Oct 13, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) is congratulated for his touchdown run by guard Uche Nwaneri (77) and quarterback Chad Henne (7) in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
In easily their best performance of the 2013 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars marched into Denver and gave the Broncos everything they could handle. Both the offense and defense showed flashes of what could be a surprisingly good team in 2014. The Jaguars beat the massive spread and came away with a lot to be proud of across the board.
Here are a couple notes from today’s game:
- Justin Blackmon had a hell of a game and his two “drops” at the end of the fourth quarter are not indicative of how effective he was. Blackmon was money in the slot despite not having Cecil Shorts on the outside to draw attention. He supposedly spent a lot of time getting in great shape and focusing on football during his suspension and it’s showing so far.
- The defense played about as well as it could have against the most potent offense in the NFL. Paul Posluszny’s interception return for a touchdown was an outstanding play, and the Jaguars managed to jump on two fumbled snaps by Peyton Manning. They gave up 35 points, but the defense really did a good job frustrating Manning most of the game.
- The offensive line had an up-and-down game, but they occasionally provided Henne enough time to make some good throws. The interior line is still having a hard time opening up running lanes for Maurice Jones-Drew, and the line gave up too much pressure on 3 and 4 man rushes.
- The secondary was the weak link on defense today, but it’s to be expected when one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time faces the youngest group of defensive backs in the league. We were also unfortunately reminded that Chris Prosinski is still on this team and he’s still not good.
The Because Jaguars
- Every player who had a stupid penalty, so basically Andre Branch. Seriously though, the Jaguars really didn’t have any players or units that were embarrassingly bad today. Bravo Jaguars.
There are no moral victories, but the Jacksonville Jaguars can hold their heads high after their strongest performance of the year. Today was a loss, but the upcoming schedule doesn’t look nearly as daunting.
We’ll have a more thorough analysis of the game with Pro Football Focus grades later in the week.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89