Friday, August 19, 2011
Thoughts on Jaguars' win over Atlanta
By Paul Kuharsky
Quick observations and thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars' 15-13 preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons Friday night.
David Garrard's deep interception to Brent Grimes was well over Mike Thomas up the middle. It was an overly hopeful throw that killed a possession and wasn’t necessary. He also missed Marcedes Lewis on a much shorter touchdown pass opportunity, though his ankle was clipped by a rusher as he let it go. Those are the sort of plays that make some people say, “Why not just play the rookie?”
Cecil Shorts should have simply fallen on the ball after he failed to cleanly take a handoff from Garrard on a reverse. His failure to do so meant another turnover.
Defensive end Jeremy Mincey caused problems for Atlanta, bearing down on Matt Ryan at least three times with high-effort rushes. One forced an intentional grounding.
Montell Owens, a fullback who operates almost exclusively on special teams, got a couple early carries as the Jaguars looked to spread the workload on a night they were without both Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings because of injuries.
Drew Coleman didn’t seem determined enough to stick close to Harry Douglas early in his route on what turned into a 76-yard touchdown catch out of the slot against the Jaguars new nickelback.
Fox commentator Daryl Johnston felt like Blaine Gabbert left the pocket prematurely a couple times when he probably could have stayed put and given a play more of a chance. I thought it was good analysis. Gabbert didn’t play as well as he did in last week’s start at New England, with a 59.3 passer rating. It was still nine points better than Garrard’s.
Loved, loved, loved Jack Del Rio going for 2 after the go-ahead touchdown. Not because it gave the team an opportunity to work on the play, but because it eliminated the possibility of a field goal making for a tie game and possible overtime. Preseason games should not, by rule, include the possibility of overtime. Who cares if the meaningless result is a regulation tie?