First off, I just want to say BCC is truly saddened to hear of the unfortunate condition Jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchmen finds himself in. According to Michael Wright, Vic had a heart attack over the weekend causing him to miss today's game. Vic, I hope you get well soon. If we have to rely of Ask Ryan again, I believe the city may erupt in mass panic.
The Jaguars entered Foxborough with a seemingly impossible task. Take down the Patriots in December at home. The Patriots hadn't lost at home in December since 2003 and showed why in impressive fashion today.
Tom Brady added his name to the list of QB's who've had career days against the Jaguars pass defense in 2009. Brady tossed four touchdowns, three to Randy Moss, and was 23-26 for 268 yards on the day. Wes Welker shredded the Jaguars with 13 receptions for 138 yards. The Jaguars pass defense was once again non-existent, with no sacks and never making Brady have to even feel for a rush.
The Patriots targeted two players the entire game, Quentin Groves and Derek Cox. The second year defensive end and rookie corner were clearly outclassed by their competition. The Patriots ran off tackle in Grove's direction at will from kickoff to the final gun, while Cox gave up the touchdowns to Randy Moss. It is just another reason for Groves to see an early exit from Jacksonville this offseason, while Cox will spend another week on the wrong end of Sportscenter highlights.
Also, I have to say I was disappointed in the play of Terrance Knighton. While John Henderson was getting double teamed all game, Knighton was handled with ease one on one today for most of the game. For someone who we've been touting as an excellent young defensive tackle, it was a very poor performance.
Offensively, David Garrard managed to climb to the top of a category he didn't want to. With his second quarter interception, Garrard now leads the league in red zone turnovers. His touchdown scramble was a thing of beauty, if it weren't for the fact the team was down 35-7.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran well but was effectively taken out of the game by the second quarter because of the lopsided margin.
With all of that being said, today's loss highlighted the glaring fact this team really isn't that good. With no pass rush, inteior offensive line, mediocre safeties, and a host of other problems, the fact we can rant about missing the playoffs is an accomplishment. Of the Jaguars 7 wins, only their sweep of the 8-7 Texans came against a team currently with a winning record. The rotten core that caused the bottom to fall out in 2008 was thrown out, but that doesn't mean we have a solid core to replace it with yet. The rookie class is developing and next year we will should expect to see the fruit of that. This year? I said at the beginning of the year I thought that 7-9 to 9-7 was where this team's potential was and that's what we have.