's home opener against the division champion Houston Texans? Houston is 1-0 after beating the Miami Dolphins 30-10. The Texans will provide a challenge with running back Arian Foster along with one of the best defenses in the AFC.

Week 2: Houston Texans (1-0) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jaguars Mid-Season Review

With the bye week now approaching this Sunday, the Jaguars have now reached the halfway point of the season. With a 2-6 record, the Jaguars have improved in some areas, but have regressed in other parts of the game. Let's take a look at what is going on with this team.

The Defense Returns
Last season, this side of the ball couldn't stop anyone. There was no pass rush. Offenses scored at will during the games. The secondary was hideous. It was a big issue going into the off season, and it was addressed with big free-agents acquisitions. Paul Posluszny, Dawan Landry, Clint Session, Drew Coleman, and Dwight Lowery have made the team better on defense. Posluszny has been a tackle machine. Safeties Lowery and Landry have let Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox play better. Yes, the defense has lapses, but you can't deny the fact that the Jags have improved in this area, keeping them competitive.

Where's the Offense?
David Garrard was cut prior to the regular season starting. Luke McCown played well to get the victory in week one, but against the Jets in week two, it was a disaster. The number one pick of the Jaguars in this year's draft, Blaine Gabbert became the starter. He has shown moments of brilliance, but he needs work. His pocket presence isn't there. The mechanics are inconsistent, along with accuracy. He has the tools to be the franchise quarterback, but things must be fixed. The running game has not been as potent as some thought. Wide receivers and tight ends drop passes that are clearly in their hands. In order for this team to take the step in becoming elite in the NFL, the offense must be balanced and not sputtering at points in the game. Josh Scobee can't do it all.

Speaking of Josh Scobee.......

Special Teams
Scobee is doing his job. He is on a roll. The only issue with the special teams was the punter. Matt Turk was acquired the off season to replace Adam Podlesh. Few punts were excellent. Eventually, he was cut. Nick Harris was brought in during the season and has done well.

As the Jaguars enter the second half of the season, the playoffs are probably out of sight. Tennessee and Houston will battle for the division title. The thing to watch for is Gabbert's development as NFL quarterback and the offense finding its way to the end zone.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The NFL Draft-Jaguars Filling in the Gaps

Tonight, in primetime, the NFL Draft will occur in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Many teams will be looking in on their big board trying to figure out which player that can change their franchise. It is the ultimate guessing game. If you strike gold, the possiblities are endless on how far the team can go. But otherwise, missing on a player can set your franchise back several years. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a prime example of that. Previous first-round selections like Reggie Williams and Reggie Nelson have turned out to be busts. The Jaguars have many needs coming into the 2011 draft. General Manager Gene Smith is rebuilding the roster through the draft. His philosophy is selecting the "best available player". Also he is not afraid to go against the grain in his selections. No matter where the player went to school or what the media says, Smith stands by his picks. Along with Director of Player Personnel, Terry McDonough, Smith and his scouting team watch film and conduct interviews with the draftees. Over the past year, they have been working hard to build their big board and tonight all the work comes to fruitation. With so many glaring holes for this team, it will be interesting to see who they select. Let's see the positions the Jaguars look to fill.

Wide Receiver
With Mike Sims-Walker gone, and the lack of a true play making deep threat, this must be addressed. Sims-Walker gave glimpses of being that number one guy, but with injury and inconsistency, the Jaguars decided to let him go. Mike Thomas has been a steal and maybe Jason Hill can help, but a play-maker is needed.

Secondary (Cornerback or Safety)
Derek Cox is a solid starter, but having one of the worst pass defenses in the league, makes this a priority in the draft. Mathis has one year left on his contract, and he hasn't been playing up to his potential. The safety position absolutely needs an upgrade.

Defensive Line
Aaron Kampman will the pass rusher and leader we needed. Tyson Alualu should a starter for a long time along with Terrance Knighton. Still, the another pass rusher can help tremendously. The NFL is a quarterback driven league, so getting to the quarterback is a must.

As of right now, Daryl Smith is the only starter to return. Justin Durant and Kirk Morrison might not be back. Linebackers who can drop into coverage and create a pass rush can help the Jaguars.

David Garrard is not getting younger. It is time to develop the quarterback of the future. Garrard is an average starter in the league, you can win with him, but you need the right pieces in place. As previously stated, the NFL is a quarterback driven league.

I believe that the Jaguars are building a roster that can become a championship contender, so let us enjoy the draft tonight and see what Gene Smith does next.

It's been a while........but I'm back.

It has been a long, long time since I put another post on this blog. But I feel ready to write again. So I'm back. New post should be coming soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Why Do The Jacksonville Jaguars Have Problems?

This past Sunday, the Jaguars performed poorly against the Philadelphia Eagles, losing the game 28-3. This of course, sent fans into a outrage. The fans should be embarrassed and angry. So what is the problem? Why can't the Jags stay competive in each game? Who is responsible for the Jaguars woes? There are some answers to these questions. Let's take a look.

James "Shack" Harris
He is the former vice president of player personnel for the Jaguars. If you look at all of his roster moves and draft picks, he is largely to blame. Byron Leftwich was his first draft pick and we all know how that turned out. Now he's a backup for the Steelers. Reggie Williams was his next first round selection. This was move based on need. Williams isn't on a NFL roster today. The next year, it was Matt Jones. Jones had trouble with the law and eventually was released by the Jags. He got cut by the Bengals in the offseason.  Reggie Nelson was another of his selections in the draft. He is now with the Bengals because of a trade. Only Derrick Harvey and Mercedes Lewis are the only first round picks from the Harris era still on the Jaguars roster. Jerry Porter was signed under Harris and he wasn't productive. When Harris resigned, Gene Smith was promoted. Now he is responsible to clean up the mess Harris made.

David Garrard
At first, Garrard seemed like the solution at quarterback. He outplayed Byron Leftwich and became the starter. He led the team to its first playoff win since 1999 and gave the fans a reason to be optimistic. But after his $60 million contract, he hasn't been the same. Garrard has been very inconsistent. One game having his highest passing rating, then throwing interceptions and missing receivers in the next game. It looks like he is not the solution any more and Jacksonville will have to address the quarterback position in the upcoming draft.

Pass Defense/Secondary
Coming into the season, all the attention was fixing the pass rush. The Jags weren't getting to the quarterback. By fixing the pass rush, the secondary would improve. So far it has not helped the secondary. The Jaguars have seven sacks after three games, that is half of last year's total. But the secondary keeps getting burned by the opposing quarterback. Michael Vick threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns against Jacksonville. With Peyton Manning coming to town, it doesn't look like it will get any better.

Wayne Weaver
When you look at the troubles the franchise has, it must start at the top. He may have been too excited over the 2007 season. Weaver gave quarterback David Garrard a six-year, $60 million contract extension. Doesn't seem like he deserves that contract anymore. Head coach Jack Del Rio was given a four-year, $21 million extension. Del Rio is 59-59 in his career as head coach.  That says a lot. But Weaver has remained patient with Del Rio. Weaver should take some of the blame.

Going into the week 4 of the NFL season, you are stuck with the players you have. There is no way getting around that. The Jaguars are two good drafts away from being back where they should be. Fans need to be patient. Building a Super Bowl franchise doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. With this year's draft class having a lot of quarterbacks and defensive players to choose from, fans should be optimistic. But as of right now, the Jaguars must win or stay competitive to keep the fan base believing in the team.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jaguars Week 1 Report

In the season opener, Jacksonville played against the Denver Broncos at newly named Everbank Field. There was a lot of anticipation for this game. The return of Tim Tebow was highly publicized. Fans packed the stadium for the hottest game in Jaguars history and the game was delayed before the fourth quarter because of lightning. But in the end the Jags defeated the Broncos 24-17. Let's look at some of the great performances that stood out.

David Garrard
Garrard had a passer rating of 138.9, which is the third best in franchise history. Yes, he completed 16 of 21 passes, but he threw 3 touchdowns in the game. He was efficient and did not turn the ball over. If Garrard keeps playing like he did in week one, you can expect good things from the Jags offense.

Aaron Kampman
The recently acquired defensive end played with passion and energy. He was brought in for one reason, to put pressure on the quarterback and he did just that. Kampman had nine tackles, 6 quarterback hurries, and 1.5 sacks for the day. Aaron could be a fan favorite in Jacksonville soon.

Daryl Smith
Smith has become one of the most reliable linebackers on the team. He had a great day producing 11 tackles and shut door for a Denver comeback with a final-minute interception.

Kassim Osgood
Osgood was brought to Jacksonville from San Diego mainly for special teams and to get a opportunity to play wide receiver. Well he did his job on Sunday. He made plays on special teams throughout the game and ended up catching the game-winning touchdown.

The Fans
You cheered the hometown team in the heat and some stayed despite the lightning delay. You have injected energy into the franchise. You should be proud of yourself and team this week.

The whole Tebow issue was overrated. As Vic Ketchman, senior editior of, said the game wasn't about Tebow. It was about the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville. By the way, Tebow only entered the game three times and got two rushing yards. Our first round choice, Tyson Alualu tackled him twice and played well throughout the entire game. Right now, it is looking like we made the right choice in the draft.

Next Week: San Diego Chargers
If the Jaguars don't fix their pass defense, it could get ugly with Philip Rivers having a big day. Mike Sims-Walker must get involved in the passing attack next week. The defensive line must continue to put pressure on the quarterback for this team to succeed.