Well that was an ugly win, but as they say "we'll take it". Here are the highlights:
The Jags dominated the stats and time of possession. Some key stats were 33 first downs compared to 13 for the Rams, 492 total yards for the Jags and 262 for the Rams, and TOP was 44:12 for Jacksonville compared to 24:48 for the Rams. Below is a link to the complete game stats.
We did have our ugly moments as well. First and most obvious were the turnovers. The Jaguars turned the ball over twice in the red zone and David Garrard made a horrible attempted screen pass that resulted in a Rams pick 6 nearly costing us the game.
Second, David's stats were good - 30 completions out of 43 attemps (69.7%) for 335 yards and 2 Ints but there are some issues with his play. I thought David held the ball too long on some throws and took some sacks as well. This has been a continuing issue during the course of the season and needs to be addressed. He also delivered some passes late that could have resulted in additional picks. He made some terrific throws during the game, but would follow it up with a bad pass, especially early in the game. These issues are leading to some inconsistent performances.
Third, the defense gave up a game tying drive in the final minutes. They are the 30th ranked defense and it showed at times.
There were some very real positives to come out of this win. First, the team fought through some bad play and found a way to win. I believe that is huge for this team - learning how to win. In order to win championships, teams must win games they have no business winning due to their own errors. This team did that today.
* After making a horrible play that nearly cost the game (the Rams pick 6), David and the team remained poised and regained the lead.
* The team bounced back from the beatdown they received last week.
* Penalties were kept at a minimum. Last week it seemed that the Jags counldn't complete a down on offense or defense without committing some type of penalty. This week - 3 penalties for 15 yards. I'll take that and ask for seconds please!
* The defense played very well today. They gave up an opening drive TD and it looked like "oh no - here we go again". But after a shaky first half, they really played well and dominated in the second half; the final drive not withstanding.
This team played well and they played poorly during this game, but they found a way to win - and that's what it's all about.