Off of a tough loss at San Diego, the whole city wondered how this team would rebound. I find teams that rebound after losses are usually the playoff teams. But, this wasn't just a loss, this was a demoralizing excuse for a game. But, a game against the Eagles and their high powered offense with a speedy LeSean McCoy and burner receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin didn't bode well as a follow-up game. There were many questions surrounding Garrard's inconsistent play that led to his benching. How could a quarterback go from 3 TD 0 Int performance vs the Broncos to a 1 TD (on the last play that doesn't really count) 4 Int performance at San Diego the week after.
The would-be X factor: Michael Vick. I was worried that the Jags defense would have to play with him. I was praying for Kevin Kolb to start. It didn't happen. To deal with a rejuvenated QB with new found pocket presence and accuracy, not to mention the ability to take off in a minute's notice and pick up huge chunks of yardage. The Eagles were coming off a dynamic performance in Detroit the week before. I had Jackson and McCoy on my fantasy team, and I was really hoping I lost my game because they did so bad. This game would prove to be the rebound the Jaguars were not looking for.
- The Jaguars defense look great on the first drive despite an opening kick return to the Jaguar 45 by Ellis Hobbs. A quick 3 and out highlighted by a dropped 3rd down conversion by DeSean Jackson over the middle gave quick hope.
- The offense didn't respond like the fans hoped. A great run by Jones-Drew for 17 on a blitz where he made a fantastic cutback. A pass to Rashad Jennings for 15 got the Jaguars moving in the right direction, but Garrard was eating turf early as Trent Cole was applying plenty of pressure. A sack by Darryl Tapp set up a 3rd and 17 that just proved too much for the Jaguars offense. A lowly screen to Jones-Drew for a loss forced a Podlesh punt.
- The Eagles offense gets on track. A couple LeSean McCoy carries set up a 3rd and 2 conversion where Vick bootlegs and easily picks up 10 untouched. On a play-action the next play, Terrance Knighton bull rushes through a couple of lineman and tramples Vick for a sack. After a non-existant performance the week before, the pass rush was there again and it was needed. The elusive Vick has to have a heavy dose of rushes and blitzes to disrupt his timing.
- The defense breaks in the blink of an eye. On a 3rd and 16, Vick drops back, has plenty of time to throw, and launches the ball with a flick of the wrist 61 yards to DeSean Jackson for a touchdown the league has been so accustomed to seeing out of the big-play Jackson. David Jones was matched on him, which is clearly a mismatch, but he's quickly beat and the emergency help over the top from Michael Coe was nonexistent to say the least. Coe read the pass wrong, stepped in front too far, and Jackson easily takes it the distance up the sideline.
- A couple 3 and outs by each team ensued. An electrifying punt return by Mike Thomas for 41 yards put the Jaguars in great field position to start the 2nd quarter.
- The offense does nothing with the good field position. On a 3rd and 6 Garrard gets sacked; too many defenders stacked in the box just overwhelmed the minimal protection available. An invalid fair catch signal (a fair catch followed by fielding the ball) put the Eagles offense at their own 5. A three and out was the result as on third down Vick got pummeled by Knighton again as he threw. Knighton really stepped up in this game following the criticism he received from Del Rio during the week.
- A drive starting at midfield set the Jaguar offense up, yet again. Runs by Jones-Drew of 10, 4, and 2 yards set up a nice 3rd down completion to Marcedes Lewis for a first down. The offense stalls and a Scobee 51 yard field goal puts the score at 7-3 Eagles.
- The Eagles offense starts deep in its own territory. A couple short passes leads to a crossing route where DeSean Jackson is wide open for 25 yards. On a 3rd and 14 a pass interference on Sean Considine gives the Eagles an easy 1st down. On a controversial 4th and 1 a couple plays later, Mike Bell is stopped short on a blast. Andy Reid challenged the spot of the ball, but the ruling is upheld and the ball is turned over on downs.
- The Jaguars offense does not take advantage. A drive stalls quickly. It seems almost anything the Jaguars do is ineffective in execution. The Eagles, on the other hand, get their offense going again. Vick nearly gets sacked by Kampman but the ever-elusive QB manages to dump the ball away. A key third down conversion for 21 yards to Brent Celek deep down the middle, followed by a pass to Maclin for 12 yards set up another big play.
- With 12 seconds left before halftime at the Jaguar 16, Vick drops back, literally surveys the field twice he has so much time, and finds Maclin cutting back door on a tripped up Rashean Mathis for a touchdown to put the Eagles up 14-3. This seems to happen every week-a demoralizing touchdown before halftime to swing momentum.
A key stat at halftime: the Jaguars have 76 total yards of offense. One word comes to mind-pathetic.