While the talk around the water coolers in Jacksonville will likely revolve around the performances of David Garrard and Blaine Gabbert, the performance of the first-team defense was certainly encouraging with the exception of one play five minutes into the 2nd quarter that resulted in a Falcons touchdown.
Despite being put in poor field position after a Brent Grimes interception return, the Jaguars defense was able to stop the Falcons to a field goal after giving up a first down to Michael Turner. The next Atlanta first down didn't come until Matt Ryan hit Roddy White with 11 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter.
On the two drives prior, the Jaguars forced three and outs and a pair of punts deep in Atlanta territory. Perhaps most impressive was the front four defensive lineman for the Jaguars that managed to generate consistent pressure without blitzes. Tyson Alualu and Jeremy Mincey proved to be a strong pass rushing duo, pairing up to disrupt the Falcons passing rhythm on multiple occasions.
Also impressive was 2nd year linebacker Kyle Bosworth who started in the place of Clint Session. Earning the starting spot in the rotation after a strong performance in week 1, Bosworth helps to calm the thought that the Jaguars linebacking corps are thin after the starting three.
Lastly, the cornerback duo of Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox refused to give the talented pair of Roddy White and Julio Jones any separation. White caught his first pass of the game 19 minutes into the game and Jones didn't get a reception until the 2nd half.
While the defense certainly isn't as deep as the Jaguars would ideally like; the performance by the starters, minus Aaron Kampman, is encouraging. Against one of the NFL's top starting offenses, I'd even go so far as to say exciting.