Jaguars: A Cause for Concern?

It has been less than 24 hours since the Jaguars unimpressive performance in their preseason victory over the Green Bay Packers, and there appears to be a great deal of widespread panic across the Jaguars fan base.

Before anyone gets too excited, or makes too much of what occurred Thursday night, please keep in mind that the Jaguars offense had no game planning, they were playing on a short week, and the outcome of the game for all practical purposes, doesn't matter.

That being said, there are a few things that we saw that should be of concern:
    #1. 3rd and 1, 4th and 1 - It was somewhat disconcerting to me that the Jaguars offense couldn't hammer out a single yard against the Packers starting defense in short yardage situations. Short yardage doesn't take much game planning, and the Jaguars were dominated at the line of scrimmage each of those times.

    #2. Tackling - In the Jaguars first two preseason games, the defensive backups missed a lot of tackles. In game three, seemingly everyone on the Jaguars defense missed tackles including Terry Cousin, Rashean Mathis, Gerald Sensabaugh, and Sammy Knight, among others.

    #3. Drops - Maurice Jones-Drew, Marcedes Lewis, and Jermaine Wiggins all had key drops that would have either moved the chains, or put the Jaguars offense in better situations.

    #4. Open middle of the field - Without knowing the particular scheme that the Jaguars defense was in, we are not sure who the blame goes to, but the team left the middle of the field wide open. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers picked apart the Jaguars defense, as Packer receivers were running free through the middle of the field as if it was a non-contact drill.

    #5. Wide receiver separation - In the first half of the game, against the Packers starting defense, Jaguars wide receivers weren't getting open very much, and not getting open quickly. On three occasions, quarterback Byron Leftwich was forced to throw the ball away to avoid taking a hit, which is exactly what the Jaguars coaching staff has been wanting him to do for years.
Things that may seem like a big deal right now, but probably aren't:
    #1. Byron Leftwich - Leftwich didn't play his best game on Thursday night, but he was a lot better than his statistics showed. He was the victim of some throw-away's, and some drops. Leftwich narrowly missed on a deep ball to Northcutt, a pass which he may have hauled in if he would've laid out for it. Receivers weren't getting open with regularity against the Packers first team defense, which is certainly cause for concern, but that can't be put on the quarterback.

    #2. Ratio of pass to run - The Jaguars ran the ball a little more in the Green Bay game, and experienced some success (104 total rushing yards). If it had been a game that counted in the standings, the Jaguars would have leaned more heavily on the ground game.

    #3. Reggie Williams play - Williams wasn't overly productive, as evidenced by his two catches for just nine yards, but Williams did a fine job of blocking, running routes, and making the tough catches in the middle of the field. Despite a lackluster preseason, Williams is only 24 years old and the teams' leading receiver from ‘06. In my opinion, it's too soon to give up on him.

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