What We Learned Against Denver

The Jaguars opened their season with a 24-17 victory over the Denver Broncos at Everbank Field. The Jaguars received great contributions from all three phases as it was truly a team victory. Let's see how our keys to the game played out.

1. The Jaguars must establish the run- Jacksonville ran the ball 34 times for 134 yards, as the team was really able to wear down the Broncos defense in the second half. The Jaguars running game helped open things up for quarterback David Garrard who was stellar.

2. Pressure Kyle Orton. Mission very much accomplished as the Jaguars hit the Broncos quarterback 11 times and recorded three sacks.

3. Play in front of the sticks. The Jaguars limited their penalties as they were flagged just five times for 47 yards. They also stayed away from negative plays on early downs.

4. Dominate special teams. Jacksonville's special teams units continued their standard of excellence as Tiquan Underwood ripped off a pair of kickoff returns of better than 40 yards, and punter Adam Podlesh dropped two of his four punts inside the 10-yard line. Josh Scobee sailed his only field goal attempt (from 45 yards) through the uprights, and the kickoff coverage team allowed an average of just 20.7 yards per return.

5. Be money in the red zone. The Jaguars were only in the red zone once, but they cashed in as David Garrard hit tight end Marcedes Lewis for an 11-yard score. Two of the teams other scores came on touchdown passes from the 21-yard line.

Bold predictions:

1. Maurice Jones-Drew will have less than 90 yards rushing. Close, but wrong. MJD ran for 98 yards on 23 carries, as he appeared to be 100%.

2. David Garrard will not turn the ball over. Not only did Garrard not commit any turnovers, but he was ultra-efficient offensively. Garrard connected on 16 of 21 throws, for 170 yards, and matched a career high with three touchdowns.

3. The Jaguars will get two or more sacks. The Jaguars showed a much improved pass rush as they brought down Kyle Orton three times. Free agent acquisition Aaron Kampman notched 1 1/2 sacks and rookie Tyson Alualu recorded his first career sack.

4. Jabar Gaffney will have a big game. Although Gaffney wasn't the Broncos primary target, he still caught three passes for 34 yards including a touchdown just before the half. Not bad for the "other guy from Jacksonville" coming home.

5. The Jaguars will not only win but cover the spread. Mission accomplished. The Jaguars are 1-0 in the standings, and 1-0 against the spread in 2010.

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