This post is sponsored by Comcast and their NFL RedZone channel, a new NFL Network channel. Want to see every touchdown from every NFL game as it happens as well as live look-ins to all of Sunday's games in key situations? Then you need Comcast's NFL RedZone.
Ok, we're back to reality in Jacksonville. After beating the Texans and stunning the Titans, the Jaguars revealed a little more of their true colors in a 41-0 beat down by the Seattle Seahawks. The team faced adversity, losing Mike Sims-Walker due to a "rules violation" and the distraction of whatever the heck Quentin Groves was doing on the road on the way to the game. In both cases, the players apologized to the team, the Weavers, and the fans for their behavior. Unfortunately for both, there's not much for us to highlight in the red zone.
We also learned something about Dirk Koetter's offense, that it's far less effective without a solid slot receiver to open the box for the running game. Houston and Tennessee showed us that Wide Receiver Mike Thomas is a game changer, not so much when he catches the ball, but when teams are forced to account for his motion. This end-around or reverse option forces a linebacker to respect the threat, putting one less player in between Maurice Jones-Drew and the end zone. Putting Mike Thomas on the outside, opposite of Torry Holt, took away that threat.
Surprisingly, Tight End Hybrid Zach Miller didn't receive much in the way of action. I envision him developing into a Dallas Clark sort of player for the Jaguars, perfect for the slot in the same way that Mike Thomas plays, though it's yet to be seen what happens on the field.
The Jaguars now look toward a home game against the struggling St. Louis Rams (Limbaugh's?). After the Tennessee game, we saw the Seahawks and Rams as a pair of easy wins, pushing the Jaguars to a 4-2 record at the bye week. Now we see a Rams team that probably smells blood in the water going against a Jaguars team that looked overwhelmed and underprepared. That said, I can't imagine a situation where the coaches could sit in that film room and watch the debacle and not dedicate every waking moment to salvaging a win out of the situation. If there was any week where the Jaguars could show some sign of a pass-rush, this would be the week as their offensive line is sub-par and Mark Bulger is coming back. Bulger, despite being my back-to-back fantasy football championship quarterback a few years ago, is a quarterback that can be pressured into making mistakes (and often out of the game).
Stat of the Week: The New York Jets, with Blitz Happy Rex Ryan, had four team sacks going into the Monday Night Game. The Jacksonville Jaguars have a total of four teams sacks with a much more passive approach. Why is it that the Jets pressure the QB and the Jaguars tackle air?
Final Thought: My thoughts on Jack Del Rio are well known. This is a big week for him. There's no excuse for the Jaguars to fall to the Rams at home. Falling to weaker teams is a common trend in the Del Rio era, he needs to break character and deliver a win. It's as simple as that. Should Del Rio lose, the drumbeat will start to get awfully loud.