Jacksonville Jaguars Game 1 MVP: Not Luke McGowen

The Most Valuable Player from last night's Jacksonville Jaguars game against the Philadelphia Eagles isn't who you think it is.

If I had to pick an MVP for last night's game, it wouldn't be quarterback Luke McCown. While McCown had a stellar performance and the best game by the Jaguars quarterback in the pre-season ever... I think someone else had a better night.

Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton played absolutely fantastic. He was virtually unblockable and command consistent double teams and holds. He was not only able to stuff the middle of the field, but he has unbelievable quickness for a man of his size. He was able to penetrate and cause Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb to move in the pocket. Bear in mind, Knighton was doing all of this with only one other starter on the defensive line.

There was a mountain made out of a molehill with his weight issues heading into camp, and clearly he's just fine. I feel Knighton has the potential to jump into the ranks of some of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. His play at the end of the season and last night are shades of Albert Haynesworth. The Albert Haynesworth who cared, before he got paid.

The Good - Luke McCown

This was covered last night and previously, but McCown played great against the Eagles. He had two long bombs to Troy Williamson and Tiquan Underwood, both perfectly thrown hitting the receivers in stride for long touchdowns. His most impressive throws were two different throws. One was a pass to back up tight end Mike Caussin, where he threaded the needle placing the ball perfectly for the reception.  The next, which was his most impressive throw, was the 30 yard touchdown pass in the middle of the field to wide receiver John Matthews. The ball was dropped in perfectly for the touchdown.

The Bad - First Team Offense

The first team offense couldn't get anything going.  David Garrard was quick to check throws down and the running game was nonexistent. Garrard was without his starting offensive tackles however, which showed up on his final throw.  Offensive tackle Paul McQuiston whiffed on rookie defense end Brandon Graham giving him a free run at the quarterback.  Garrard was forced to rush his throw to brace for the hit and sailed the pass to Mike Sims-Walker, who dropped the football after getting sandwiched by safety Kurt Coleman, injuring his shoulder.

The Ugly - Pass Defense

Kevin Kolb effortlessly completed pass after pass. Michael Vick hit a deep ball over starting cornerback Derek Cox. The defense played bend but don't break only allowing field goals while the first unit was in, but the yards were given up way too easily.  The Jaguars were without two starting defensive lineman and Daryl Smith, however.

Questionable Quote

Clearly, we have to do better offensively. When you’re the trigger man, you have the say-so in getting things done. In fairness to David, we gave more vertical looks to Luke than we did to David.

-Jack Del Rio, when asked about Garrard's play

My question: Why?

Was it a matter of missing Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton and playing it safe, or was it more wanting to see what McCown could do down the field? Or was it giving Troy Williamson and Tiquan Underwood a chance to show their deep speed?

Hopefully the tackles are back on Saturday, and Garrard is given chances to go down the football field.

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