Jaguars Bye Week Report Card - Defense

JagNation editor Charlie Bernstein breaks down how the Jaguars have played, position by position in his bye week report card. It's now time for the defense.

Overall defensive ranking: 22nd overall (340.5 ypg.)
Passing defense: 23rd overall (229.7 ypg.)
Rushing defense: 16th overall (110.8 ypg.)
Scoring defense: 16th overall (21.3 ppg.)

The Jaguars defense has plenty of talented players, but they have allowed teams to drive down the field late in games and score almost routinely. The pass rush is still a major issue, as is tackling and coverage all over the field.

Overall defensive grade: D+

Defensive ends

Paul Spicer - 18 tackles, 0 sacks
Reggie Hayward - 7 tackles, 2 sacks
Quentin Groves - 8 tackles, 2 sacks
Derrick Harvey - 5 tackles, 0 sacks

The Jaguars biggest question mark entering the season was their pass rush, and how the defensive ends would play. At this point, they've been average at best. Paul Spicer hasn't played nearly as well as he did after getting a new contract, and Reggie Hayward has been pretty good, but not the player he was prior to his Achilles injury. Rookies Quentin Groves and Derrick Harvey have shown good energy and are close to making plays, but haven't been major factors just yet.

Grade: D+

Defensive tackles

John Henderson - 22 tackles, 1 sack
Rob Meier - 9 tackles, 1 sack
Tony McDaniel - 8 tackles, 0 sacks
Derek Landri - 3 tackles, 0 sacks
Jimmy Kennedy - 2 tackles, 0 sacks

The Jaguars defensive tackles haven't been quite as good as expected, and much of that is on John Henderson, who appears to be in the decline. Henderson is no longer the unblockable force he was two years ago, and Rob Meier is a better pass rusher than every downs defensive tackle.

Grade: C


Mike Peterson - 33 tackles, 0 sacks
Daryl Smith - 27 tackles, 1 sack
Justin Durant - 16 tackles, 0 sacks
Clint Ingram - 13 tackles, 1 sack

The Jacksonville linebackers have been perhaps the most disappointing position group on the team. Mike Peterson may lead his unit in tackles, but he's a liability in coverage and he's missed more tackles than he's made. After a rough start to the season, Daryl Smith has played well the last two weeks, and Justin Durant when healthy is as good as anyone on the team. Clint Ingram seems to be overrunning plays and hasn't been as good as he was as a rookie two years ago.

Grade: D+


Rashean Mathis - 17 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 TD's
Drayton Florence - 15 tackles
William James - 14 tackles

Rashean Mathis has been fantastic after a very tough start, and as great as Mathis has been, that's how bad Florence has been. The free agent acquisition has been beaten routinely and is better suited for the nickel than a starting spot on the outside. William James filled in for Drayton Florence and had Jaguars fans wishing that Florence was back.

Grade: D+


Brian Williams - 37 tackles, 1 interception
Reggie Nelson - 11 tackles
Gerald Sensabaugh - 24 tackles, 2 interceptions
Pierson Prioleau - 18 tackles

Reggie Nelson has missed a few games which has certainly hurt the Jaguars secondary. Brian Williams has been average at safety, and the defense is much better when he is at the cornerback position. Sensabaugh has filled in and had some lapses, but has made some big plays and was very good last Sunday at Denver.

Grade: C

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