If you were just perusing the newspaper and saw that the Jaguars dropped their third preseason game to the Philadelphia Eagles, 33-32, you'd think that the Jags offense was explosive and the defense let the team down. Numbers don't lie, but at times they don't tell the full truth either.
- The Jaguars managed to put 32 points up on the scoreboard while racking up just 230 yards of total offense. That's great points per yardage production, but it's likely that was just a preseason anomaly that involved a ton of luck.
- The team was indeed lucky. It's rare that you fumble and the end result is a touchdown, and even more rare that a pass off a running back's face-mask turns into a touchdown. Jacksonville had both happen in their favor Thursday night.
- Brian Iwuh- The Jaguars backup linebacker was an absolute stud as he registered seven tackles, and scooped up a fumble that he took 92 yards back to the house.
- Brian Witherspoon- Spoon was a man on defense and special teams, as he recorded two tackles and ran back a kickoff 61 yards.
- Tyron Brackenridge- The former Jet and Chief recorded three tackles and blanketed Eagles receivers. Brackenridge has been so impressive that Brian Williams may be purchasing a voodoo doll with a Jags #41 jersey on it.
- Maurice Jones-Drew- He is the most dynamic playmaker on the team and one of the best in the league. MJD (what the kids call him) carried five times for just 12 yards, but took two screen passes for 58 yards, which helped make his quarterback's stats look much better.
- Jarett Dillard- It has to be tough being a Jags receiver with the lack of talent at the quarterback position, but Dillard made the most of his opportunity as he made a jumping grab for a 13-yard touchdown.
- Terrance Knighton- Knighton may not have found his way into the stat sheet, but he was certainly noticed. The Jags third-round pick sucked up blocks and plugged up holes as the Jaguars shut down the Eagles running game.
- Gerald Alexander- Finally, a free safety stepped up and made a play. Alexander was having a pretty mediocre preseason before he flashed on Thursday night, making two tackles, defending two passes, and picking off a Donovan McNabb pass.
The not so good:
- David Garrard- The Jaguars signal caller is getting paid like a franchise quarterback, but playing like a career backup. Garrard completed 8 of 14 passes for 93 yards, almost two-thirds of those yards coming on screen passes to Maurice Jones-Drew. Garrard had a horrible interception and still shows virtually no ability to be accurate throwing the ball down-field or getting to his second progression. Garrard's 47.6 quarterback rating didn't even accurately represent how poorly he played.
- Third down conversions- The Jags struggled for the second consecutive week as they were just 4 of 14 on third down.
- Todd Bouman- Although Bouman was better than the game prior, he still has no business playing quarterback in a meaningful game at the NFL level.
- Brian Williams- Williams continued his nightmarish preseason as he was abused by McNabb and the Eagles.
- Couldn't bring the quarterback down- The Jaguars were able to get some pressure on Philly quarterbacks, but still registered no sacks.
- Turnovers- The Jags turned the ball over three times and that nullified their opportunistic defensive plays. Although one of the turnovers was by third-string quarterback Paul Smith (who won't be on the actual 53-man roster), the Jaguars still need to do a better job of taking care of the football.
The Jaguars offense is simply not good enough to win yet, as the quarterback position is as bad as any in the league. The Jaguars need an upgrade at the position or else they'll be in position to draft one very early next April.
The 3-4 defense looks better than the 4-3, as the Jags are stopping the run very well and are getting pressure on the passer. Derrick Harvey seems to be getting better each week, and Terrance Knighton looks like the real deal.
Special teams was improved, but it only had one way to go. They only allowed one big return (only?), and Brian Witherspoon flashed some explosion on a kickoff return. If the Jags are going to win this year, their special teams must be excellent.
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