In 2009, it was easy to develop an offensive and defensive game plan against the Jaguars. While on offense, the opponents knew there would be no pass rush. The Jaguars allowed a higher pass completion percentage than any other team except the Lions. They also allowed the highest yards per catch in the AFC South.
They allowed only 8 runs of 20 or more yards. This is great when facing the Titans Chris Johnson. In passing, however, they allowed 48 pass plays of 20 or more yards. The best team against big pass plays? The Indianapolis Colts allowed only 27 receptions of 20 or more yards.
The game plan for most opponents was to sit and wait until someone was open. Heck, even Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Bills threw for 300 yards including a 98 yard completion to Terrell Owens. With no pass rush, Derek Cox learning the position, and Reggie Nelson shoulder bumping people into the end zone, there wasn’t much offensive planning needed.
When the Jaguars were on offense, all the defense had to do was yell “boo” and the guards and tackles and center closed their eyes. David Garrard was hit more than any other quarterback. Seriously, how they won any games was beyond me. I do think Eugene Monroe developed very well later in the season.
But let’s fast forward into 2010. Let’s pretend for a moment that Aaron Kampman is healed and effective. Let’s pretend Reggie Hayward is too. Let’s pretend Tyson Alualu is a real player worthy of his draft status. Let’s pretend any of the other rookies develops. Let’s pretend there is an actual effective pass rush. Maybe it will be true.
So how do you beat the Jaguars defense then? The field shrinks down. There is no time for deep patterns. There is no time to stand and wait for someone to get open. There is no unhurried throws. Well, there might be some, but not all of them. How do you beat the Jaguars then? Anyone have an idea?
Let’s pretend the offensive line improves. Let’s pretend Kynan Forney is a real starter. Let’s pretend Eben Britton learns better technique. Let’s pretend Vince Manuwai heals his ACL. Let’s pretend it is easier for David to relax and easier for Maurice to find holes. I know it hard to imagine, but it might be true. How do you defend the Jaguars? How will it be done?
Folks, a lot of the 2010 season depends on the veterans on this team coming through. No more last in the league offensive and defensive lines. If they are even in the middle of the NFL in getting sacks and preventing sacks, we are going to have a good year.
Someone tell me how to beat the 2010 Jaguars. I want to hear a good rational argument.
[Zoltan's Note: Well I have 2 arguments. Argument Nr. 1: Too many "pretends that XY player becoming...". Too many if's are there; but let's hope most of the players you mentioned can step up and except the challenge this team will face this year. Argument Nr. 2: the secondary- to be specific; the safeties. I still not see right now where the help for covering TEs will come from. And the fact that Reggie Nelson is considered as a strong contender for a starting job-remeber everyone; last year he was the holder at kickoff..that's how much he was looked DONE in Jacksonville- shows very well; how big is the problem there...]
- Terry O’Brien