It's no secret that the strength of the Jacksonville Jaguars offense is on the ground. Last week against the Indianapolis Colts, Jaguars runningback Maurice Jones-Drew was finally able to break the 100-yard mark and reach the endzone. Both had eluded him thus far and had some fans concerned that a rumored MCL injury was in fact true.
While Jones-Drew has yet to have an "explosive" long run, he's still churning out the tough yards we've come to know him for.
The Jaguars game plan last Sunday was to run the football and limit mistakes. Quarterback David Garrard didn't make any real mistakes, only an almost one, and the offense was able to move down the field and score points. The team was run oriented, even with the quarterback, and really only passed when it was necessary.
Typically when you play that close to the vest you need turnovers and cannot turn it over yourself. The Jaguars were able to do both against the Colts and came away with the win.
Heading into Buffalo, they'll be facing a team in the Bills who's defense is ranked dead last in stopping the run. In the previous week the Bills were run over by the New York Jets, and you can expect the Jaguars to focus on running the football once again. David Garrard has been the definition of inconsistency so far this season, so running the football and taking the load off his shoulders should help him get into rhythm and feel comfortable.
"If I could put my finger on it then it would be so much easier to fix it. We've just got to do our jobs. I've been playing football for a long time. It's just when we get ourselves in that rhythm and we start executing and making plays, then we're having a good day. We can't turn the ball over. Any time you turn the ball over it makes it hard for anybody," Garrard said about how to fix his inconsistency.
In the passing game against the Colts, it wasn't Mike Sims-Walker making the plays, it was Mike Thomas catching the underneath routes and getting yards after the catch. It was also Tiquan Underwood making some key plays on the final drive. For the second game this season, Sims-Walker was left without a catch and for the second time the team won despite his lack of production. David Garrard was asked about getting the football to Sims-Walker, after his coaches mentioned Sims-Walker was open for some plays, was part of the game plan against the Colts, and just got missed.
"I know, me personally, I want to get the ball to him more because he is a dynamic player and we can't not throw the ball to him. We've got to be able to make sure he gets catches however they are," said Garrard. "We're not going to force anything or force the ball to him. There's ways to get him the ball and we've just continue to work at getting him the ball," he added.
On Sunday, expect to see a lot of Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings, maybe even a little of rookie Deji Karim sprinkled in as he makes his regular season debut after missing time with a thumb injury. I'd also expect Mike Sims-Walker to have a big day against a Bills team who's also struggled against the pass.