Back to square one – Game recap against the Chargers

Something is in the air in the West Coast lately which doesn’t taste well for the Jaguars. It was another disappointing loss over there, a game that was decided so early; that backup QB Luke McCown had 19 pass attempts…The Jaguars had 6 turnovers; all of them from their key offensive players. David Garrard had 4 interceptions and Maurice Drew and Mike Sims Walker fumbled 1 each. In the early part the defense tried to get the ball back 3 times (2 picks; and a forced fumble) in the first half; but in the second half they felled apart too.

477 total yards. We know the Chargers are good; but that statistic shows; that the Jaguars defense had a bad; bad day. Antonio Gates was a factor; but mostly in the red zone with 2 TD catches. The real contributors were Darren Sproles; FB Mike Tolbert and Malcolm Floyd. Tolbert and Sproles benefited from Ryan Matthews’s injury and both had a great day to running the ball too. This leads me to my 1st big concern: Terrance Knighton. Where is he lately? He must be dominating; and he didn’t do that 2 weeks in a row. Tyson Alualu also had a not so good day – did you heard his name often on Sunday? Because I didn’t… Derrick Harvey was nowhere again. Opposite to Aaron Kampman who is by far the Jaguars best player on the defense; and the only 1 player who put constant pressure to Rivers (alongside with Daryl Smith; who had the Jaguars only sack).  Larry Hart was once again nowhere; it’s time to see what Austin Lane can do; because so far neither Harvey nor Hart can rush the passer.

What else? We saw a couple more mistackle parade again; and sadly my fears about Mathis’s performance becoming true. That Malcolm Floyd 56 yard TD was his fault. Sadly this secondary once again showed; that can’t play well for 4 quarters. With that being said – Courtney Greene had a fantastic game: a forced fumble and a pick. What else can you ask from a backup SS? Not much. Another bright spot- David Jones had an interception too. This is more bad news for Derek Cox; who was inactive for this game. We can say this sadly: Knighton and Cox so far has a sophomore slump.

But the real concern I have is elsewhere. I name it- Maurice Jones Drew. He is not looking like the biggest threat of this team. Not even close. And not just because of the fumble 31 yards for 12 carry. Really? Meanwhile his back-up; Rashad Jennings had 38 yards for 9 carries. (which is a good news for the offense. He started to contribute big time) And his blocks looked often horrible. We always defended him; that he is the best all-around back of the NFL. I see nothing of it today. Slowly I start to believe that is something with that knee…

And David? After one of his best game; he had one of his worst. Although I must say 2; 5 of the 4 picks was not just his fault. The 3rd interception was horrible for sure. The 4th; I must see the tape; because he suffered another big hit. I was not okay with Koetter’s play calling either: slant run; slant all day long. And when the Jaguars finally started to look good; they made a turnover. By the way David will not have another 2007 season. Back then he had 3 picks in 12 games. Now in one game 4…By the way; his backup Luke McCown had a 100+ yard passing game on a regular season game. Sad note; he was injured and he will go to MRI soon…

On the bright side Marcedes Lewis; the 2 Mike’s (Sims-Walker and Thomas) and Jennings contributed very well. Jennings’s blocked punt is maybe the highlight of the game. Once again Zach Miler was nowhere; which is a little concern for me- since he is the big X-factor. Sadly Kassim Osgood not had that big day I expected from his return to San Diego…

Injury update: The Jaguars lost Justin Durant; and Luke McCown during thegame. Courtney Greene also hurt. We will see how bad the injuries of the first 2 are soon.

In conclusion; the Jaguars must do a lot of soul searching in the upcoming week. I would be not surprised if GM Gene will cut 1-2 players after this loss. I see again a lot of question marks (consistency; secondary; Knighton; Cox; MJD; just to name a few…). A very big game is on the horizon against the Eagles next Sunday. The Jaguars must find quick fixes; because they will need to win at least 1 of the next 2 home games; and neither one will be easy. They are sadly returned back to square one…

Zoltan Paksa

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