Sean Considine made the biggest play of the game, making a last-second interception inside the Jaguars ten yard line. Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu were very active, and all over Peyton Hillis in the Browns' backfield. Still, Jack Del Rio decided to award the defensive game ball to Jemery Mincey. Maybe that comes as a surprise to some people, but it shouldn't. He really deserved it.
Who would have guessed at the beginning of the season that we could lose Aaron Kampman to find that we have a playmaker in Mincey? I certainly didn't think it would happen, but Mincey proved me wrong. He had two of the Jaguars six sacks this weekend, and was playing with really good motor all game. I got so excited when I saw somebody getting to the quarterback that I wasn't really thinking about the "who, what, where" aspect, but when you do, Mincey's performance becomes even more impressive.
The moment I realized this I had to do a mental double-take. Really? Did Jeremy Mincey victimize one of the leagues best pass blockers? Was Joe Thomas even on the field? I couldn't tell during the game. I rewatched the highlights to be sure, there was still no indication that the man at Left Tackle was a dominating player. I just saw number 73 getting pushed back into Colt McCoy's face. #73 is Joe Thomas right? #73 is in fact Joe Thomas, but the new and improved defensive line and the blitzing Jaguars kept him off balance and expecting guys to come at him from out of nowhere.
Mincey played a great game. Also, in my opinion, some credit should go to the defensive game planning. The Jaguars knew what they were getting into with Colt McCoy. The Browns tried a deep ball early in the first quarter. The Browns had a receiver one on one with Rashean on the outside and decided to take a shot. Rashean had a "hands of steel" play, which was the only thing keeping him from his second interception of the year. After that, the Jaguars never had to worry about covering the deep ball again. We brought the safeties up, we blitzed nickel corners, everybody. We certainly brought Daryl Smith off the edge, because he got himself a sack and was around the QB a lot for a LB. On just about every play, somebody was in McCoy's face. Larry Hart was all over the place, too (as you can see from the photo). Even Derrick Harvey got a sack. It was that kind of game for the Jaguars, and I couldn't be happier.
I'm hoping that this game was not a fluke, and that Mincey can come out next week and be just as effective. If he does, who knows what could happen: The Giants will be without their best two receivers, so if we can get in Eli Manning's face early and often, that offense is more than likely to implode. That's been the M.O. of their team for as long as Eli has been the Giants starting quarterback: when Manning is thrown off his game, he starts making mistakes. That's where the Rushmen come in.
You earned your game ball, Jeremy, now... maybe... I mean if you're not to busy this weekend or anything... could you do it again next week too?