SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 19: Mike Sims Walker #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars reacts to his fumble against the San Diego Chargers during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on September 19 2010 in San Diego California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
This just in: The Jacksonville Jaguars defense isn't very good.
You shouldn't be. Anyone who watched the Jaguars last season and in the pre-season should have known the defense was going to be the Achilles heel of this football team. The offense is going to have to carry it, but if it performs anywhere close to the level it did last Sunday... it's doomed.
I hate to be Negative Nancy about it, but the success of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010 lives and dies with it's offense. In Week 1 against the Denver Broncos the Jaguars defense held up, but it was still toasted yardage wise. In the past two games the defense has allowed quick scoring touchdown drives with little time taken off the clock.
That ain't good.
This is something we've known, however. The defense is improved, but still in a state of flux.
The Jaguars cannot afford games like they had last week. Performances like that by the offense are unacceptable, all around, not just on David Garrard. While David Garrard was terrible, the running game was near non-existent as well. This isn't helping matters much.
Through two games the Jaguars have scored a combined 39 points for an average of 19.5 points per game, right around where they were last season in scoring.
That's simply not good enough.
"The way we get back is just going back to our fundamentals, what we do in practice all the time. We kind of got a little bit out of whack as an offense in San Diego. We need to just go back and work on what we need to work on, obviously blocking, catching the ball, tucking it away; simple things like that," said running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who's struggled to get going running the ball.
That's one of the factors for this struggling offense, Jones-Drew's been slow to get running. Last season he ran for 97 yards and 66 yards, respectively, which is not that far off from his first two games this season. The difference last season however, is Jones-Drew actually had a couple long runs. Maurice has yet to have a run over 20 yards so far this season. Perhaps we're just spoiled, perhaps teams are keying on stopping Jones-Drew, but it's a problem.
"The offensive line is doing a great job protecting myself and David [Garrard]. They're just working hard. Sometimes they load the box where they have one or two extra guys for us, so we've just got to keep working and we'll be alright," Jones-Drew said when asked about the running game.
"Just moving on. Protecting the ball, that's a must every week. That's something that we have to continue to focus on and get better at this week. We protect the ball, we give ourselves a chance at winning," quarterback David Garrard told reporters on Wednesday.
Protecting the football is vital for this football team, as shown last Sunday. They can't afford to turn it over because a turnover will typically turn into a score and put the team in a hole. The offense needs to play better.
It's not all on David Garrard, though as he goes the offense goes. He's got to play closer to his three touchdown performance than his four interception performance, obviously. It's on David Garrard, it's on Maurice Jones-Drew, it's on Mike Sims-Walker, and it's on Dirk Koetter. It's on the offense.
They all have to perform.
The offense is going to carry this team, be it to a 10-6 record or a 6-10 record. How the offense goes is how the team goes.