Thoughts From NFL Preseason: Jaguars @ Ravens
By David Johns
OK. To say that there’s more work to be done would be a massive understatement. The Jaguars were trampled last Thursday night under a new look, fast paced Baltimore offense. Joe Flacco and company torched the Jacksonville defense gaining more than 500 yards and 48 points. Just as I mentioned last week…I didn’t think this defense could defend a high powered offense, and it looks like Baltimore has transformed into just that. I didn’t think the offense could score fast when needed, and unfortunately I was right.
The NFL is a passing league and the Jacksonville Jaguars do not have a long ball. This is a major handicap. If you don’t have a deep threat then you better have a defense that can contain an offense and it looks like our team is lacking in both areas.
The NFL is a passing league. A defense can help keep you in the game, but only for so long. You better be able to put up points, and our offense just couldn’t do it.
The NFL is a passing league. Throwing it out in the flat on 3rd and long will not help you.
The Jaguars overall looked slow, tired, and unprepared. Is it reason to panic? How much credit does one give the “dress rehearsal”?
The first two preseason games against the Giants and Saints were very promising. The Jaguars looked like they were playing a regular season game while the other teams looked like they were…well…calling some simple plays just to get things going. Am I discrediting the Jags? No. That’s still Drew Brees. That’s still Eli Manning.
I saw a few things that I liked from last Thursday. Jalen Parmele may have claimed a roster spot. He had some good returns, and looks to add a boost to our return game. Justin Blackmon is a beast and will be able to move the chains. He had a good night with 72 yards receiving. Rashad Jennings gained 57 yards on 13 carries on one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses. None of these things will help though if the overall team can’t keep up which seemed to be the case.
I’m certainly happy we drafted a punter in the 3rd round because we’ll need Anger if we continue to stall out like we did.
We must have better starting position. Our secondary has to get healthy. I was speaking with Mr. Sims via email, and we both agreed that William Middleton probably needed a hug afterwards. We can only hope that Derek Cox can get healthy and add some kind of spark to our secondary. We need Daryl Smith back as well. Kyle Bosworth had an impressive pass deflection…but it ended there. There’s been a noticeable drop in play with Smith’s absence.
This is pretty much the same defense that was ranked 6th in the league last year. There’s no excuse.
The NFL is a passing league meaning that offenses are now built to pick apart exotic defenses. The bread and butter 4-3 we’ve been running the last few years will no longer suffice. We don’t have the personnel to win the one on one battles, not with the high powered juggernauts we’ll be facing this year.
Laurent Robinson…wow…waste of money? I certainly hope not.
Of all the players I’m disappointed in, I’d have to say that Blaine Gabbert is not one of them. He protected the ball. He completed passes. He threw no picks. Did he keep them in the game? Well, no. He didn’t give it away either though which proves to me that the team is way more than one or two players off from contention which some of us already knew.
Look. It’s preseason. I’m sticking by this team and so should you no matter what. I’m confident we’ll make adjustments. Every NFL team does. We have a handful of starters that will be returning. That should help. How much? I don’t know…it wasn’t exactly an awe-inspiring performance.
What I’m getting at is…it was one preseason game. A learning experience? Or a sign of things to come? What do you think?
-David R. Johns