I get pretty excited when I talk about the Jaguars defense. In fact, were it not for some statistical nonsense, I'd say we're a top 3 defense, especially if you allow for some adjustment (namely, a Titans Mulligan, and disallowing the garbage time TD by the Chiefs). Of course, doing that is post-facto revisionism that's unacceptable, so I suppose we'll just have to prove it on the field and wait for the stats to catch up.
- Reggie Nelson had his first career interception. For the year he has 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, one interception, and three passes defended. I had some problems with his performance against Denver, but he's really been solid. Of course, I have no way of knowing how his on the field leadership is so far, but paring him with Sammy Knight has done very well so far. I don't see teams targeting Reggie like they should with a rookie free safety.
- Defensive Line Rotation: Whatever we're doing seems to work well as the pressure with our front four is pretty consistent no matter who's in the rotation.
- Stopping the Run: Yeah, Larry Johnson only rushed for 10 yards. Sammy Knight and Mike Peterson did a fantastic job making sure that LJ ran into a sea of Jaguars every time he touched the ball. Yeah, it meant that Tony Gonzalez got open a bit and had a big day, but Jacksonville has been challenged to stop the run and I've got a funny feeling that they had something to prove about our run defense. Think of it this way, we were averaging 137 rush yards per game before Sunday, now we're at 102.25.
While we're not as dominating as we were last season, we're clearly improving. Below is a (Very Crude) table charting the change as the season progresses. I emphasize the crudeness of this chart.
You'd be hard pressed to find anything completely out of whack about our performance on Sunday. I'd be a little critical of our pass defense, but we were completely commiting to the run, so it's to be expected. Considering that the Chiefs were decimated on 3rd down, I'd assume that our pass protection improved greatly on 3rd down situations. 28% is a good percentage for 3rd down conversions.
Ok, so the defense clearly held. It was a taste of the dominating performances that we're used to out of our team. We stayed healthy as well, so we should be well prepared to stop the Houston offense.
I'm going to see if I can enjoy the Tony Romo meltdown. Please check out my good friend over at Buffalo Rumblings for the best Buffalo coverage ever!
Tomorrow we'll finish covering the win with a little media wrap-up. I always enjoy a little revisionism after a win, so I'm curious to see what the pundits and talking heads say about us.