Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Scouting report: Early look at Jaguars
By Rich Cimini
A quick take on the Jaguars, whom the Jets face Sunday on the road:
1. The Jaguars are hurting. They're 2-10, having lost eight of their last nine games. They're down to their second quarterback (Chad Henne replaced Blaine Gabbert) and they might be down to their third starting tailback. Rashad Jennings has a concussion and Maurice Jones-Drew has been sidelined for more than a month with a foot injury.
2. Henne had a monster game against the Jets in 2009 as a member of the Dolphins, with Tony Sparano as his coach. Rex Ryan probably will invoke his Dan Marino quote this week, recalling his post-game comment on how they made Henne look like Marino -- 20-for-26, 241 yards. Henne didn't look like Marino last week against the Bills, completing only 18 of 41. In the two previous games, however, he added some energy to the offense.
3. Yes, the Jaguars have an offense; it's hard to tell sometimes. For the first time since Week 1, they moved out of the 32nd spot in the league rankings, soaring all the way to 31st. They can thank the Cards, who could barely manage a first down against the Jets. Offensive-minded coach Mike Mularkey is taking major heat and could be one-and-done in Jacksonville.
4. WR Cecil Shorts is a big-play threat (19.2 yards per catch), but he has a concussion and may not play. No. 1 pick Justin Blackmon is an exciting talent, but he has Stephen Hill disease -- seven dropped passes. In fact, the Jaguars lead the league with 35 drops, five more than the next team, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
5. Defensively, the Jaguars aren't faring much better. They're ranked 31st in total defense and 31st against the run. They allowed a franchise-high 232 rushing yards last week to the Bills, and there's no doubt the Jets will go to school on that. They added DE Jason Babin, who started last week after being claimed on waivers from the Eagles. One of their top players, CB Rashean Mathis, played only eight snaps last week.
6. Is there anything the Jaguars are good at? Well, yeah, they're No. 1 in short-yardage rushing, having converted 16 of 19 for first downs. Hey, it's something.
7. The game will be a homecoming for Tim Tebow, who grew up in the Jacksonville area and attended the University of Florida. It will be a family reunion for the Landry brothers -- LaRon and Dawan, also a safety. Dawan played for Ryan in Baltimore and was instrumental in LaRon picking the Jets last offseason as a free agent.