The somewhat surging Jacksonville Jaguars made a long trip west to face the San Francisco 49'ers and left with yet another humiliating defeat on the west coast. This time, the Jaguars could not blame off-the-field distractions, as it was the abject failure of executing basic football principals, not late night encounters that would doom the team. Josh Scobee, the ever-reliable kicker, would miss two field goals, including the shortest miss of the 2009 Season. More on Scobee later. Maurice Jones-Drew would reach 1,000 yards for the season, but until the 4th quarter was largely bottled up.
The most pressing issue facing the Jaguars after this loss is their sudden inability to score inside the red zone. The Jaguars would get an solid start to a drive, move down the field and leave with no points on the board. It seemed like every time the Jaguars got anything moving, a mistake, drop, or fumble would end the drive and continue the beat down.
Alex Smith, as is par for the course for the Jaguars, looked like a first overall draft pick, not a player struggling to keep his job. The pass rush was a problem, the 49'ers attacked the Jaguars linebackers all day, and the team looked like the one that barely beat the Rams, not one that is in the hunt for a wild card spot.
In a lot of ways, I think, this is an appropriate place for the Jaguars to be. We're just not there yet, we don't have the talent on the field and what we do have needs another offseason to develop. Eugene Monroe had a very rough go of it today, with the offensive line allowing a beat-down on David. Of course, David didn't help himself with how long he held the ball (not to mention the one time he DID throw the ball away, he through to an empty spot on the field), but that's a whole different discussion.
No, no, this is a team that's put together some wins, is still somewhat "in the hunt" for the Wild-Card (everyone root against the Steelers tonight), and could still mount a surprise or two going into December. It's obvious, however, that the Jaguars will have to beat the Colts or Patriots to get to the post-season, and that may be a tall order to a roster that's struggled against the Rams and 49'ers.
But that's OK, that's my point here. It's still a fun, albeit frustrating team to watch. Did you see those quick tosses to Mike Thomas? That's going to be a hoot next season. Jones-Drew proved that he's a full-time back, but wait till Jennings is up to speed as a spell back. There's a whole hell of a lot to be excited about with this roster, but don't think for a second that they can sit back and wait for next year to turn things up a notch.
Jonathan's Rapid Reaction Commentary:
Jonathan and I were writing this at the same time, so we don't bury each-other with front-page posts, so I'm going to give Jonathan the floor for a bit.
The thing that sticks out to me the most about this game is the Jaguars continued poor redzone play. While everyone said their performance wasn't that bad when I compared it to other teams, they still had far more negative red zone possessions than any of the other AFC playoff contenders. Today was the culmination of that. 4 possessions. 3 points.
David Garrard now leads the league with seven lost fumbles. He got away with one last week vs Buffalo but wasn't so lucky this week. I'm now of the opinion the Jags need to strongly look at taking a QB in the first round, so long as it isn't Tebow.
Granted, whoever lines up under center is going to have a helluva time getting the ball off. The Jaguars offensive line might as well of stayed home in Jacksonville. The unit gave up 6 sacks and could've given up as many as 10 if not for some last second plays by Garrard.
Why oh why was Clint Ingram assigned to cover Vernon Davis on that 4th down play?
I honestly think Scobee's 21 yard miss will be his last as a Jaguar. If there isn't a headline on Monday saying Scobee was released I'll be shocked. I gave him a pass initially because most of his misses were from 50+, but now it's obviously part of a larger trend.
RCR's final thought:
If there was ever a game that we can win, it's taking on the emotionally devastated Texans at JMS on Sunday. At 6-5, losing to an NFC team in a week where Miami and Houston lose to division teams is good for Jacksonville. The Texans are on an emotional low right now, Jacksonville can do its business and go back to living week by week, just the way we like it.
Just don't lose perspective. We all get suckered in, teased by the tempation of playoffs. Gene has had one offseason at he helm, let's let him have another go at it before we get too spoiled.