ProFootballFocus does a ReFocus article on every game, where they review the game after grading the individual and team play. I’ll highlight the highlights of PFF’s Refocus article on the Jaguars-Vikings game – and we better get started before my Sharpie Accent dries out.
Guy Whimper is a turnstile.
— Shocker, I know. But man, did he make Brian Robinson look good – good enough to tally a +9.8 score as defined by PFF (as a reference, Jared Allen tallied a -5.4 score in Week 1). To be fair, Brian Robinson isn’t exactly a scrub. A break-out player last year in very similar to the way Laurent Robinson was, Robinson finished the year with 8.0 sacks, 13 QB hits, and 54 total pressures, ranking him as the 6th best 4-3 pass rusher with a pass rush score of +9.3. Granted, facing RTs and having Jared Allen on the other side helps, but with numbers like those, Robinson could be the best #2 defensive end in the league (Von Miller / Elvis Dumervil will probably have something to say about that). Maybe Whimper was just straight up out-matched by a budding star?
Speaking of Jared Allen, the guy was hog-tied by Eugene Monroe.
— For all the talk about how the pass rush has been a problem in Jacksonville for so long, the Jaguars pass-blocking seems to get a relative pass (see what I did there?). Perhaps it’s due to the dominant run-blocking of the Jaguars a half-decade ago, but the pass-blocking has needed improvement for at least a decade (or so it seems). With that, we have to give props to Eugene Monroe, who PFF described as “perfect in pass protection”. For Monroe, the talent has always been there, but consistency has been the problem. Every year, however, he continues to progress, and a game like this against the leading sack-getter of 2012 and the best pass rushing team in the league was huge for him, Blaine, and the Jags passing game.
— Was it just me, or would we have dominated this game if we could tackle Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson? Unless you hide his aspirin, Harvin is downright difficult to tackle in general, but we made him look like he was back playing in the SEC. More disturbing, though, was the dominating performance AP had in the run game. Coming off of injury, he should’ve been the one afraid of contact, not us.
Secondary problems are our primary problem.
— You don’t need me or PFF to tell you how bad the Jags looked in the secondary. The CBs and Safeties looked perpetually a step slow, and when they did have an opportunity to make a play, they didn’t deliver (I’m looking at you Chris Prosinski). Blaine’s good game was overshadowed by what the Jags secondary allowed Ponder to do, especially in the second half. Effectively losing your top two corners (Mathis is still a shell of himself) will do that to you, but the cornerbacks and safeties really have find a way to make plays.
Secondary secondary problems: generating a pass rush.
For all the talk about the pass rush in training camp and preseason, how bad did the Jagaurs defensive line look on Sunday? Against the 32nd ranked pass-protecting offensive line from last season. It’s going to be a long season if the secondary and the pass rush are playing this poorly (granted the play of one directly affects the other – a beautiful synergy of sorts… well, only sometimes beautiful).
What does this mean for Week 2 against the Texans?
Opposing Pass Rush: Well, the Jaguars go from playing the best pass-rushing defensive line in the league to the third-best in the league, so Monroe, Whimper and co. have a chance to re-assert (or assert) their dominance against the league’s elite.
Playmakers: Arian Foster and Andre Johnson. Bigger weapons = bigger problems if we can’t tackle.
Pass Defense: The Houston offensive line last year was 22nd at pass protecting – yet its pass offense was still ranked 9th in efficiency. Maybe Mel Tucker will Branch out with the defensive playbook?
You’ll see some of these things highlighted in more detail as we get closer to Sunday. If you’ve got thoughts, leave them below!
— Zain Gowani