Jaguars vs Packers: Game Preview

The Jaguars dropped yet another game, their fourth in a row in Chicago, 23-10. The Packers suffered a disappointing loss as they were beat by the Texans on a last second field goal, 24-21. This week they will meet and here is a preview of what you'll see.

Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, December 13, 2008, 1pm EST

Green Bay 5-8, Jacksonville 4-9

Series history: Green Bay leads, 2-1. Last meeting, Jaguars won 28-25 in Green Bay (2004).

Green Bay offense 11th overall (10th passing, 18th rushing); Scoring- 4th – 27.3 ppg. vs. Jacksonville defense 15th overall (14th passing, 18th rushing); Scoring- 20th- 22.5 ppg.

The Packers are led at quarterback by Aaron Rodgers, who is replacing some guy that nobody's ever heard of. Rodgers is having a solid year as he's completed 276 of 434 passes for 3192 yards, 22 TD's/11 INT's. Rogers has a more than respectable passer rating of 92.1.

Rodgers has some great targets outside with Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Jennings leads the team with 66 receptions for 1131 yards and 7 TD's, and Driver has added 57 receptions for 773 yards and 4 TD's. Tight end Donald Lee has contributed 37 catches for 295 yards and 5 TD's. Brandon Jackson has been a nice third down back who's caught 29 balls, and rookie Jordy Nelson has added 29 receptions.

The Packers running game is featured around Ryan Grant, who isn't quite having the same season as a year ago. Grant has rushed for 980 yards, but is averaging only 4.0 ypc. His four rushing touchdowns are tied by quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the team lead in rushing touchdowns.

The Jaguars front four has had major issues rushing the passer this year as rookies Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves haven't contributed much, and Paul Spicer and Reggie Hayward are on the down sides of their careers. The interior of the Jags defensive line has been underwhelming this season as John Henderson isn't the player he once was, and the combo of Tony McDaniel, Rob Meier, and Derek Landri are little more than average.

The Jaguars linebackers were supposed to be a strength this season, but have also underachieved. The unit has been better since middle linebacker Mike Peterson was moved to the bench, and Daryl Smith has slid to the middle position, but they've missed far too many tackles.

The Jags secondary has been disappointing, but has played much better lately since Brian Williams was moved from strong safety back to cornerback. Rashean Mathis is playing at a high level, but free agent acquisition Drayton Florence has been terrible, and was moved from starting corner to nickel. Safety Reggie Nelson has an aversion to contact, and he's found himself out of position several times this season.

Best offensive matchup for Green Bay: Greg Jennings vs. whichever corner tries to cover him- Jennings may be the best wide receiver in football and the Jaguars corners are playing average at best.

Best defensive matchup for Jacksonville: Gerald Sensabaugh vs. Ryan Grant- The Jaguars strong safety will have to spend a lot of his time in the box to stop the dynamic Packers rusher, and Sensabaugh is more than capable.

Jacksonville offense 21st overall (16th passing, 17th rushing); Scoring- 24th 19.3 ppg. vs. Green Bay defense 23rd overall (13th passing, 27th rushing); Scoring- 22nd – 24.5 ppg.

The Jaguars offense has a threat of a great running game, but teams have neutralized the talented duo of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor by placing extra men in the box and mostly playing cover one. Jones-Drew leads the team in rushing with 607 yards while averaging 4.3 ypc., with 12 touchdowns (1 receiving). Taylor has 556 yards while getting just 3.9 ypc.

Quarterback David Garrard is looking more and more like a one-year wonder as he tends to hold the ball too long, looks at his first read then checks down, and hasn't been particularly careful with the football. Garrard has completed 62.4% of his throws for 2926 yards, but has just 11 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He hasn't been strong enough to get opposing teams to keep their safeties away from the line of scrimmage.

The Jags best receiving threat is wide receiver Matt Jones, who has 65 catches for 761 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is second on the team with 50 catches for 462 yards, and tight end Marcedes Lewis has 32 catches for 427 yards and two touchdowns.

The Packers defensive line is led by dynamic pass rusher Aaron Kampman, who has 50 tackles and 10 sacks, but the middle has been soft as teams have found great success running against them.

Linebacker A.J. Hawk leads the team in tackles with 68, and Brandon Chillar has been a nice offseason addition at linebacker to go along with Brady Poppinga.

The Packers secondary plays a lot of man coverage, and are led by Al Harris and Charles Woodson. Nick Collins is a more than capable safety, and Atari Bigby is active when healthy.

Best offensive matchup for Jacksonville: Maurice Jones-Drew vs. A.J. Hawk- If the Jaguars can get Jones-Drew more involved in the passing game on the outside, they should have a nice advantage.

Best defensive matchup for Green Bay: Aaron Kampman vs. Tony Pashos- Pashos has had a terrible year at right tackle and Green Bay will likely try their luck with their best pass rusher against him.

Special Teams

Green Bay: PK Mason Crosby, P Derrick Frost, LS Brett Goode, PR/KOR Will Blackmon

Jacksonville: PK Josh Scobee, P Steve Weatherford, LS Joe Zelenka, KOR Brian Witherspoon, PR Brian Witherspoon

Special teams advantage: The Jaguars have solid coverage units, and they will be tested against a dynamic return man in Blackmon. Special teams should be pretty even.

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