The Return of the 4-3 Defense, Series by Series: Second-Half

In case you missed it, here's the first-half breakdown of the defense, play-by-play.

So far the Jaguars defense has been dominant, allowing only 30 yards rushing by KC's backs. The also held KC on third downs, forcing 3 three-and-outs in the first-half. Today, we'll take a look at the second-half and see if the Jaguars were able to continue to impose their will on KC's offense.

KC's first possession of 3rd quarter - Big kick by Scobee, great hangtime and coverage by the special teams. KC is stopped short of the 20 yard-line.

1st down - KC in offset I-formation, RB goes in motion. Line includes Harvey, Groves, Hen, and Pot Roast to start the half. At the hike, Durant and Smith both blitz, Durant from the middle, and Smith from Groves' side. Harvey drops off the line into zone coverage. It appears the Jaguars are utilizing some of the schemes from a 3-4, but operating them out of a 4-3, and to a great deal of success thus far (albeit against weaker competition). Smith gets a big time sack, loss of 4 on the play. 

2nd down and 14 - KC in the offset I-formation again, a single TE and two WR's. Reggie Nelson comes up into the box prior to the snap, creating an 8-man front. Reggie's responsibility is the TE, I'm ok with that. The pass to the FB behind the line of scrimmage, tackle made by Daryl Smith immediately. Our LB's are playing well. Loss of three on the play. 

3rd down 17 - KC is in the shotgun formation, single-back set. Great protection for Cassel, but he still threw it early for only a short gain. He gave up on that play because he was scared of getting hit. That pass was thrown knowing it wouldn't convert. Cassel is intimidated. Tackle made again by... guess... Daryl Smith. Wow, that series was completely his.

Three-and-out number four of the ball game. They came out with intensity.

KC's Second possession of the half. 

1st down at their own 20 yard-line. 

Bryan Smith is in for Groves, Stanley is in for Knighton. Harvey and Hen remain in the game. KC in the offset I-formation, I really love their commitment to old school football, it's a shame their offensive line is so lackluster. Play-action is called, Harvey beats his man, and Cassel throws a hurried screen to the HB that obviously didn't have time to fully develop due to the pressure. Stanley was utterly fooled by the screen though, and had he been in position, he would've made the easy tackle, however, he showed great hustle to try to get back into position to make the tackle, although he was unable to do so. Clint Ingram comes up, but slips and misses the tackle. Bryan Smith got absolutely owned on the play, and was a total non-factor, being knocked significantly off the line of scrimmage. Harvey makes a great hussle play and comes from behind the RB to assist on the tackle after providing pressure to Cassel. Gain of 8 yards. 

2nd down and two. KC in the pro-set (2 RB lined up parallel in the backfield), 1 TE and 2 WR's. Derek Cox is up on the LOS, and looks ready to blitz. AMAZING play design by KC, props on this one. At the snap, the QB fakes the hand off to the RB on his right side, and the left RB acts as if he'll be the lead blocker, he then circles around on what can only be described as a mini-reverse. Ingram and Cox both blitz to Bryan Smith's side of the LOS and Harvey drops into zone coverage again. Great design that nets 7 yards, Daryl pushes the RB out of bounds. 1st down KC. 

1st Down - KC in the shotgun, single back, 2 TE set. All front seven Jaguars are up close to the LOS. Blitz coming, Daryl Smith is up in Cassel's grill again, forcing the QB to scramble. Hen barely misses another sack, and Cassel throws the ball away, although the Jags catch a break and offensive pass-interference is called on Bowe. 

1st and 20 - KC is in the pro-set, staggered to the weak-side of their line. Short three-step-drop by Cassel. Montavius Stanley recognizes the quick drop and gets his hands up, swatting the pass at the LOS. Stanley is very much impressing me this game, and I would have to say, he's showing that he belongs on the field. He plays with a great motor, which is saying a lot for a man his size. Great find Gene.

2nd and 20 - KC in the shotgun, single back, 1 TE and 3 WR set. Daryl Smith blitzes again, and comes free, forcing the quick pass, there is pressure all over the place today. The RB safety valve who Cassel dumps the ball to is immediately swallowed up by Gerald Alexander, no gain on the play.

3rd and 20 - KC in shotgun, single back, 4 WR set. Hen and Bryan run a stunt, to no avail. Harvey bull-rushes his man back five yards, but the ball is already coming out of Cassel's hand. Daryl Smith blitzes again, this time from Harvey's side, and the two of them look real good rushing alongside one another. Pass complete over the middle, Reggie Nelson whiffs on a tackle, and badly. Had it been third-and-10, he would've just allowed a third down conversion. Now this is the Reggie I've come to expect, soft and confused. I love the guy, got his autograph and everything, but man is he inconsistent. Reggie slams his hands together after the play, clearly upset with himself. Reggie, A whole sack of sorry  won't buy one single punt. The Jags hold again.

KC third possession of the half

 

1st and 10 - KC in the pro-set, RB motions out of the backfield, single back set now. Defensive line is Julius Williams, Pot Roast, Ellison, and Groves. Mathis CB blitz on the play, from Williams' side. Daryl blitzes from Williams' side too. No linemen drop into coverage, the Jags are rushing more than the Chiefs can block. Daryl Smith and Mathis both have the opportunity to make the tackle for a loss against the RB, but Mathis seems to think Smith will make it, and Smith took a bad angle, providing the RB with a cutback lane which was open because Mathis and Smith were blitzing, leaving their lanes exposed. KC's best run of the game, but it should've been stopped for a loss, Mel Tucker had the right call there. Gerald Alexander makes the stop after a gain of 13. 

1st and 10 - KC in the hurry-up offense. Shotgun 3 WR set. Jaguars only have 6 in the box, looks like Nickel defense to me, practically inviting the run. The Chiefs oblige, and run from the shotgun for a gain of 5, tackle by Durant. They ran right at Groves, and I mean right at him. Knighton held up the double team and still almost made the tackle, but the run was so far toward the LT that Knighton missed the RB's ankles. Groves was easily moved aside... I'm noticing a theme here. Reggie Nelson was completely locked up by the WR, and had he been able to shed what wasn't even a very good block, he could've made the tackle a few yards earlier. 5 yard gain

2nd and 5 - KC is in the shotgun, Jaguars remain in their Nickel front, only 6 in the box again. Reggie is lined up in the slot on a WR and blitzes, as does Daryl Smith. Groves drops into Zone coverage, the Jaguars are utilizing a fair amount of zone-blitzing schemes, and it seems to be confusing KC's protection. Daryl Smith actually gets a hand on Cassel, and forces an early and errant throw. Incomplete overthrown. Reggie Nelson was easily blocked by the RB, and seemed to almost give up after the initial block was thrown by the RB. I'm not TRYING to get down on the guy, you'll see from the first half analysis, that I was impressed with how he played, however, this half is a different story, and he's looking very mediocre. 

3rd and 5 - KC in the shotgun again (and still can't get Cassel time), 4 WR, single back. Jags still in nickel, Daryl Smith blitzes again. Decent protection on that play, complete for a first down and a gain of 13. Tackle by Derek Cox, although Rashean was the man who was beat, he just couldn't make the tackle with only one hand, so Bowe got an extra 7 or 8 YAC. Cox just makes sure tackles, I love this kid. 

1st and 10 - KC in the shotgun, 3 WR 1 TE, single back set. Jacksonville remains in Nickel, meaning no Ingram, and Sean Considine instead. Harvey, Hen, Stanley, and Bryan Smith on the d-line. Bad snap (gotta love that shotgun), and Montavius Stanley looks like a man possessed going for that football. It was like someone told him they were giving out twinkies in the backfield. This looked like a Jaguars' recovery to me, although the officials saw it differently. Wow, on the replay, it showed their RB literally snatch it out of Stanley's hands... strong little guy.

2nd and 14 - Jags remain in Nickel, KC in shotgun. Daryl Smith blitzes, Harvey drops into zone coverage. Bryan Smith comes unblocked and delivers a blow to Cassel, who launches the ball out of bounds. Phenomenal pressure today. 

3rd and 14 - Jags in Nickel, KC in shotgun. Jags bring an all out blitz, I like Mel's play-calling style. Sometimes he sits back in coverage, and others he's all about pressure. Mix it up. Durant and Considine both blitz on the play. Durant and Bryan Smith both get to the QB. Durant timed his blitz perfectly up the middle, and Bryan ran a stunt up the gut behind Justin, they both got there about the same time and forced the bad pass early. Gain of 4 on the play, tackle by Daryl Smith. 

KC's fourth possession of the Half 

1st and 10 from their own 25 yard-line - KC is in the I-formation, Jaguars return to their regular defensive front with Ingram in the game. Harvey, Groves, Pot Roast and Hen are your linemen. Smith and Durant blitz, and Harvey drops into Zone coverage. The double-team went to Knighton on that play, and Hen was able to stand up the offensive guard with one arm, and reach to make the tackle with the other, along with Ingram and Nelson. Gain of four on the play, nice run. 

2nd and six, KC is in the I-formation again. Smith and Alexander blitz to Harvey's side, Groves drops into Zone coverage. Mel seems to favor overloading one side or the other on blitzes. Harvery had his best pass rush of the half on that play. He easily beat his man, and arrived at the QB the same time that Hen did, which was almost immediately. Harvey got a hand on Cassel, and Hen came barreling in, Cassel ducks, and Hen crashes into Harvey, knocking both down. Pot Roast and Smith combine on the clean-up sack, but Harvey and Hen caused that sack very clearly, and Harvey would've gotten the sack had Hen not slammed into him. Encouraging play to watch. Interesting tid-bit per the announcers, Knighton used to play WR... No wonder his balance is so exceptional. Loss of 8 on the sack. 

3rd and 14 - Jags appear to be in 3-4 Nickel, KC is in the shotgun, single back 3 WR. Considine blitzes from a dead standstill at the safety position, he was too far off the line to even have a chance to get there, and he doesn't have great speed either, I don't like the call. Nelson blitzes too. KC easily picks up every rusher, Cassel had a man, but overthrew him. Fourth-down.

Nice three and out team.

KC fifth possession of the half

1st and 10 from their own 29 yard-line - Jaguars in Nickel 4-3 defense. KC in shotgun 3 WR set, single back. Your line is Julius Williams, Bryan Smith, Montavius Stanley, and Hen. Daryl Smith blitzes on the play, Bryan Smith drops into Zone coverage. Cassel throws a perfect pass to the WR on a short out pattern, and he drops it. 

2nd and 10 - KC in shotgun single back set. Jags in Nickel. Durant fakes the blitz, and Daryl Smith and Nelson blitz to J. Williams side, Bryan Smith drops into Zone again. Cassel passes over the middle complete, and Durant makes the instant tackle. Gain of nine.

3rd and 1 - KC is in the shotgun, single back 4 WR, trips right. Jags in Nickel. Daryl Smith and Sean Considine blitz, there will be no prevent defense today. No linemen drop into zone, it was an overload blitz. Cassel throws a prayer to Dwayne Bowe, who makes the catch despite Derek Cox having perfect position, and I mean perfect. Had he known the ball was thrown, he would've made the interception. It was an all around great play by KC's best player, Bowe. First down KC. Lucky.

1st and 10 from Jags' 45 yard-line - KC in shotgun, 4 WR, trips right again. Jaguars in Nickel. Daryl Smith blitzes, Julius Williams drops into zone, and Hen and Bryan Smith both make it to Cassel, who is thrown to the ground had by B. Smith. Incomplete, and great pressure. 

2nd and 10 - KC in shotgun , 3 WR 1 TE, single back set. Jaguars in Nickel. D. Smith blitzes from the outside, Bryan Smith's side. Henderson collapses the middle and gets a sack. D. Smith was blatently held by the RB, or he may have made the sack, no flag, but it was an obvious hold. Hen with the sack, loss of 9 on the play. 

3rd and 19 - KC in the I-formation. Jaguars in the 3-4, with Harvey, Knighton, and I think Ellison, but couldn't tell because of the camera angle. Reggie Nelson and Gerald Alexander both blitz, and the Jaguars get burned deep by Chris Chambers. That's what happens when you blitz your safety and he doesn't get home. Sean Considine was badly beaten on his coverage. TD that should never have happened. 

KC sixth possession of the half

Onside kick recovered by KC. 

1st and 10 from KC's 31 yard-line. Jaguars in the 4-3 Nickel. KC in the shotgun, single back, 3 WR set. Daryl Smith blitzes again (notice a trend here?), good protection though. Cassel makes a good throw, and Cox makes what looks like a TD saving shoe-string tackle. Reggie Nelson was out of position, and had Cox not made the tackle, KC's WR may have been off to the races. 

1st and 10 - KC in the shotgun, Jacksonville in Nickel. Nelson blitzes and gets to Cassel, he hits him hard and forces the bad pass, somehow Dwayne Bowe just came up with it... I have no idea how he adjusted to that pass so seamlessly. This guy is good, and Derek Cox was in position again. Cox rarely gets beaten badly, I can't praise him enough for how he's played this season. 

1st and 10 from Jaguars' 20 - KC in the shotgun, 2 RB and 3 WR set. Jaguars in base defense, Harvey, Hen, Groves, and Pot Roast are your linemen. Four man rush is easily picked up by KC, Cassel has a man in the endzone, but Cox jumps up and knocks the pass away with his fingertips. TD saving play, and phenomenal ups by Cox. 

2nd and 10 - Jags in Nickel, KC in shotgun, 2 RB and 3 WR set, it's obvious KC is running max-protect with the dual blocking HBs. Cox and Smith blitz, Harvey drops into zone. D. Smith flattens the FB on his way to the QB. Hen and Smith both provide pressure and Cassel throws it away. 

3rd and 10 - Jags in Nickel, KC in shotgun single back. Jaguars rush four. Harvey is double-teamed on that play. Illegal use of hands by Cox, automatic first down.

1st and 10 from the Jaguars 15 - Jaguars in the 3-4, KC in the shotgun, single back. Harvey is double-teamed again, and Groves rushes with his hand off the ground. Daryl Smith blitzes as well. Slant pass, gain of two. Tackle by Reggie Nelson. 

2nd and 8 - Cassel throws a fade pattern to Bowe, and Cox couldn't have played it any better. He was in position to snag the game-ending interception, when Reggie burst in and swatted the ball away. Cox is every bit as good as Rashean was his rookie year, and that bodes well for our future at the postion. 

3rd and 8 -  KC in shotgun, single back, 4 WRs, trips left. Jags in Nickel. Groves best rush of the half, he almost got to Cassel on a pure speed rush to the outside. Gerald Alexander and another LB blitz (not D. Smith). Complete pass, first down and goal.

1st and goal from the 5 - Jaguars in base defense, KC in the I-formation, motioning into the wishbone. Wow, there's a formation I haven't seen in awhile, I like it though. KC runs play action, and it is effective at freezing the LB's who, like me, were anticipating run out of that formation. Cassel rolls out and hits his man in the front corner of the endzone. TD KC. I Love some of the formations KC employs...

That would be the last time KC would touch the football. Jaguars win, and dominate for 56 minutes on defense.

NOTES:

Harvey played absolutely fantastic, and in this reporters opinion, is shaping up to be the best first round DE taken in 2008. He's stout against the run, and easily plays the most snaps of any defensive lineman on the Jags. I was very impressed with him in the first half especially. He seemed to face more double-teams and chip blocks in the second-half, perhaps to combat his effectiveness.

Daryl Smith is Mel's new favorite toy. He blitzes more often than not, and seems to have a knack for creating havoc in the back-field. Cox was flat out the best player in the secondary today, and had we taken him in the first round, I wouldn't complain. I discovered Pot Roast used to be a WR, which explains his great balance, and he's clearly the team's future at DT. Henderson is playing like it's 2006, and seems rejuvenated by Knighton's presence. Smith and Durant are clearly a step above Clint Ingram, and "Country" had an average game against KC. 

Montavius Stanley is our clear number three DT, and there is very little drop-off when he comes in to spell Hen or Knighton. Stanley gets his hands up to bat balls, and has a great motor. He's stout against the run, and I'll be anxious to see him perform against a better offensive line when we play the Jets

-Collin Streetman

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