As much as I hate the man, I am very grateful to James Dolan, President/CEO of Cablevision (and unfortunately owner of the Knicks and Rangers), because he finally reached an agreement that got me NFL Network as of Friday. This enabled me (here in New York City, a place I figured I would in no way really be able to see the game) to watch a replay of the Jaguars impressive efforts against the Saints.
As a whole, I think that there were very few "losers" on the Jaguars this game. Nevertheless, I present my take on the "winners" and "losers" from the game.
- Blaine Gabbert - Following the Week 1 win against the Giants, I was ready to take that level of Blaine Gabbert for the entire 2012 season. Having seen his effort against the Saints, I think he has elevated the bar a bit for his 2012 season. Gabbert took hits and threw the ball quite well despite pressure. While I cannot say I thought he was great in all aspects of his game, he continues to show improvement, which at this stage is fantastic and quite promising.
- Justin Blackmon - What a way to make an entrance to the NFL. Going up against a pretty solid Saints secondary, Blackmon went ahead and snagged 4 balls for 48 yards and a TD. The numbers don't even tell the story, as Blackmon showed SUPERB hands as well as the ability to make the first tackler miss. JB14's performance was very encouraging. If he can stay out of trouble in the future, this Jaguars team will have themselves a very good WR, which has been missing from this team for quite some time.
- Rashad Jennings - "Holy crap!!" was going through my mind as I watched Jennings run the ball in the game. Jennings looked REALLY good to me. While I will not go out and say he improved on what I saw in the game against the Giants, the fact that he put up 2 straight solid outings against 1st unit defenses was encouraging given the MJD situation.
- Bradfield-Britton tandem - Rashad Jennings certainly can thank B&B for playing quite well on the left side of this patchwork O-Line. Not only did they play well in the run game though; while I deleted the DVR recording of the game, my memory is telling me that most of the pressure Gabbert had was from the right side of the offensive line(and a certain RT who I do not really like to acknowledge as being on this team)
- Chad Henne - It is really bad when you laugh at how bad a player on your favorite team is playing. While it is true that I was laughing at both Henne and Palmer for that exact reason, only Henne is going to make this list. The reason for this is two-fold, namely that I laughed at him more and I actually thought Palmer had a pretty solid showing against the Giants last week.
- Chris Prosinski - Now obviously this might be a bit rash, but watching Prosinski trail Joe Morgan on his 53 yard touchdown was just painful. Obviously I do not know what the play-call was, but Prosinski just seemed like he was out of position to me. Also, he did have 5 tackles, but they basically all came after the opposing player had a nice gain of yardage.
- Austen Lane- while Mincey was lock, the DE playing opposite him was/is very much up in the air. Lane going down with the injury coupled with Branch playing quite well on Friday, in the run game in particular, does not bode well for Lane.
- Maurice Jones-Drew - Just as Jennings was a winner, MJD is a loser. The consistently good play of Rashad Jennings leads me to believe that it is going to take longer for MJD to fully take over his role as RB1 of the team.The good play also more definitively takes leverage away from MJD in his contract dispute.