Wow... An exciting game indeed Jag fans. We needed this one, and we got it. We also learned some valuable things, one of them being the fact that our kicker is an undead vampire. We've all had our suspicions for years that he might be, everyone was just waiting for him to come out of the closet (so to speak). Well, it looks like this is his year because he's blown the closet door off it's hinges.
He's a recluse and leaves his sideline-coffin only to suck the life, nay, the very soul out of opposing teams. He's like a vengeful spirit of sorts, powered by the the disbelief of Duval County that stemmed from an 0-2 start, and has poured out his wrath over Indy and Houston... Will Pittsburgh be next?
Twice already this season he's shown us that he's an ice cold killer. Something he wasn't even close to being during his rookie year. NFLN did a "Hard Knocks" Training camp show focused on the Jaguars a number of years ago and a particular scene sticks out in my mind. The Vets all wanted the new rookie kicker to sing "Stand By Me" during lunch. Scobee was too scared to do it, and I remember thinking the he doesn't have the resolve to become a big time kicker. Times have changed now and he's transformed from the nervous rookie he was all those years ago, into an emotionless, dark, foreboding figure. Now, the mere utterance of his name elicits fear among his foes... Scobee... Watch out for him lurking along the sidelines this week, he loves night games... ;)
Matt Schaub looked like a superstar (as all Texan QB's do against Jacksonville). Why this happens, I don't know. Overall line play was average on the defensive line, which has got to improve. Everyone has been paid, and we need some production. We are bringing way too many corner blitzes in my opinion. I saw a play last week where we brought both cornerbacks on blitzes, and still didn't get to Schaub. I'm all for aggression, but that's borderline carelessness.
The real problem though, is our linebacker corp. They all seem to be struggling to grasp the system, although Darryl Smith and Clint Ingram are clearly outplaying Mike Peterson. Mike P is still the vocal leader of the defense, but he needs to bring his play in line with his leadership role. I think that Drayton Florence is finally starting to play well consistently, and I thought he had a nice game last week. I will say that Will James is not cutting it. Clive Owens (Texan TE) torched him last game. I say put B. Williams at nickel and let Sensabaugh stay at SS all the time. I think it is tough right now with all the injuries, we need Nelson back and Mathis to play at 100%.
Offensively, Matt Jones completed his transition from bust-to-Wilford this week. He has become a sure handed and solid route runner, just like Ernest was during his tenure. He's blocking, using his body to shield defenders from the ball, securing the ball well (no fumbles), making sharp cuts, and has even improved his hand usage and quickness. I can't say enough about how well he's getting off the line at the snap. He's using his size and his hands to keep from being re-routed on press coverage's, a major reason we've seen him covered soft so often. He's finally figured out how to use his size to beat press coverage, that is a major plus in any receiver's repertoire.
David Garrard is playing like David Garrard again. He is showing you why he's the highest paid player on the team. Precise passing, solid running, no mistakes. The Offensive line is finally showing some real cohesion. Give alot of credit to Andy Heck (click for bio). He's got our replacement players filling in well and seems to have coached up a nice young guard in Uche Nwari. Uche is playing at a very high level and once the line has it's fearless leader back, Dennis Norman will fill out the other guard position and this unit will again be a strength.
Joey "Delicious" Decamilis (click for bio) should get a game ball for how well the entire Special Teams unit played. Great kick coverage, above average returns, a game changing fake punt touchdown, and give him credit for the development of Adam Podlesh in only his second season. "Delicious" has got his unit flying to the ball every down they compete, and his ability to out-scheme opposing coaches has proven to be invaluable (onside kick, fake-punt). Talk about a coaching gem!
Enjoy .500 Jaguar Fans, we've earned it... We've got a tough one coming this week though, a huge game for both teams...