How the Jaguars are changing for the better!

If you go back to the early part of the season, it was hard to trust the Jaguars. They would do something wonderful and then the next week look awful.  The Monday Night game against Tennessee was a breaking point for me. That game showed nothing.But the Jaguars are showing something now. They are beginning to knock on the door of a serious playoff contender.

After the jump, let’s look at five reasons this might be occurring. See if you agree or have some ideas yourself.

The Offensive Line is working better.  I am no expert but I have always liked Vince Manuwai and suspected Justin Smiley wasn’t healthy. Vince Manuwai is working out very well next to Eugene Monroe. I also like what Jordan Black has been doing on the right tackle side. Maybe he doesn’t have the upside of Eben Britton but he has a lot of experience and is holding his own over there. The sacks I saw David take were coverage sacks, not as much line breakdown sacks. Plus the running has improved in the last three games.  This is the offensive line we needed all year.

Maurice looks healthy again.   They wouldn’t admit Maurice Jones-Drew was injured but he looked completely different against Houston than any other time. The quickness was back, the power was back, Maurice was back. The game against Cleveland proved it.  He was as fresh on the last play as he was on the first play. He feels good again and you can see it. With the line more solid and Maurice healthy, we are much stronger now.

The run stopping quarterback hassling defensive line has emerged.  I might not buy into all of the Gene Smith hype, but Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu are fantastic football players. Terrance Knighton is better right now. Houston was determined to run the ball and they couldn’t do it. Cleveland was determined to run the ball and they couldn’t do it. The Jaguars can run the ball and stop the run. They are reforming into a physical team. Kudos to Jeramy Mincey as well!

Marcedes Lewis has decided to be great. He always had the talent, always. But there is not a more valuable tight end in this league right now than Marcedes. Want him to block? You got it. Want him downfield in the seam? You got it. Want him at the goal line? He is there. That touchdown against Cleveland was a highlight catch and score. Every game he gets better and can carry the team in critical situations.

The Jaguars are physical again.  When I moved down here in 2005, I fell in love with the physical hard hitting nature of how they played. That left the team about mid-year 2008 and I haven’t seen it since. Well, not until the last two or three games.  I watched the offensive line blow Cleveland off the line. I saw eight guys on the Cleveland defense try to stop us and couldn’t. I saw people helping Cleveland players up and to the side lines all game. I saw Colt McCoy go down repeatedly. I even saw Derrick Harvey catch him. BAM, BAM, BAM on every play, the Jaguars were hitting and hitting hard. Cleveland was supposed to be a physical team, they weren’t. We were. Unbelievable good fun to watch.

I know we should have lost the game against Cleveland due to turnovers. There is no way to do that every week and win. The Jaguars will be blown out again if they do commit that many turnovers. However, there is some really good football being played right now by our team. We will need it, but I am enjoying them again. Real football is emerging in jacksonville again.

How about you? How do you see it?

- Terry O’Brien

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    I agree with every point of you Terry. Except Jordan Black. He is in my opinion the biggest threat of having a great offense. He gave up the most sacks since he is in the lineup. Against the Giants theJaguars must use a 6th O-lineman (Ironic the role Black had when Britton was healthy) or David might injured ion Sunday. I hope Adam Terry is ready to play…

  • donkeykong12

    I’m not sure what games you’ve been watching Zoltan but Jordan Black has played great since joining the starting lineup. Monroe, Manuwai, and Uche have all given up more sacks than he has in the last 4 games he has been in there. Eben was not having a good year this year prior to his injury and the Jags have only gotten better since he left and Black joined the lineup. He has given up 1 sack in 4 games…go back and look at the stats…that is a lot less than any of the other lineman he is lined up with. He also has 8 years under his belt and has played every premier pro bowl defensive end in the league successfully. Not something you can say about the other tackles on the team….just sayin. Oh and he had a monster run block game against the Browns this week. Do your homework

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Okay- I take it. But his big test will come on Sunday…If he (and the rest of the Jaguars O-line)pass the test; against that D-line. I’M will be the happiest man.

      Although please let me have my (seriousa) concerns about this topic.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Not one to say ‘i was right” but in Jaguars This Week – Jeff Lageman was not so optimistic about Jordan Black. He said Tuck versus Black is a matchup he not wanna see on Sunday…He is the weakpart of the O-line for sure. Sorry but this is the truth. We need a 6th lineman there!