They came out ugly, offered us a moment of hope, and then broke our heart again as the Jacksonville Jaguars fell to the Arizona Cardinals 31-17. Cardinals QB Kurt Warner set an NFL record 92% completion percentage, the Jaguars pass rush could not stop the offense, and Mike Sims-Walker emerged as a real honest-to-goodness wide receiver.
This was a game where the Jaguars made countless mental mistakes, penalties and poor decisions, and generally speaking looked awful. The Offensive Line could NOT protect David Garrard, the only time that David got anything done was when the Cardinals fell into their prevent defense at the end of the game. I'm not going to bang the Fire Del Rio drum just yet, but there were some discipline issues, particularly when emotions were high, that were problematic. Early play was sloppy, there was no rhythm, and after Scobee's field goal was blocked and returned for a touchdown, the mental focus was lost for some time.
This was a game where we were teased, there were moments where you thought that the Jaguars were just starting to get something done, but dropped passes and a late interception ended the game. Interestingly, the Cardinals targeted the Jaguars linebackers more than anything else with screens and short passes. Linebacker is an area of strength for this team, at least in theory, so it'll be interesting to see what the tape tells us about the group.
Player of the Game: Mike Sims-Walker: 106 yards, 1 TD, 1 tackle. Mike Walker is a real wide receiver now. He's a bright star to admire looking forward. He's a young leader on the roster and someone to look forward to each week.
More analysis to come.