Sep 8, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars mascot Jackson DeVille reacts after a play during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Stand United Or Abandon Ship?


The season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday was painful. Seriously, it was hard to watch. Simply put: this was some of the worst football I’ve ever seen in my life. It was an embarrassment to the players, coaches and fans.

Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Blaine Gabbert was downright horrible, only throwing for 125 yards and a two picks including the nail in the coffin pick six to Tamba Hali. Alex Smith looked like he had enough time in the pocket to actually leave the stadium, go eat at Burrito Gallery, go fishing in the St. Johns River, and return to complete whatever he was doing. The pass rush was poor. The pass protection was even worse.

Maurice Jones-Drew only had 15 carries for 45 yards. I was hoping he was going to be a bit more involved in the game plan. Yeah, Jacksonville was down and throwing the ball made more sense at the time, but if it’s not working then you obviously have to try something else.

Look. I’m all for Jacksonville trying to throw the ball, don’t get me wrong. That’s been one of the biggest things holding the Jaguars back in recent years-lack of a passing game. However, when your quarterback throws the ball 35 times and only completes 16 passes for 121 yards, maybe Jones-Drew should have touched the ball a little bit more. Jones-Drew wasn’t a factor in the passing game, which if he was it might have helped Gabbert get into more of a rhythm. With Justin Blackmon out, the Chiefs were able to solely focus on Cecil Shorts even though Shorts has come out and said that he was open…

The offensive line gave up 6 sacks. I can’t blame this on our tackles. Sorry, folks. When pressure comes from up the middle, everything tends to break down. The interior of the offensive line. YIKES. Hopefully as the season rolls on these five will begin to play with a bit more solidarity, but on Sunday it looked as if this was the first Monroe, Nwaneri, Meester, Rackley and Joeckel had ever even met one another.

The bright spots were close to non-existent, but if there was one it was the fact Kansas City did not score an offensive touchdown in the second half. The defense had some solid stops, but the offense simply couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities provided.

So where do we go from here? This is the team that we have, Jacksonville. The big signing period in free agency is over. Draft has come and gone. This is the team that we have. So…will it get any better?

Yes. It may not be next week. May not be until super late in the season, but this unit will begin to show signs of life. Really what I saw on Sunday was a lack of execution. True, Jacksonville isn’t the most talented team in the league, but they are still professional football players. The lack of execution was really what was so startling. This is a young team. Rookie right tackle. Rookie starting receiver. 1st year receiver seeing extensive time in the slot. 2nd year left guard who missed all of 2012 is starting. Rookie starting CB. Rookie starting at SS.

Maybe this disastrous season opener was a result of a unit with a lot of new parts trying to adjust to the new scheme, the speed of the opponent and just the overall size of the NFL.

With that being said, that was still some pretty terrible football.


Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What’s next? The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Oakland to take on the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders were supposed to be terrible this year, probably just as bad as the Jags. What do they do? They hang tough with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts and lose a heart breaker in the 4th, 21-17. Wow. I was not expecting that.

Terrelle Pryor had 13 carries for over 100 yards and looked elusive and just plain fast when flushed from the pocket. If the Jaguars want even a hint of a chance next Sunday they’re going to have to force him to stay in the pocket and throw the ball. If they can’t, I’m not looking forward to seeing this defense chase this guy around.

But ya know what? He actually looked pretty good throwing the ball as well completing 19 of 29 passes for 217 yards a score and two picks. Yeah I know the 2 picks look bad, but he was able to successfully move the ball and give his team a chance.

And how about the Oakland defense? 4 sacks on Andrew Luck. How did they do it? They brought guys like  S Tyvon Branch and CB Tracy Porter on blitzes. Lamaar Houston and Jason Hunter had a sack a piece too, but I’d advise the Jaguars offensive line to be on the look out for blitzing DBs as well.

Thing is, Pryor IS the Oakland Raiders at this present time. If the Jaguars are able to stop him, then maybe they could pull out a “W”.

The Chiefs had several parts on offense and defense to worry about. Right now, the Raiders are going “all in” on Pryor and just letting him go out and play ball. It worked against the Colts and maybe it could work all season? That’s the parity of the NFL.

Or maybe it was just a fluke thing and they end up imploding. That’s the parity of the NFL too.

SO. Chad Henne will be starting in place of Blaine Gabbert this Sunday due to 15 stitches in Gabbert’s hand. Dwayne Gratz is out too and either Mike Harris or Will Blackmon will replace the rookie.

I’m not quite sure that Henne will make the earth-shattering difference some out there believe he will. I’m definitely going to take the “wait and see” approach next Sunday and hope that the Jaguars are actually able to execute and play to their full potential.

-David R. Johns




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Tags: Blaine Gabbert Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-drew Oakland Raiders

  • Mark Shafer

    First if all Pryor is not a fluke. The only way to stop him is to close the edges, and then out run him. Pryor still has a arm. Al Davis made a good selection picking up Pryor as his last pick.
    As a Raider fan I’m more concerned with Henne than Gabbert. The way to stop Henne is to pressure him. Expect a lot of blitzes.
    I can’t wait for our home opener.

    • David

      Stopping Chad Henne isn’t hard. Regarding Pryor, good for you guys! It’s always nice to see teams turn it around. Gives other fans hope. However, let’s see what Pryor does in the upcoming weeks before we start anointing him. It was one game. That one game was very impressive though.

      • Mark Shafer

        It was a good article. Raider Nation has been big on Pryor for a while, it’s not been one game. As for myself it’s been since the third preseason game against the Lions last year. In that game Pryor had about 150 yards in passing with a td, and 100 rushing with another td. Also he started the last game against San Diego last year.
        I am rooting for the Jaguars this year ( not this week ). I want to shut up these expert opinions. Remember many of these experts picked Kansas City to win the AFC West last year.

        • David

          I can’t stand these “experts.” They only talk about the obvious contenders. It’d be something if the Raiders were in the conversation.

  • Chris Schroeder

    Lololololol….. If the Raiders don’t beat the Jaguars by 30 points I will be completely shocked. If Mr. 2-14 Andy Reid with the dream team Eagles and Alex Smith who couldn’t tie his shoes without the guidance of Jim Harbaugh could beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-2 in Jacksonville, Then expect the Oakland Raiders to massacre them in Oakland this weekend.

    • David

      Chad, that would not surprise me one bit. A 50 burger is NOT out of the question.

    • David

      *Chris. My bad.

      • Chris Schroeder

        It was a good read. I’m just a hopeful optimists. Love what I saw from Pryor in week one. Not so sure Jacksonville has the personnel or the ability to stop or slow down Oaklands run game. I predict McFadden is going over 100 yards in this one. Jags will be too busy trying to stop Pryors running and pass play that they will forget about McFadden and he will find some big holes in this one. I also predict some big runs by Jacoby Ford on special teams. I think this is an ass whooping on the jags. It will give the Raiders the momentum they need to battle Denver in Denver the following Monday. I expect them to compete in that game and not rollover like the ravens did. The ravens are really bad on defense with 9 starters from last year gone. Manning just simply picked them apart. It will not be the same against Oakland, despite what people might say oakland will compete every week this year. “Believe” Seems to be the new motto, so I’ll just echo that. Believe!!!

    • Daniel Lago

      I think they’ll have a smarter gameplan in Oakland than they did in week 1 and just pound it with MJD early. They tried too hard last week to get Gabbert going.

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