1. The right signs. We begin this final 2012 regular-season Fabulous Four with Justin Blackmon, and specifically, the rookie wide receiver’s recent improvement. That we’re talking about Blackmon’s improvement is significant considering the circumstances the No. 5 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft faced this season. Many observers throughout the first half of the season speculated that he might be a bust, and indeed he struggled during that time with drops, and what appeared at times to be sloppy route running. Some even questioned his desire and effort level. But throughout that stretch, Head Coach Mike Mularkey reiterated that he liked Blackmon’s approach, and in the second half of the season, Blackmon has shown why.
The Jaguars defense hit Tom Brady Sunday more than any other team has in the past three seasons. Even though they blitzed on only 11 per cent of the snaps, the Boston Globe reported that their 13 hits on him were four more than the previous high set three times since the start of the 2010 season. And the Jaguars pressured him on almost half his dropbacks. The Globe didn't give the Jaguars much credit for the performance, blaming it on the Patriots' poor play. The paper said that except for a few players, the offensive performance -- especially by the linemen -- was as bad as it was in a 37-31 victory over the Bills on Nov. 11. Brady even called out his teammates after the game. And receiver Brandon Lloyd was not on the same page with Brady at times in the first half.
JACKSONVILLE – All in all, Bryan Anger said he’s pleased. Anger, the Jaguars’ rookie punter, said absolutely there are things that could have been better this year. Absolutely, he could have been more consistent. And there are areas on which he will work in the offseason. But to have the season he had? And to have been named a Pro Bowl second alternate? Even considering the improvement he expects in the near future, and even considering the expectations surrounding him entering the season, Anger said no question he has to consider his first NFL season a success.