Defense Provides Spark in Comeback Win


The Jacksonville Jaguars were down 21-0 and then kicked a field goal with just over two minutes left in the half to go into halftime down 21-3.  The offense was inept and the defense was not performing the way everyone would like.

I know I have said in the past that last year’s team would have not been able to stay in this game.

The youth and talent on this team does not know the path of past teams.  It seems as though they see situations as a challenge instead of ‘well this is how it is.’  As a fan this is what is awesome.  The team is growing and that growth was shown exponentially in the second half.

That Jaguars came out and let the Giants have it — They scored 22 unanswered points (2 Defensive touchdowns) and, after the Giants took back the lead 24-22 on a field goal, Blake Bortles took the Jaguars down the field (a lot on his own legs) and put them in field goal position.  Scobee marches out and kicks a 43-yard field goal (Yay for Firehouse!!!) which proved to be the game winner.

Fittingly, the game truly ended on a sack fumble by the Jags defense finishing off the defensive effort of the second half.

The defense finished with 4 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.  DT Sen’Derrick Marks had 2 of those sacks, 1 of which was the decisive play at the end of the game causing a fumble and allowing the Jaguars to get into the victory formation.  DE Tyson Alualu & LB Geno Hayes (caused fumble that led to first defensive touchdown recovered by LB J.T. Thomas) had the other sacks.

Cornerback Aaron Colvin played in his second game of the year and scored his first touchdown with a 41-yard fumble return that put the Jags ahead 22-21.  Overall, the defensive effort in the second half really reminded me of the defensive effort in the first half of last week against the Colts.  Can you imagine if they can put it all together in one game?

Great game and I am so glad I was able to enjoy this one with my kids (their one game a year) and the rest of the fans in that stadium.  The fans really deserved this win.

Good to see

Well, there were a number of things I wrote about before the game I wanted to see and a couple of them actually happened:

  • Bortles to Lee – It happened.  A 30 yard touchdown pass that was a great throw (even mechanically) and an even better catch and run into the tunnel.  WR Marqise Lee finished with 6 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown.  As a fan, I was excited to see these two really get together in a game.  4 more games to see this bond grow.
  • The same defense as last week — I will NOT be upset about continually writing about the defensive effort in the second half this week.  4 sacks, 3 fumbles and 2 touchdowns.  A lot of pressure on the giant’s QB in the second half.  Great effort and what a way to help this team win
  • Eli Manning on his @$$ — is this another defensive stat?  Yes….yes it is.  Eli looked a lot better being hit and losing the ball then he did getting the Giants up by 21 points.  Funny how it always seems to work in your favor when you hit the opposing quarterback…..right Gabbert?
  • More D-Robinson and the running game — Ok, Ok.  So D-Rob did not have a good individual game, although he did average 4 yards a carry.  As a team, that is code for including Bortles, the Jaguars ran for 118 yards on 22 carries (5.4 yards a rush).  Now, that was grossly enhanced by Bortles running ability as he carried the ball for 68 yards on 5 carries and the two big runs on the game winning drive really were keys to the victory.  Also, we rushed for more than the Giants and that makes me happy

Well deserved

As I have mentioned NUMEROUS times, this team is different than last years team.  Getting down big was a regular occurrence last year and the team just could not find a way to win.  Remember Jacksonville started off 0-8, not that Jags fans could forget.  After the bye last year, the Jags rattled off 3 wins in a row and the momentum was built that allowed them to finish 4-4 in the second half of the year.

This year, the team came into Sunday’s game 1-10 and one game off of the bye.  After the bye, the team is 1-1 and still opportunities for more wins.  This years team, unlike last years team, seem to have another gear.  Again, I don’t think teams give up in games and that is just me from what I hear.  Last year, they just could not muster up that next gear.

This year’s team has that next gear (attributed to growth) and they keep fighting.  The Giant’s game is a perfect example of that.  I want everyone to keep that ticket stub.  I have a feeling this is one of those special games for this franchise.  I am not saying that they will win out for the rest of the year or that we beat Houston this weekend.  I just think that we are going to look back on this game and go, “Wow — remember that?  That was the beginning right there!”  Just wait and see.

What’s next

For the team they get to play a divisional opponent in the Houston Texans and that means J.J. Watt, a frontrunner for the MVP award this year.  Divisional games are always important and it does not matter what records are.  If we can build on the momentum from the win, this could make for a good game.  I hope the offensive line is ready.

I expect TE Marcedes Lewis to be staying in more helping with blocking especially on Watt’s side.  Not that he really has a side as they move him around a lot more.

D-Rob needs to work on his pass protection and put in a better game than last week.  2 of the 7 sacks on Bortles can be attributed to him getting blown up.  The way they will remedy this is using more quick passing routes.  I elect to see the running backs catching more balls this weekend to help with defending the rush of the Texans.

We will get more into this in the coming days with the game preview.

STAT-OF-THE-WEEK

I like to look at stats.  It can tell you how one player is doing or it can tell you how your team is doing overall.  Or it can make absolutely no sense in what you are trying to explain.  Case in point.  Here is my stat of the week and I am going to call it a defensive stat:

  • Time of possession — Giants – 34:39, Jaguars 25:21

That is a 10 minute differential.  When you look at it, it can show that the Giants had the ball for a longer period of time thus the game must have been in their favor (true, specifically in the first half).  It can tell you that the Jags offense could not stay on the field and were not playing well (true, specifically in the first half).  What it cannot tell you is that the Jaguars defense scored two touchdowns which accounted for 13 points (there was a missed two-point try) and that the game winning drive by the Jaguars lasted 2:58 seconds (true)

I get the reason they keep this stat, but at the same time, I do not understand what this stat is supposed to tell us.

STAT-OF-THE-WEEK II

This is the first time since 2011 that the Jaguars have won 2 home games in a year.

Questions

If you have any questions or you have any specific subjects that you feel should be addressed.  Let me know by making comments or you can e-mail me directly with your requests at craustin1979@gmail.com.  The twitter is @Jaguars360 so give a follow.  Thank you again for reading and sharing and, of course, Go Jags!

 

 

 

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