Here's Freek1969's Post Game Grades. Thanks to him for reporting his commentary. I'll be back later!
Here is my take on the Jaguars performance today. If some of the grades seem a little harsh, take into consideration that the team they played was crappy enough they would have lost to Miami's practice squad today.
Pass Offense- B+ David Garrard has really stepped up his game in accuracy and consistency this season. Today's game was the worst game STATISTICALLY this season, and this was against a defense that was good only in spurts. Garrard went 20/36 260yds and 2 TD for 55% completion. Despite this, the completions he did make, many of them were crucial successes. The Red Zone Offense is in serious need of a swift kick in the rear. Inefficiency in the red zone will kill us in the playoffs..period.
Rushing Offense- A The rushing game was on par for a team heading into the playoffs. Tony Pashos, Robert Collier and Khalif Barnes had outstanding play, opening up holes for Taylor.
Passing Defense- A- Allowing no explosive plays today was a step in the right direction. Although Vinny Testeverde is an aging veteran, he is cagey and has been known to be deadly accurate in the long ball. The cornerbacks did a great job of taking away those plays. Rashean mathis did an excellent job of keeping Steve Smith in check.
Rushing Defense- A+ Deshaun Foster is a legitimate threat in the running game and the Jags kept him in check all game. The Panthers gained only 50 rushing yards for the game. Will this continue next week against Willie Parker and the Steelers, especially if Stroud is seriously hurt? I hope so.
Special Teams- C The special teams did nothing spectacular other than getting one good run back. They were average.... they didn't try anything fancy or proactive, but they didnt cost us the game either.
Coaching- B- Overall the play calling was better than average. It was the talent on the field that made the play calling look pretty good, instead of the play calling making the players look good today. There was a nice mix of pass and run plays, yet the Jags didnt establish either a run game or a passing game, and force the Panthers to stop them. The game plan seemed to be more of a "take what they give me" offense instead of a "take what I want" atitude that will be essential in the playoffs.
Overall it was a nice 31 point win over the Panthers. I am really still concerned about the passing defense after last week... they werent really tested this week to see if they have improved. Next week will tell against Big Ben.
Red Zone efficiency is seriously ill and needs to be taken to the Level 1 Trauma unit at University Hospital. You can have a great defense, but if you cannot put the "biscuit in the basket, milk the cow, or put the grain in the silo" in the playoffs, we will be one and done.
This game will really make the case for Fred Taylor to go to the Pro Bowl. 10 years in the league and he has 940 rushing yards this season with three games to go. 3 consecutive 100+ games from the Old Man is surely a good case. It seems Fred is breaking some record every game this season, if he doesnt make it this year, it will be clear there is a bias against small market teams.
I want to thank Chris for giving me the opportunity to express myself on his fantastic blog that I read religiously..thanks Chris.
I hope you will feel free to post your comments and join the discussion on this post as well as join us for the fast paced live blog Chris runs during each game.