The Jaguars suffered another lose at the hands of the Saints but in there defense how many of us had realistically thought we were going to win this prior to the game. Overall the Jaguars showed some improvement and good play making ability. The Defense also was up and down but flashed some good talent. That being said here are 5 good and bad things that I saw from this game.
1) Blaine Gabbert's First Half - If you look at the statistics you might think that Gabbert had a below average or just okay game. If you watched the game on the other hand you saw the future of this franchise. The Jaguars came out gunning and obviously wanted to throw the Saints defense off with a lot of throw early. Gabbert stepped up to the challenge and looked great in multiple first half drives. He looked composed, calm in the pocket and made some "big boy throws" to steal a line from Alfie. The TD drive was perfect. Obviously he had a rough second half and missed on a few passes, as well as threw a bad INT, he still looked good overall in terms of what you would expect from a rookie. Now we know what Gabbert is capable of, and it looks good.
2) Maurice Jones-Drew - What can I say about MJD. He runs harder then everyone and looked like he wants to prove to the world his knee is nothing to worry about. I liked a lot of the pass calls but the Jaguars needed to run more then they did. MJD had an amazing 7.6 yards a carry and a 41 yard rush. Though he only amassed 84 yards, he played great and if the Jaguars can ever figure out a balance between Gabbert and MJD, the two might be a deadly combo.
3) Big Plays on Defense - After the first two drives I was expecting us to be in for a very long day. The defense however showed up a few times for very big plays including 2 INTs and 3 sacks. Daryl Smith and Poz both looked good at LB minus a few bad plays in coverage. Smith a had a huge INT that put us in the redzone but we could not capitalize and Poz had 13 total tackles (9 solo, 4 assist) and a nice sack of Brees. New safeties Landry and Lowery also looked pretty good at times with Landry having 11 tackles and a impressive INT where he caught a tip pass as it bobbled to the ground. The defense had a couple let downs but seemed to hit its stride at times. It seems this defense is a great pass rusher away from being a lot better.
1) Coaching - After last game everyone was asking for Del Rio to open it up versus the Saints and let Gabbert throw. There is a difference between letting Gabbert throw and only letting MJD touch the ball 3 times in the first half and 11 times all game. There needs to be balence between Gabbert and MJD. Del Rio seem to overreact and abandon the run which seemed foolish at times especially when you have a talent like MJD out back there. JDR needs to let Gabbert throw but not completely keep MJD out of the game. Also, how does a coach allow a 12 man on the field penalty after a timeout? JDR simply does not seem to have control or no whats hes doing at times. I think the writing is on the wall after another lose.
2) Wide Receivers - Okay if anything can be taken from this game is that Gabbert looked pretty good at times but the receivers (except Thomas who looked good at times) are just not even close to being a good unit. Jason Hill caught only two passes and looked pretty terrible. He couldn't get separation or catch anything thrown his way.Thomas had a nice screen pass (so we are what like 1 for 10 tries?) but other then that he had a few decent catches but also found himself invisible at times. The TEs showed that they came to play with Marcedes making diving catch and Miller making a nice catch for a TD. The WRs just looked bad and gave Gabbert no help when he needed it most. If you watch the game over, just look to see how many times you see one of our receives getting decent separation...cause you wont see it often.
3) Defense Ends - We had 3 sacks, but that is deceiving. Two of those sacks came on LB blitzs and were registered by Session and Poz. The rest of the time pressure intermittently but no real constant pressure on Brees. Mincey and Roth had times were they were able to get a little pressure but no constantly enough. Lane was able to get a sack but other then that he wasn't ever there. Overall we are still needing an improvement at DE, this has been very apparent in the first few weeks. We need a rusher who can dominant the line and constantly get pressure because we can let QBs have so much time to throw.