Random Thoughts on Week 1
By Terry OBrien
I’ve always thought that the home opening game was an important game for teams. Football is a game of motivation and incentive and the home opener has a ton of incentive. The home teams went 13-3. The three teams that lost at home were Philadelphia, the NY Jets and the Buffalo Bills. If I were to take anything away from this it is that the Eagles didn’t look ready, the Bills are cycling downward and the Jets have a critical second game at home with New England. Mark Sanchez looked like a coward at quarterback. Bad Bill and his Patriots will be salivating preparing for that game.
In fact, speaking of the Eagles, they played horrible run defense. Well, horrible should be reserved for how the Colts played. That was horrible. The Eagles played real bad run defense. I am excited to see our opponents play bad run defense. I want 2,000 yards for Maurice. I am tired of hearing about Adrian Peterson. MJD is the best all-around back in football.
This was the first time the Jaguars won their home opener since 2006 when they beat Dallas. The 2006 team was fantastic except for the QB controversy and failure down the stretch. This is the season David Garrard can’t live down in the hearts of the Jag fans. I hope this year he finds redemption.
Week one, I think, is the hardest for the offense to look good. The timing of receivers, the teamwork on the offensive line, the feeling of being hit needs time to come around. The Jaguars suffered some of that. Maurice Jones Drew got 95 yards but 60 of those yards came after first contact. The offensive line was not blowing open the holes for him. If they did, he could of run for 150 yards. It was also disappointing to see Mike Sims-Walker drop a pass 20 yards down field. He wanted 1,000 yards this year and this was not a good start.
If the Jaguar offensive line can improve the run blocking, the Eagles and Colts are are vulnerable. This is the most important aspect to improve on. The O-Line needs to be great at run blocking.
It was a pleasure to see David Garrard play so sharp. He looks so comfortable in the pocket. Mike Thomas came out ready to play as well. He surprised me in training camp with his intensity and crispness and is showing it on the field. Maybe he is our first 1,000 yard receiver in 5 years. I have never seen the Jaguars special teams play to this level before. I don’t know if it was a one game fluke, but I don’t think so. Amazing, simply amazing special teams play.
Speaking of week one offense, the reason the Colts always get off to a fast start is Peyton Manning is always sharp early. In 2008, when his knee was operated on, they went 3-4 and had to fight hard, but this was a strange year for them. Prevously they went 2005 (13-0), 2006 (9-0), 2007 (7-0), 2009 (14-0). I am sure they are not happy about a game one loss. The Giants game this week and then the Jaguars game in week 4 are important games for them. If the Jaguars take them out in week 4 here at home…WOW!
Of the week one losses I can’t understand San Diego and Dallas. The Chargers threw up almost 400 yards of offense and allowed less than 200 yards to the Chiefs. How do you lose that game? Almost the same statistics for the Dallas Cowboys. The cowboys put up almost 400 yards of offense and allowed 250 yards to Washington. This was stupid football being played. I hope the Chargers play just as stupid this week.
Although I don’t expect a win this week, the Jaguars have every chance to win this game. If they do, it will be a fun start to the season. The game I think will be very exciting is Week 3 at home against the Eagles. As I said earlier, the Eagles played bad run defense against the Packers, but they also played horrible pass blocking. I want this San Diego game out of the way and for them to come home. The thought of QB sacks and Maurice running free has me anxious to get to the stadium.
– Terry O’Brien