What We Learned Against New England

We learned on Saturday night that the Jaguars are a very good team, unfortunately very good doesn't beat the 17-0 New England Patriots. David Garrard played one of the best games of his life on a huge stage, and it appears that the Jaguars have found their long-term answer at the most important position in sports.

Five most important things for the Jaguars:

    1. Win the turnover battle. The Jaguars lost the turnover battle, 2-0, and the Pats scored a touchdown off the first turnover, and were able to run down the clock on the second turnover. The Jaguars had to play near perfect football to win and they didn't.

    2. The best defense is a time monopolizing offense. The Jaguars offense was their best defense, because their defense did absolutely nothing to stop Tom Brady and the Patriots.

    3. 7's not 3's. The Jaguars scored touchdowns on two of three red zone possessions. Unfortunately, Jaguars wide receivers Dennis Northcutt and Matt   Jones each had key drops that would've given the Jaguars touchdowns, and they had to settle for field goals.

    4. Play perfect special teams. The Jaguars and Patriots special teams units pretty much cancelled each other out with good coverage on kickoffs. There were no big plays by the Jaguars.

    5. Take chances. The Jaguars went for it on three fourth downs, and were successful twice. The first time was on the game's opening possession and it led to a touchdown. Perhaps the Jaguars needed to take more chances on defense instead of laying back in coverage and letting Tom Brady pick them apart.

What to look for:

    1. Look for some early shotgun and a lot of passing by New England. Tom Brady torched the Jags secondary and completed his first 16 passes, a new NFL record.

    2. Look for David Garrard to throw for over 250 yards. Garrard had a career day completing 22 of 33 passes for 278 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT. Garrard stepped up and delivered in a big way.

    3. Look for a solid game by the Jaguars wide receivers. The Jaguars receivers were solid for most of the evening and they made a lot of plays. Unfortunately, this game will be remembered for the two plays that Dennis Northcutt and Matt Jones didn't make on some very catchable passes that cost the Jaguars vital points.

    4. Look for a big game by Moss and Welker. We were half right. Moss was held in check by the Jaguars secondary as he caught just one pass for 14 yards. Welker, however, caught 9 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.

    5. Look for at least one trick play by the Jaguars. The Jaguars played this game pretty close to the vest with the exception of a reverse on a kickoff return that went nowhere. Belichick and the Pats seemed to be prepared for anything and everything the Jaguars could throw at them.


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

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