A Game the Jags Could Have Won – Who looked Crisp in Week 12?
By Luke Sims
Losing to a team that you’ve dominated an entire game is always disheartening. After a three game streak of close wins, the Jaguars just couldn’t pull it off against the Giants. On the bright side: The Titans and Colts both lost. But when the bright side is two other teams in the division losing, you know you’ve got problems. So, this week we take a look at who was crisp, and who’s soggy. Follow the jump to find out.
- The Crispest of the Crispies: Kirk Morrison. Yes, I know the defense didn’t do such a great job in the second half. And yes, there were a lot of missed tackles. But did you have eyes on this man? His motor never stops. He was always around the ball carrier on every play and was always poised to make stops. His four tackles in this game don’t truly reflect the effort he put in. Morrison is quietly becoming a force on this defense. His leadership is felt every day and the young defense is benefitting from his experience and work ethic.
- Just as Crispy: Courtney Greene. While tempted to mark him as 2nd or 3rd crispest, Courtney demonstrated why he is deserving of the starting safety spot. For the first time in a while a safety is being felt by opposing defenses. Remember when Donovin Darius was one of the hardest hitters in the league and was respected by everyone? I think an emerge of Greene may reflect a similar presence. Seven tackles and four assists led the team this week and he is rapidly becoming one of the better tacklers on the defense. Now, if only he could work on disrupting some passes. His play is consistently crisp, and may be one of the best performers on the defense.
- 2nd Crispest: Maurice Jones-Drew. For the second week in a row, MJD occupies this spot. He was running over players in the first half and punishing the defense for even thinking they could stop the Jaguars’ running attack this week (207 rushing yards by the Jags). Pocket Hercules provided 113 yards on the ground this week. Unfortunately, most of that was in the first half of the game. But he helped to ensure the Jags held the ball for a full 35 minutes in the game. And that is crucial to success.
- 3rd Crispest: Rashad Jennings. The towering 6’1″ (Compared to MJD) Jennings ran the ball seven times for 53 yards on Sunday. He averaged a whopping 7.6 yards per carry and demonstrated why he is the number one backup to Jones-Drew. Not only that, but Jennings showed that he is worthy of more carries per game and could develop into the second coming of the two headed monster that was MJD-Taylor. I’ve never been all that high on Rashad, but he’s turning me into a believer and I’m getting excited each time he touches the football. This man is a force and should be kept with the Jags for as long as possible.
- Not So Crisp (Soggy): The Dr. Jekyll (or is it Mr. Hyde?) Defense. Did you see their play in the first half? Getting some pressure on Eli Manning. Stopping Brandon Jacobs in the backfield. Bending, but not breaking. The front seven dominated the offense. But then Half-time came. And suddenly the Jaguar D couldn’t stop a high school team. I don’t know what Tom Coughlin said to his guys in the locker room, but I guarantee it was more inspiring than the “keep doing what you’re doing” the Jaguars probably got. If the game of football was 30 minutes long, we’d be fine. But it’s not. Instead, we get some form of defense in the second half that falls over itself trying to get in position. There is no reason why the Jaguars should lose this game when they have 200 yards rushing, control the clock for 35 minutes, and dominate so thoroughly in the second half. This loss rests directly on the shoulders of the players. I saw the plays being called, and they were solid for the situations. The team let Jack Del Rio down on this one. They the fans, JDR, and the NFL an apology for their performance in the second half.
– Luke N. Sims