Game 1 Analysis: "It's the little things that kill; tearing at my brains again"

Subtitle curtesy of Little Things by Bush

We told ourselves the team was rebuilding, that as long as things got better we would be happy. Now that the first game is over, I realize that was hogwash. This loss hurts, because we all know how close this team was to getting a major win to start the season. A win in Indy may have meant a sold out stadium next week. A win in Indy may have shown this team could finally win a big game in crunch time. Instead, we say many of the same issues that plagued the Jaguars in 2008.

1. Time of Possession: The Colts had the ball for almost 34 minutes compared to the Jaguars who held it for 26 minutes. The Colts converted 8 of their first 9 3rd down attempts and had the ball almost twice as long as the Jaguars through the first 2 and a half quarters. The Jaguars on the other hand were 6 of 15 on third down conversion.  Grade: C-

2. Defensive Pressure: Besides Reggie Hayward devouring Manning once, the team had very little pressure on Manning. In turn, Manning threw for over 300 yards and torching the secondary in the process. However, when the defense went back to a 4-3 later in the game, it seemed to play much better and get penetration Hint Hint. Grade: C

3.Offensive Line: Monroe was beaten like the bass drum at a heavy metal concert. It's that simple. Just as he was against Gaines Adams in the preseason against Tampa Bay. This has to be a concern with Kyle Vanden Bosch and Mario Williams coming up. I understand there is a learning curve, but the eight pick of the draft should've performed better. Eben Britton played well at Right Tackle. The interior of the line held up very well, helping Garrard on several QB sneaks and opening holes for MJD.Grade:B for the unit besides Monroe, Monroe D-

4.Maurice Jones-Drew: Well, MJD is an every downs back. MJD had 21 rushes for 97 yards (123 total) and a touchdown.Grade:A-

5. Defensive Secondary: If either Eric Berry or Taylor Mays is available when the Jaguars are up in the first round next April, I'll be the happiest man alive. Nelson and Considine both had their moments, and then followed them up with bone headed lapses that cost the team touchdowns and 1st downs. Derek Cox was only torched once, and made up for it with his outstanding interception in the end zone and the fumble recovery. While the unit gave up 300 yards, it had just as much to do with the time Manning got as their play. Grade: C+

 

Either way, it was the little things that have the Jaguars sitting at 0-1 rather than 1-0. If either of Indy's turnovers were put into the end zone, a better play call going for 2, if the secondary didn't have busted assignments at the worst possible times. If, if, if,.........................................................

It was over when:

When the Jaguars failed to convert on 4th and 7 with 1:20 left to go in the 4th quarter. An over thrown ball on 2nd down and two straight plays with heavy penetration by the Colts defense sank the Jaguars hopes of getting another win in Indy.

Play of the Game:

Reggie Wayne's 39 yard reception on 3rd and 13 from Indianapolis' 19. Prior to that, the Jaguars were slowing building momentum and held a 3-0 lead. That play swung momentum back in the Colts favor and began their 14-3 run to give them a 14-6 lead.

Game Balls Go To:

Maurice Jones-Drew: Drew had a good game and is off to an excellent start as a feature back

Derek Cox: Any corner who can pick off Manning on his patented fade pass to the opposite pylon has talent, let alone a rookie on his first drive

-Jonathan Loesche

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