Hello to my friends in Black and Teal ! After a long offseason I’m finally coming back to write a column on the site. For those people who don’t know me yet, I’m Fabio Ríos from Chile, a big Jaguars fan since 1996 and also a sports journalist.
On Sunday, after eight months waiting for this moment, I saw the game on the Internet, as some of my other friends did (one of them also a Jaguars fan), and I came out of it pretty impressed with the Jaguars’ performance.
My takes from the crucial 24-17 win over the Broncos:
The Good: Aaron Kampman was the player of the game, by far. What a fantastic pickup by General Manager Gene Smith. The guy showed his non-stop motor, his leadership and talent. I counted six knockdowns of Kyle Orton and several other hurries. Amazing performance for us, long time suffering pass-rush deprived Jaguars fans.
- David Garrard: proved that if he has time, he’s a 10-15 QB in this league. Still not a star, but you can win 10-12 games with him having a good year.
- Eugene Monroe seemed like a monster at times. While Eben Britton struggled against Robert Ayers’ spin move at times, the 8th overall pick from the 2009 Draft was amazing. Can’t wait to see him against Dwight Freeney or DeMarcus Ware later this season.
- Rashean Mathis, Greg Jones: old pros, gamers.
- Special teams: Deji Karim. Scotty McGee. Now Tiquan Underwood. Russ Purnell is doing something right. And that’s not mentioning the solid Kassim Osgood, Adam Podlesh and Josh Scobee.
- No mayor injuries.
The disappointments: We all know about this one. It’s not worth mentioning, other than we are all afraid that this could be Gene Smith first big mistake as a GM. Didn’t like the body language, the angles, the tackling. One of my favorite Jaguars in 2009 put on a stinker.
- Sean Considine was shaky at times, but made a few plays late in the game. Justin Smiley was better than expected but committed some penalties.
- Mike Sims-Walker: no catches. I don’t care that he was facing two excellent corners like Bailey and Goodman. The good receivers still manage a couple of catches against the top CB’s, especially with today’s rules.
- Tim Tebow: enough said.
The surprises: David Jones stepping up at crunch time showing great awareness and keeping all in front of him. Nice from a guy acquired eight days ago.
- Kassim Osgood is a “backup tight end”. I didn’t know that.
Next Week: Jaguars make the dreaded cross country trip to San Diego. The Chargers haven’t played yet, so it’s difficult to predict this one, but no Vincent Jackson helps. We’ll see what Jack Del Rio decides to do with the number two CB spot. That could be critical in this game.
Prediction: Chargers 27-21 Jaguars