I have to admit; I love writing these. When time is short, throwing out brief thoughts for your reading pleasure serves to feed my personal need while hopefully giving you a good reason to stop by the site. Wanting this to be a better part of our blog I have thought about the format and will try out fewer comments, with them being solely Jaguar related. If you like it or hate, I'd love your feedback.
For those of you who may not know, a "brownout" is defined (thank you Wikipedia) as the following:
- Brownout (medical), a dimming of the vision caused by loss of blood pressure or hypoxia (sometimes referred to as a grey-out)
- Brownout (electricity), drop in voltage in an electrical power supply, so named because it typically causes lights to dim
- Brownout (aviation), reduced flight visibility due to airborne particles, especially from helicopter downwash
In either definition, the "dimming", "drop" or "reduced" reference seemed to aptly qualify the Jaguars play yesterday. As opposed to a "blackout", the team did not lose power and managed to give the fans another reason to believe this team's arrow is pointing up. One of the items we addressed on BCC Radio last night was that this team continues to have fun which not only is translating into victories but is also energizing a fan base that too has seen some brownouts.
The best thing about a brownout is that, unlike a blackout, the vision comes back, the power stays on and the skies clear.
Now on to my quick thoughts.
- I need to start with a non-football comment. When designing a game plan, some plays to setup others. For example, a team might run multiple wide receiver screens to setup a pump fake, deep throw. In Jacksonville, every home game shows a video highlight of a local soldier who is deployed overseas. Their family is brought onto the field at which point they get a standing ovation from the crowd. I have thought for weeks that at some point that solider is going to run onto the field to greet them. Well, this weekend was it. I don't recall the families name but the moment the soldier\husband\father\son ran onto the field with flowers in hand, hugged his wife and then held high his baby boy (who, I wondered, if he had ever seen in person) we were all observing something that was pure beauty. The officials actually had to pause the game to get them out of the end zone so play could resume. Best part of the day.
- The highlight of Derrick Harvey's sack was how it compared to one he didn't get earlier in the game. On that play Harvey looked slow and old as he tried to chase down Colt McCoy. It personified his inability to shift into high gear when needed (something Jeremy Mincey is not lacking). But on his sack, Derrick showed a desire and a burst that has been solely missing from his resume.
- Jacksonville silenced Cleveland's one dimensional offense by shutting down Peyton Hillis as a running threat. Hillis, who had 48 yards on 21 carries, had 9 carries for 13 yards in the second half: four of those were for no gain or negative yards. If not for Chris Johnson's late 35 yard touchdown run, the Jaguars have held Arian Foster (#1 rated running back), Johnson (#3 rated running back) and Hillis (#11 rated running back) under 100 yards.
- That being said, why Hillis was able to be a receiving threat in the first half is beyond me. He was wide open on too many plays: there should have been a linebacker shadowing him the entire game. However, if Derek Cox makes the tackle and McCoy doesn't manage to get off the flip pass before being sacked the damage is significantly less.
- As I noted in my Sunday article, Cleveland's second half offense is abysmal and it was this fact alone which kept me calm during the Jaguars early Christmas offensive gift giving. Though their 13 point output was their second highest second half production of the year (they had 17 vs New England), 10 of those points were from turnovers (fumble return for touchdown and a field goal after an interception in which the Browns offense did not generate a first down).
- In turn, the Jaguars once again showed they can get it done in the fourth quarter. In their four come from behind wins, where they scored a combined total of 110 points, 38 of those were in the final 15 minutes. Include the 31 third quarter points and over half of Jacksonville's scoring is occurring after the break.
- To be completely honest, I did get nervous when Evan Moore caught that 22 yard pass, putting Cleveland on the Jaguars 29 yard line. Why does it always seem like the other team's tight end is able to exploit the defense? Moore was targeted three teams and had three catches for 69 yards. Brian Daboll, the Browns offensive coordinator, did not do his homework.
- Three of the Jaguars top four leaders in tackles were linebackers. That stat, and what my eyes saw, tells me the Jaguars front four occupied the Browns offensive line which allowed Kirk Morrison (4) , Daryl Smith (6) and Justin Durant (7) to make plays. Terrance Knighton, Cox and Greene also had four tackles.
- I thought Cole Pepper made a great post game comment regarding Tiquan Underwood. When answering a caller's question he noted that Tiquan may have been asked to do too much; field kick offs along with more snaps at wide receiver due to Mike Sims-Walker's absence. While I'm not on the bash Underwood bandwagon, I have seen enough of him returning kicks to know Deji Karim is a better option and that Deji needs to be activated for every game. I also like him better as Maurice Jones-Drew's backup.
- Much applause goes to Jack Del Rio for not wasting his timeouts by throwing the challenge flag to review the Drew fumble and Courtney Greene's almost interception. However, calling the timeout after the third down sack of McCoy late in the fourth quarter made no sense. Cleveland had not timeouts left and would have needed to rush onto the field so Phil Dawson could attempt the 41 yard field goal into a swirling wind, where he had already missed a 51 yard try to the right. Additionally it would have been nice to have the final timeout just in case you had to challenge a play before the two minute warning (did anyone else think Drew got into the end zone on his 75 screen pass?).
- So what were you thinking the Jaguars should do with 2:00 minutes left and with a first and goal from the one? My friend and I joked they should take a knee on the first play to run some clock. The sweep to Rashad Jennings actually served the same purpose. Considering how easily McCoy drove the ball down the field you have to be pretty happy that the Jaguars were able to only leave them only 1:13 to work with.
- Looking into the future, is this team finishing 4-2 a real possibility? I'm not convinced they escape trips to New York and Indianapolis with wins, but at Tennessee doesn't look so intimidating and the Texans may have already packed it up before we finish the regular season in Houston. With inconsistent Oakland and Washington coming to town, a 10-6 season might be overly optimistic but still not irrational. As we discussed last night, as good as Jack's team has played, another late season melt down might blind us all to any progress made thus far.
If you haven't already done so, start finding those things to be thankful for!
Find a way to make it work
Leave old bags behind
This ride is a scream.
Ipecac - Son Volt
- Brian Fullford