Fact or Fiction


The Jaguars went into Everbank last Sunday and took a giant dump on the field. It’s been pretty well documented on Black and Teal and several other Jaguar blogs, so no need to revisit it here. Every facet of the game looked like a mess, particularly the two lines. Most disconcerting was that this performance came against one of the worst run defenses in the league, and a defense that had their three top cornerbacks out of the game.

The Bears defense looked pretty damn good Monday night against the Cowboys. Tony Romo looked like he was playing the Canton team with All-Madden mode on. If you want a reminder of what speed at the linebacker position looks like, check out Lance Briggs’ pick-six.

This is the opposite of speed at linebacker. Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

This is the opposite of speed at linebacker.

For these articles, I generally try to pick out positive facets of the Jags’ roster and make predictions using those facets as a basis. Clearly, the team is making it pretty difficult to write these articles with a positive spin. So I’ve either got to lower my expectations or keep looking like a total fool. Or both. Let’s get to it.

Sep 30, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) drops back to pass during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Everbank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Blaine Gabbert will continue his streak of games with touchdown passes (5): FACT

Gabbert has thrown a touchdown pass in 5 straight games, going back to week 17 of the 2011 season. That’s something to get excited about, right?

There’s a good chance the Jaguars will be down in this game and have no choice but to pass. Gabbert seems to be fairly serviceable in the red zone (two TDs to Marcedes Lewis) so if the offense can get close, maybe Gabbert can deliver.

Justin Blackmon will have a reception of 20+ yards: FICTION

Justin Blackmon’s deficiencies were pretty well documented pre-draft and they’ve shown up consistently so far in his rookie year. His inability to separate and lack of elite speed has limited his opportunities for big plays – his longest reception of the year went for 14 yards last week against the Bengals.

There are numerous reasons why the Jaguars passing game has sputtered and one of the more recent reviews from Mike Mularkey has been that Blaine needs to be more patient and let routes develop down the field. With such poor protection, it’s hard to see that happening, especially against a stingy Bears defense.

Brandon Marshall will have 100+ yards receiving: FICTION

AJ Green had two really big plays last week where he was actually relatively well covered by Rashean Mathis. The Bengals did a good job taking advantage of the coverage and mistakes in the Jaguars secondary. It sounds like the Jags plan to move Derek Cox around a little more and try to have him on the opposing team’s top receiver more often, but not on every play. If the defense can limit mental lapses (like Chris Prosinski being completely unprepared for the snap…), they should be able to limit the big plays that killed them last week.

The Jaguars will finally get another sack: FACT

The Bears drop back to pass a fairly decent amount. Jay Cutler is a gunslinger and likes to take shots down the field. The Bears offensive line has given up 13 sacks, including 2 last week when they were never really behind. The Jaguars’ defense is at the point where it needs to be creative to get pressure and at some point it needs to lead to a sack. Just one. I’ll honestly be cool with just one this week.

This is the closest I could get to finding a picture of a Jags defensive end getting a sack. Also Andre Smith has lost some weight? Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

This is the closest I could get to finding a picture of a Jags defensive end getting a sack. Also Andre Smith has lost some weight?

It’s hard for me to predict a Jaguars victory with a straight face this week. The Jaguars looked completely overmatched last week and this week’s game against the Bears looks like a similar story. Unless there are significant improvements in individual performance across the board, this is going to be a long season. It’s hard to rationalize a way the Jaguars win this game considering their current state.

What the hell.

Jaguars 23 – Bears 20

– Daniel Lago