Plays Were Called Correctly

There were a lot of questions about the Jaguars' strategy in their final drive when they passed the ball on 10 consecutive plays. Even when they got a first down on the Giants' 29 with 1:51 left and had all three time outs, they kept throwing.



And the Giants nailed Garrard three plays in a row. The Jaguars were in the shotgun on first down and he was sacked for an 11-yard loss to make it second-and-21 at the 40 with 1:43 left.

Now the Jaguars faced a dilemma. They had time to run, but second and long is usually a passing down.

The Giants again came with the blitz and sacked him for a four-yard loss and he fumbled. Garrard suffered the wrist injury on the play, but recovered his own fumble.

That left them in a third-and-25 situation at their 44 with 1:34. This time, he was sacked for an eight-yard loss and he fumbled and the Giants recovered and the game was over.

Garrard didn't question the play-calling.

"I just think we were like we were going to be able do fine with the pass game. We felt like they were playing a lot of single-high (one deep safety) and they were bringing some blitzes. They brought a couple of blitzes that we hadn't seen before. Really, it was just up to us executing and picking our guys out, me getting the ball out of my hands. We didn't do that and it showed," he said.

When he was asked if he could audible out of plays, he said," We felt like we had good plays called. I didn't feel like I needed to audible out of it, we just needed to execute. We needed to protect to protect it. I needed to get the ball out of my hands to my receivers. That's really what it boiled down to. It was our will versus their will and they won in the end."

Coach Jack Del Rio first said he would defer questions about the play-calling to offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter the next time he meets with the media.

"I would just say we had our opportunities there at the end to make plays, to take advantage of the situation we found ourselves in. We just came up a little short in the execution department. On the first of those sacks there at the very end, it was a simple busted assignment. David expected (it) to be picked up, it wasn't and he wasn't able to unload the ball and ended up taking a sack there. We were in prime position. We simply didn't execute the way we needed to," he said.

Del Rio also noted they had perfect balance in the game with 34 runs and 35 passes. And Maurice Jones-Drew had 11 of his 21 carries in the second half although only four in the fourth quarter.

"Other than the very last drive, we maintained a balanced approach throughout. What we wanted to do was stay balanced and stay out of that very situation we found ourselves in because that's where they're at their best (rushing the passer)," Del Rio said.

"We really felt like if we could stay in that normal down situation where they have to honor both, run and pass, that would be the best for us. The plan worked perfectly for a good portion of the game," he said.

"There's nothing wrong with what we did. We didn't do it very well. (If) we blocked a guy, we got a guy (receiver) coming open, we're going to like it a lot. On all the sacks, we had guys coming open. You've just to (have time) to look at them," he said.

--Coach Jack Del Rio is going to be asking for a clarification of the rules after a critical offensive pass interference penalty on Kassim Osgood helped kill a Jaguars' drive in the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars, leading 20-17, took over on their 26 with 7:20 left after forcing the Giants to punt.

On first down, David Garrard lined up in the shotgun and threw a 23-yard pass to Mike Thomas, which would have given the Jaguars a first down at their 49.

They would have been in good position to move into position for a field goal, if not a touchdown.

But Osgood was called for the pass interference penalty and the Jaguars found themselves in a 1st-and-20 situation at their 16.

Garrard threw an incomplete pass to Osgood, Maurice Jones-Drew ran for two and Garrard threw another incomplete pass and the Jaguars punted.

The Giants then took over and went 69 yards in six plays for the game-winning touchdown.

Del Rio, though, said that by his interpretation of the rules, there should have been no call because Osgood was pressed at the line.

"I need clarification because either I misunderstand the rule or the official did, but one of us was wrong. Maybe it's me. I'm going to go back and check the rulebook, but the guy was pressed, we were engaged at the line, he maintained his block. In our opinion, that should not have been a call," Del Rio said.

Osgood agreed, saying the Jaguars have been running that play with no call.

--As expected, Tiquan Underwood was inactive after struggling the previous week both as a receiver and a kick returner, and Deji Karim, who was inactive last week, returned kicks. He had six returns for an average of 22.2 yards, including a 29-yarder.

Karim said he didn't know if he would retain the job the rest of the way.

"You never know. Tiquan and I are both preparing every week. You never know who's going to be up," he said.

--RB Rashad Jennings, who had a shoulder injury and carried just three times in the last six games, had seven carries for 53 yards, including a 19 yard touchdown run.

"It s always nice to play. It's always nice to get in the game," he said. "You prepare every week like you're always going to be in," he said. "You never know when your named is going to be called."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES

--QB David Garrard had only a 57.1 passer rating against the Giants as he completed 20 of 35 passes for 162 yards and one interception. He was sacked four times, including the Jaguars' final three offensive plays. For the season, he has a 92.7 passer rating.

--RB Maurice Jones-Drew had 113 yards against the Giants as he has gone over 100 yards for four consecutive games for the first time in his career. He now has 991 yards in 230 carries for the season.

--WR Mike Thomas leads the Jaguars with 52 catches for 618 yards and three touchdowns. He had six catches for 46 yards against the Giants.

--TE Marcedes Lewis, who had three catches for 36 yards against the Giants, has 38 catches for 481 yards for the season. He also leads the team with eight touchdown catches.

--WR Mike Sims-Walker played with a high ankle sprain against the Giants and had four catches for 48 yards. For the season, he has 36 catches for 466 yards and four touchdowns.


Jags Illustrated Top Stories