Jags Need More Balance

The Jaguars, who were torched by Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne in the season opener Sept. 13, now face the task of trying to stop Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald in their home opener Sunday.

The Jaguars often have trouble stopping good passing teams, and the game in Indianapolis was no exception.

Peyton Manning passed for 301 yards and Reggie Wayne caught 10 passes for 162 yards.

Now Warner and Fitzgerald get their chance against the Jaguars' pass defense in a game that is critical for both teams because both lost their openers. While the Jaguars lost to the Colts, the Cardinals were upset in their opener by the San Francisco 49ers.

The Arizona game is the only one the Jaguars play outside of their division in the first month of the season. The following week they go to Houston and then they host Tennessee.

The Jaguars also have to get their passing game cranked up after David Garrard posted only a 61.9 quarterback rating against the Colts. He was sacked only once, but he faced a heavy rush several times because the Jaguars played a pair of rookie tackles, Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton.

The two players were drafted in the first and second round this year and the Jaguars think they'll be their bookend tackles for the next decade, but they need time to develop.

The heavy pass rush was one reason that Garrard completed only five passes to the wide receivers.

The Jaguars had hoped that Troy Williamson would give them a deep threat, but he caught only one pass for 10 yards against the Colts.

For a rebuilding team that started four rookies, including two offensive tackles (Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton), it was a credible showing, but as coach Jack Del Rio said, "There's no moral victory. It wasn't good enough today."

Defensive end Reggie Hayward was injured after he helped the defense stuff Donald Brown for no gain on a fourth-and-1 play at the Jaguars 35 late in the game.

That allowed the Jaguars one more chance to pull it out, but they gained just 2 yards on four downs.

Hayward limped into the locker room on crutches with his left leg covered with ice from his ankle to his knee, but Del Rio said he didn't know how serious the injury is.

Then there was the puzzling disappearance of last year's first-round pick, Derrick Harvey, who didn't see much action in the second half although Del Rio declined to call it a benching.

"Our football team, we came up and expected to do enough to win the game and we didn't do that," said Del Rio, who is now 51-49 in his seventh season as a head coach.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew provided most of the Jaguars' offense with 97 rushing yards and 26 receiving yards (on five catches), but that was no consolation.

"What does that mean? I'd rather have none and win," he said.

Jones-Drew remained upbeat about the future. "We're going to be great," he said. "I'm not worried."

LINEUP WATCH: The Jaguars' situation at defensive end is in flux because Reggie Hayward suffered a leg injury and was on crutches after the game and Derrick Harvey played sparingly in the second half although the Jaguars declined to call it a benching.

TRENDING: The Jaguars may be putting too much of a load on Maurice Jones-Drew. He ran the ball 21 times for 97 yards, and they threw to him eight times, resulting in five catches for 26 yards. He therefore was involved in 29 of the team's 55 offensive players.


-- DE Reggie Hayward suffered a leg injury against Indianapolis and left the stadium on crutches. He will miss the rest of the season.

-- DE Derrick Harvey played sparingly in the second half although the Jaguars declined to call his absence a benching.

-- CB Derex Cox made an interception and recovered a fumble to kill the Colts' first two drives, but gave up 10 passes for 162 yards to Reggie Wayne.

-- QB David Garrard had a 61.9 quarterback rating as he completed 14 of 28 passes. He was sacked once and wasn't intercepted against the Colts.

-- RB Maurice Jones-Drew ran 21 times for 97 yards and caught five passes for 26 yards.

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