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.......
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.