On the surface, the Jaguars had yet another sub par red zone performance against the Jets. The Jaguars only scored one touchdown in three trips inside the Jets 20 yard line, making it 14 out of 28 for the year. The only touchdown came on a David Garrard scramble.
However, the other two trips inside the 20 were the one's that everyone is still buzzing about. Maurice Jones-Drew's fumble and kneel down were to the bane of every fantasy owner who had a close loss this week. Not to mention nearly season wrecking plays for the Jaguars.
The first major play was the fumble. Quentin Groves made a rare meaningful contribution by intercepting a Mark Sanchez pass and looked like he was going in for a touchdown. Instead, he tripped inside the 5 yard line to setup a first and goal. On the ensuing 2nd and goal, a bad exchange between David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew resulted in a fumble that the Jets recovered.
That marked the fifth red zone turnover of the year for the Jaguars and their seventh red zone possession with no points on the season. Or in other words, one out of every four red zone trips for the Jaguars have resulted in no points.
This is a trend that has to stop if the Jaguars want to end the season with a winning record. Even if those turnovers end up being Scobee field goals, 3 points is better than nothing.
The other play that everyone is talking about is Maurice Jones-Drew's knee down at the one yard line. Coach Del Rio ordered Jones-Drew to take a knee at the one if the Jets allowed him to walk into the end zone so that the Jaguars could run out the clock and kick a field goal to win.
The national media is comparing this to Brian Westbrook's play, half the time forgetting the caveat that the Eagles were ahead at the time. They're calling it a great effort, a sign of what a team player Jones-Drew is, etc.
I would call it the obvious decision considering the situation. If Jones-Drew scores a touchdown, that gives the Jaguars a 5 point lead and an obvious two point conversion attempt upcoming. Regardless of if they make it or not, the Jags would've kicked it off to the Jets with approximately 90 seconds remaining.
Is it really a smart thing to give the ball back to an offense that had been moving well in the second half, with a defense that had spent most of the 2nd half on the field and had just lost it's best player in Rashean Mathis?
I can understand the argument against taking the knee at the one. The Jaguars have had two kicks blocked already this year (1 FG and 1 XP), not to mention the possibility of a bad snap. However, those are two exceptions to the rule with a 20 yard FG.
What is the standard MO for a two minute offense in the NFL these days? A QB having all day against a three man rush before finding a receiver open in a hole in the zone. Sanchez already had a few deep throws open that either he miss timed or were dropped.
What happens if the Jets get a good return out to the 35, Sanchez hits either Edwards or Cotchery for a big gain, and then all of the sudden the Jets are inside the Jags 25 with a minute to play? We're sitting here shaking our heads at the defense this morning.
Is it so hard to see that scenario playing out in Jack's head as he gave the order to Jones-Drew to just take the knee? I'll take the play where the negatives are the exception to the rule, rather than the expected outcome.