Gray Matter

This is our weekly segment following a Jaguars game in which we take a look back at what the most important things going into the game were, and what we learned during the contest.

Five most important things for the Jaguars:

    1. Knock them off the line of scrimmage. The Colts were simply the more physical team. They made it a point that they were not going to allow the Jaguars to run the football, and throughout much of the first half had nine defenders in the box. The Jaguars did not knock the Colts off the line of scrimmage.

    2. Put points on the scoreboard early. The Jaguars didn't put up any points in the first half, and had just seven for the game. They played right into the Colts hands by falling behind early, and the Indianapolis defensive ends became speed rushers on the outside, and forced three sacks and three turnovers.

    3. Stop Joseph Addai. Addai had 85 yards on just 16 carries. He was just one more cog in the Colts seemingly unstoppable offensive machine.

    4. Win special teams. The Jaguars had the one big kickoff return that set up the Maurice Jones-Drew touchdown, so I would give them the slight special teams edge, but winning special teams doesn't mean much if you lose on offense and defense.

    5. Use the atmosphere to your advantage. The Jaguars crowd was loud and supportive, but the crowd can only carry a team so far. The Jaguars were dominated by a better opponent.


What to look for:

    1. Look for the Colts to abandon their cover two defense and play a cover one. That's exactly what Indianapolis did for much of the game. They forced a struggling Jaguars passing game to beat them through the air which they maybe could've done if starting quarterback David Garrard didn't get hurt.

    2. Look for lots of Dallas Clark in the passing game. The Jaguars defense did a solid job on Dallas Clark, but at the end of the day he ended up with four receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.

    3. Look for yet another Maurice Jones-Drew touchdown celebration. Maurice Jones-Drew found the end zone again, but there was no celebration. His third quarter touchdown cut the Colts lead to 17-7, and he gave the Jaguars a bit of momentum, although it was short lived.

    4. Look for more than one fourth down conversion attempt. Sure enough, early on the Jaguars went for a fourth down and Jones-Drew was stuffed by Bob Sanders. That failed conversion led to a Colts touchdown.

    5. Look for Manning to Harrison. Marvin Harrison was obviously showing some effects from his sprained knee, and wasn't a huge factor in the game, as he caught just three passes for 16 yards. Reggie Wayne was their go-to-guy, as he caught nine balls for 131 yards.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer.


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