It’s always a good time when the Jags beat Indy. I get to call my dad (his whole family lives in Indiana) and brag, I get to walk with my head held high after we dominate one of the most dominant forces of the past decade, and I get to mention the win whenever anybody brings up that they think the Jags are a subpar team. But, despite the pleasure of all those things, the crispest bit of Sunday was the win. Oh so so crisp! But let’s examine some of the elements that made this game so crispy, and what made it not so crispy.
The Crispest of the Crispies: Josh Scobee. I don’t care that he won the game. Really. Ok, well maybe a little. But the fact is, when your number is called to kick a 59 yarder you have a lot of pressure on you. When you get called to kick 59 yards to take the lead, you have more pressure. When you get called to kick a 59 yarder to take the lead against a division rival, you have even more pressure. When you get called to kick a 59 yarder to take the lead against a division rival in the waning seconds? Yeah, you get the idea. And Scobee didn’t just barely make it, he made it look easy. It’s tough to kick the ball twenty yards (for most of us), not to mention that high and without the pressure. He did his job, and he did it well. He was so crisp! Seriously, have you seen a crisper field goal before?
2nd Crispest: Kirk Morrison. Sure, his numbers weren’t fantastic (8 tackles, 2 assists), but he was through the line in a heartbeat. He consistently got in the way of runners, forcing them to change their routes. He put pressure on Peyton Manning, he fired up the other guys, and he just looked plain mean (though I’m certain he’s a very nice guy). I was very pleased with his play. I was even more pleased that he wasn’t used in coverage (which is not his strong-suit from what I can tell). He put in a solid, rather crisp, game.
Just as Crispy: Gerald Alexander. When he was cut I was not too pleased. He may not be the flashiest or best safety in the league, but he is rather consistent. You can count on him in the secondary. And he certainly delivered during this game (3 tackles, 3 assists). But the numbers don’t reflect his presence on the field. Like Morrison, Alexander was all over the field. He stepped a little too close on some plays and couldn’t help over the top as a result, but he put in a ton of effort and secured his spot on the roster. I am very pleased to see him back and expect him to earn a starting role unless Considine ups his play when he gets back.
3rd Crispest: David Jones. Yes, I am aware that he let Reggie Wayne set a new personal record for most catches caught in a game. Yes, I am aware that he allowed a ton of yards for Peyton Manning. Yes, I am aware that he allowed Reggie Wayne to get that huge gain after leaving him wide open over the top. But, who didn’t expect Peyton Manning to get over 300 yards this game? He already has over a 1,000 yards on the season. And did we really expect Reggie Wayne to stay quiet when our defense couldn’t afford to double him in coverage all game due to our new “get to the quarterback” game-plan? David Jones played well. He led the team in tackles (not always a good thing for a corner) with 9 (and 2 assists). And those tackles came almost always right after Wayne caught the ball. Sure, he got beat, but he made sure his man didn’t break away and streak off. Reggie Wayne will catch balls no matter who is on him, and Jones did a great job of stopping him after he caught the balls. Not to mention that Jones had two almost picks (one that would have sealed the game too!), and a fumble forced. Jones played well and looked to be in crisp form. I was impressed!
Not So Crisp (Soggy): David Garrard. He played very well (So this is a testament to how well I think the Jags played overall), but his play was very, very close to being very poor. He almost threw two picks, threw off his back foot on more than five throws (A beginner mistake, and he’s not a beginner), and overthrew his man on a few plays. That said, he was 17 of 22, had three TDs (1 running, two throwing) and he pulled out a win for the Jaguars. If his play was more polished and I didn’t cringe every time he threw the ball (mostly due to those 4 picks against San Diego) he wouldn’t be down here. But he did win, and I like that. So, my dear David isn’t quite soggy, but he certainly was Not So Crisp.
– Luke N. Sims