Behind Enemy Lines, Part I

Do the Jaguars have an answer for Antonio Gates? Does David Garrard have a secret target capable of exploiting Quentin Jammer? Which matchup in the middle could swing the outcome of Sunday's game? To get the answers to these and other questions, we check in with Charlie Bernstein, the Editor-in-Chief of

Michael Lombardo: David Garrard kicked off his make-or-break season with a three-touchdown performance. Do you think he has a chance to replicate the efficiency he showed in 2007?

Charlie Bernstein: The Jaguars have been waiting since 2007 to see that version of David Garrard, so the odds are overwhelmingly against it. Still, Garrard has worked hard this year in the offseason and he has the best set of pass-catching weapons of his career. I maintain that Garrard must have a strong running game and great offensive line to be effective and he should have all of that this year. Does he have a chance to replicate his only above-average season as a starting quarterback? Yes. I wouldn't bet on it though.

ML: Former Chargers receiver Kassim Osgood scored the go-ahead TD for the Jaguars last week against the Denver Broncos. Will this earn him an extended look on offense?

CB: Osgood received a lot of work at wide receiver during training camp and despite showing inconsistent hands, the team liked that Osgood ran like a gazelle and is a big target. Kassim will likely be used in red zone situations where he can use his height and athleticism to go up over smaller corners.

ML: Other than Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew, which offensive player will play a deciding role for the Jaguars on Sunday?

CB: The deciding factor will likely be one of those two players, but the Jaguars will likely need a contribution from their leading receiver from a season ago, Mike Sims-Walker. Sims-Walker was shut out on opening day thanks to Champ Bailey and a safety over the top. The Jaguars believe he'll have a matchup advantage over Quentin Jammer.

ML: Last weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs double and triple teamed Antonio Gates, daring any of San Diego's other pass catchers to beat them. Do you see the Jaguars employing the same tactic now that the Chargers have had a week to adjust?

CB: Obviously, Gates is the guy that strikes the most fear in everyone's hearts regarding the Chargers offense. I don't believe that the Jaguars can employ the exact same tactic as the Chiefs did being that they have a major weak link at cornerback in Derek Cox and he can't be isolated against anyone. Jacksonville has historically covered the very good tight ends poorly and that isn't likely to change on Sunday.

ML: Who are the three most important players on Jacksonville's defense and how do you like their individual matchups on Sunday?

CB: The most important player on the Jags defense is probably defensive end Aaron Kampman. Kampman whipped both Broncos tackles a week ago and he should have a favorable matchup against either Brandyn Dombrowski or Jeromey Clary.

Perhaps the most outstanding player on the Jags defense is defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and he will have an interesting matchup against Nick Hardwick. The winner of that battle could determine the game.

The third most important player on the Jags defense will be cornerback Rashean Mathis. Mathis did his best Darrelle Revis impersonation last week as he made whichever receiver he lined up against disappear. With the lack of talent at safety for the Jags and Derek Cox playing subpar football, Jacksonville will desperately need Rashean Mathis to close down half of the football field.

ML: Norv Turner and Jack Del Rio are both coaches who are not especially popular amongst the home fans. Which coach gives his team the edge in this head-to-head clash?

CB: As you well know, it really doesn't matter what the fans think of the head coach as far as game-planning. With these two coaches, perhaps the big question will be who will lose the game least.

Jack Del Rio is the most aggressive coach in the NFL and he proved that again last week as he went for a pair of fourth downs, one being on his own 39-yard line. I would say that the Chargers have the edge based on the history of the Jaguars traveling to the left coast and completely laying eggs. Jacksonville was outscored 61-3 in their two trips out west a season ago (Seattle and San Francisco), and there's no reason to believe they'll be more competitive this time around until they actually are.

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