JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 02: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 2, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Most of my points have already been addressed. Big shocker, we got lit up by a tight end again. I did say after week 1 that the biggest mismatch for the Jaguars is not a receiver, but the tight ends and running backs. Last week against the Panthers, 15 catches by tight ends apparently was no big deal. Those naysayers that said "who cares if they give up 8 yards to those guys" what are you saying now? A team will nickel and dime you all the way down the field if you give it to them, be it tight ends and running backs. Sproles was a headache by himself. Once again, I will reiterate that Daryl Smith can solve some of this problem, but we continue to put Posluzny and Session on the tight ends and running backs. What does Brees see? Mismatch. In the few plays I watched Smith on Graham (early downs) he jammed Graham at the line, threw him off his route, then shadowed him all over the field. The numbers don't lie; I'll spare you them this week, only to save some time to expand on it later (hopefully I won't have to). If only the coaching staff would read this...
Adjustments were tried, I saw that. Cover two became the defense's choice in order to minimize Sproles' impact following some big plays. In other words, we traded Sproles beating man coverage to leave a guy in the flat, but alternatively gave Brees plenty of windows to throw to in the holes in those zones. To be honest, the defense didn't do all that badly considering the possibilities. You know when you play the Saints that comes with points given up, but I give the defense some credit. My other gripes for the most part have already been addressed: the polarity of the game plans from last week to this week (last week: run, run, pass; this week: pass, pass, pass).
My question at this point: Who is this team?
I put some of the problems so far on the coaching staff, but there is one main issue I still have with this organization's approach this offseason. The fans were force fed a heavy dose of "this team is rebuilt we are going to the playoffs" with Jack Del Rio's job as collateral. Such things never should have been said. The general fan base as a result adopted an improper mindset that reflected this and expected the Jaguars to go to the playoffs. David Garrard is gone. The Jaguars have a great quarterback of the future, I have no doubt about that. His play now matters, but only so much. I want Blaine Gabbert to learn and grow, something you can't judge necessarily by wins and losses. We don't have the Ravens defense to support a rookie Joe Flacco or a shut down defense to help spring a rookie Mark Sanchez to the playoffs. On the flipside, you have this countering thought process from the fans and the staff striving for the playoffs. We can't lie to ourselves anymore. Most of us, if not all, have.
It is still young in the season, but how the Jaguars finish this season should not say a lot about this team. There are many good pieces in place. In my opinion, Weaver should have cleaned house and bring in a new coach to go along with the new quarterback of the future, but whether I'm right or wrong it doesn't matter. What I want is for the fans, you readers, to understand there are positives in every game, in ever snap, and despite being fed a lot of garbage regarding this team going to the playoffs, I want this team to grow more importantly.
The good from this game: Maurice Jones-Drew averaged almost 8 yards a carry, Blaine Gabbert made quite the big boy throw on the touchdown to Zach Miller, 2 Interceptions and 4 sacks on Brees, and though 23 points is a lot, it's the lowest anyone's allowed to the Saints all season.
The bad from the game: Jones-Drew only had 11 carries, the offensive line was suspect, no separation by receivers (gee where have I heard this before), dropped passes, not enough use of Marcedes Lewis as a mismatch, the wrong linebackers in pass coverage (see every other article I've written practically), still a lack of pass rush at crucial moments in the game.