The Jaguars starters left the game against Miami down 13-0 at the half, and that score didn't accurately reflect the domination by Miami. The real question concerning the Jaguars is if that performance was an aberration, or possibly a sign of things to come.
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio seemed somewhat concerned following the dismal showing—
"We have a lot of work to do. Starting Monday morning, we'll get back to work and look to be better because that was disappointing."
Are the Jaguars not as good as seemingly everyone thinks they are, or was it just an off night? At this point it's hard to tell, but there are some legitimate concerns. Quarterback David Garrard was noticeably off for the second straight game, as he missed several wide open receivers and seemed very hesitant in the pocket. If the calendar read a year ago, there would be much more concern, but Garrard proved that he could read defenses and deliver the ball accurately in 2007, and there's no reason why he can't be at the top of his game this season. Garrard didn't seem to be overly concerned with the performance—
"Stay on an even keel and move on to the next one."
The biggest legitimate issue for the Jaguars is certainly the pass rush, or lack thereof. Jacksonville's defensive line was completely handled by the Miami offensive line, and the Dolphins had a pretty poor unit a year ago. With Derrick Harvey missing all of training camp, it is unclear whether or not he will be able to contribute when he does indeed get signed. As for second-round pick Quentin Groves, at this point in his career he is a one-trick pony. He hasn't shown the ability to be effective as an every-downs player, and he may never be that type of guy due to his lack of size.
The Jaguars were ineffective on both sides of the ball Saturday night, and they didn't get on the scoreboard until midway through the fourth period. Between erratic quarterback play, poor pass protection, missed tackles, and no pass rush to speak of, Saturday's game showed the coaches and fans very little in the way of positivity.
"I think the whole team played poorly," said Jack Del Rio. "Evidently I've got to do something a little different, a little better because it wasn't what we're looking for."
The only good news about a performance like the Jaguars had was that it came in August and in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter. The team has two more exhibitions to correct some of the issues that have been plaguing them, and none of it matters on the real scoreboard. That said, the team's starting units have looked bad and they must improve greatly to become the team that can derail the Colts as the kings of the AFC South.
"The season is coming. Before we know it, it's going to be Tennessee. Come Saturday night, down in Tampa, we have to go out and handle business. If we don't, there's going to be another shellacking," said defensive end Paul Spicer.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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