Well guys, Maurice Jones-Drew finally showed up to camp this past weekend and good thing, because according to Adrian Peterson we would have been terrible without him. If he’s referring to the 2011 Jaguars offense, then that’s definitely a FACT since they ranked dead last in yards per game. With that, the first edition of Friday Fact or Fiction is officially underway. Every Friday I’ll provide a few statements about the season in general or the upcoming game (or the recently played game when we play on Thursday night) and classify it as fact or fiction. I know it’s a gimmicky premise for an article but I give exactly zero craps. Seriously, not a single one. So let’s get started.
Rashad Jennings illustrating how to give zero craps.
The Jaguars offense will be terrible in 2012 without MJD: FICTION
No one thinks the Jaguars are better without Maurice Jones-Drew, but the team certainly seemed to benefit from his absence during training camp and the preseason. With MJD out of the picture, the new coaching staff was able to develop an identity without the team’s superstar. This presented the opening for what needed to be done – this needed to become Blaine Gabbert’s team. Of course it helped to have Rashad Jennings consistently running for 4+ yards and Justin Blackmon breaking tackles, but Gabbert instilled enough confidence in his teammates to earn their vote for team captain on offense. Having MJD will definitely help, but the Jaguars’ offense was going to improve even if he wasn’t on the train.
Blaine Gabbert will throw for 200+ yards and 2 TDs against the Vikings: FACT
Why yes, I am stupid enough to think I can accurately predict individual statistics. 200 yards and 2 TDs sounds like a pretty average game, but last year that would have been one of Blaine’s best performances. Even though I do buy into the new and improved Blaine hype, this prediction is predicated more by my confidence in Eugene Monroe. Blaine showed in the preseason that given the time and a clean pocket he can make some outstanding throws and good decisions. Eugene is primed for a big year and in order to catapult his status to that of an All-Pro he’ll need to shut down Jared Allen. I think he will.
“I WILL THROW FOR THIS MANY TOUCHDOWNS!”
Matt Kalil will keep Andre Branch in check: FICTION
This one is a little bit tricky. The Jaguars have generally been playing Branch at right defensive end and Jeremy Mincey at left, but as Jeff Lageman pointed out in the latest Jaguars this Week radio show, the Jaguars might look to flip the two ends. The scouting report on Kalil is that although he is very athletic and far along with his technique, he needs to work on his strength and power as a drive blocker. Coincidentally enough, Mincey’s most effective move is the bull rush so the coaching staff may try to exploit this matchup.
Percy Harvin will go for 100+ receiving yards: FICTION
Percy Harvin is a dangerous receiver and he seems all the more scary without Derek Cox and Rashean Mathis manning the edge of the defense. This has led most fans to think Percy Harvin is going to have a field day against Aaron Ross and William Middleton (and possibly Kevin Rutland). I’m more inclined to think the coaches will gameplan to keep Harvin covered. My worries lie more with the tight ends Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson. Tight ends had some pretty good days against our defense last year (Dustin Keller, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Jared Cook) and with so much focus on Percy Harvin, Christian Ponder could find his tight ends open often.
My last fact every week will be my sure-to-be comically incorrect prediction for the game. So let the embarrassment begin.
Jaguars 24 – Vikings 14
– Daniel Lago