JACKSONVILLE FL - OCTOBER 03: Tight end Brody Eldridge #81 of the Indianapolis Colts cannot hold onto a pass that was intercepted by safety Anthony Smith #20 (L) of the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 3 2010 in Jacksonville Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars safety Gerald Alexander was a member of the free-agent pool early last week. He was released by the Jaguars after an uneventful pre-season where most expected him to be the Jaguars opening day starter. Alexander had a few visits before the Jaguars made the call and re-signed him early last week, but he hadn't played since the final pre-season game.
It's a good thing he kept himself in game shape while he was playing NFL and NCAA football analyst on Twitter for three weeks.
"Everybody focused on their job. It was a great week of practice, a great week of preparation. Everybody went out and did their job no matter what's going to happen," said Gerald Alexander after the game.
This victory was the epitome of a total team effort, but Alexander was involved in two game changing plays that could have sealed up a starting spot for him. As pictured above, Alexander laid a hit on tight end Brody Eldridge that knocked a pass from Peyton Manning out of his hands and into the hands of safety Anthony Smith.
Boom, 7 points off the board for the Colts.
Prior to that play, Alexander was all over the field and in on nearly every tackle. It was obvious he wanted to make a point to prove that it was a mistake to cut him.
In another play later in the game, safety Anthony Smith stripped Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne in the redzone and the ball was picked up by Alexander and returned past midfield, setting up a Jaguars touchdown.
Boom, another potential 7 points off the board for the Colts.
The safeties on Sunday made lots of plays. Anthony Smith was solid in his support to the run and was involved in turnovers. Alexander as well was in on both critical turnovers and many other plays. The safeties combined for 12 total tackles, a couple passes defensed, and both turnovers.
"It was important because we needed them (the safeties). I think on the day when you end up +2 and you get a sack and they don't, those are good statistics. And when you're winning those battles, you typically win games and that's what helped us win today," Jack Del Rio said in his press conference after the game.