The Jaguars faced an abyss on Sunday and though the struggle was mighty, they left the field with a victory and an air of confidence. For a man of few words, Jack Del Rio said it best:
He's right, a loss to Atlanta would have put the Jaguars in a very difficult hole. Their next two games are at Denver and at Kansas City. Two tough away games before a bye week. In fact, you could expand it further, the next four games are critically important for Jacksonville. Denver Kansas City, then a home stretch of Houston and Indianapolis. Two tough road games followed by two critical division games.
That being said, there were many positives to our victory.
- The Rise of Marcades Lewis. He didn't do much yesterday, but I'm noticing that he's emerging as a pass catching threat for David. It pleases me greatly to see him take the role he was drafted to do. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the top ten TE's by the end of the season.
- Reggie Williams: Here I am lauding him for some great catches and a Touchdown only a few weeks after predicting that he'd be cut from the team. It's amazing what hindsight will do. For once I was glad to see him dancing, cause he had something to cheer about.
- David Garrard: He's making good throws, he knows when to get rid of it, he knows when he needs to run for a few yards, and he progressing through his receivers better than ever. David did especially well considering that Khalif Barnes was completely overmatched by Defensive End John Abraham.
- Speaking of John Abraham, did anyone else see him defend a pass to Jones-Drew? For being a huge DE, he's sure fast.
- Once again our running game was struggling. I'm not sure why. Someone with a better eye then me can probably examine the offensive line play and give me an answer, but it is concerning. Though, when the Jaguars needed just one yard to keep a drive alive, Maurice Jones-Drew got 6. As long as we can keep drives alive, I don't care how we do it.
- Our defense is back. We were swarming, we were hitting hard, and we were stuffing the inside runs. I love seeing four or five guys tackling a player rather than the one on one. Sure, there were moments when Joey Harrington looked like real quarterback, but we stuffed him when we needed to.
- Seven Sacks. Nuff said. Mike Peterson looked especially nasty after his worst game ever last week.
We've got a big week in front of us though. Playing the Denver Broncos in Denver is always a challenge. John from Mile High Report and I will be doing some cross blogging this week as we build up to the big game. There could even be some radio action in the future for your humble narrator.
So enjoy the victory today, the Players get the day off and so should we. Tuesday Morning, however, we start focusing on the task at hand. 24 hour rule is in effect, so enjoy it while you can!