Inside the Numbers: Jaguars and Cardinals

The scoreboard told us that the Arizona Cardinals came in to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and dominated the Jags from kickoff to gun. Upon further review of the game, we'll break down the team's play at each position.

Team Stat Comparison
 
1st Downs 22 18
Passing 1st downs
15 13
Rushing 1st downs
7 4
1st downs from Penalties
0 1
3rd down efficiency
2-9 6-16
4th down efficiency
1-1 1-2
Total Plays 60 67
Total Yards 383 372
Passing 265 280
Comp-Att
27-32 23-43
Yards per pass
8.3 6.5
Rushing 118 92
Rushing Attempts
28 20
Yards per rush
4.2 4.6
Red Zone (Made-Att) 2-2 1-2
Penalties 7-58 8-50
Turnovers 2 3
Fumbles lost
2 2
Interceptions thrown
0 1
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 1 0
Possession 31:21 28:39

Offensively, the Jaguars were mostly non-existent until the Cardinals were up 31-3, at that point they clearly took their foot off the accelerator. Let's take a closer look.

David Garrard's performance: 23 of 43 passing, 282 yards, 2 TD's/1 INT. Garrard continues to stare down his intended target, and his hesitation in the pocket must be disconcerting to the coaching staff. Garrard was mostly inaccurate, and he put up somewhat meaningless stats when the outcome was no longer in doubt. He has great athletic ability, as he can sidestep oncoming defenders, but he is not able to throw on the run and he truly has no pocket presence. There's enough of a sample size now, it's time to move on.

Running backs: The score of the game quickly took the Jaguars out of any chance of establishing a rushing attack. That, and the Cardinals defense loaded up the line of scrimmage to stop Maurice Jones-Drew, a tactic that the Jaguars will likely see 14 more times this season. That said, Jones-Drew did all he could, running for 66 yards on just 13 carries, and catching four more passes out of the backfield. The Jaguars continue the Montell Owens experiment, and it doesn't look good. Owens doesn't seem to possess much running skills, and he dropped the only pass that went his way.

Wide receivers: As much as everyone wants to throw the Jaguars receivers under the bus, all of them with the exception of Troy Williamson and Nate Hughes did their jobs and did it well Sunday afternoon. Receivers were open all game long and although they had three drops (2 by Hughes on consecutive plays, 1 by Holt), they made some great twisting catches. Mike Sims-Walker was fantastic as he was open all game long and caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Holt caught six for 65, and Williamson caught two passes despite getting behind the defense on several occasions. Williamson did fumble on a short dig route, and hurt his shoulder in the process.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis is really beginning to look like a first-round pick. Lewis caught three passes for 62 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown in which he avoided defenders on his way to the end zone. Lewis did a great job blocking as usual. His only "drop" was on a pass where he had to stop and twist backwards with a defender draped all over him.

Offensive line: The Jags offensive line was much improved over Week One, as they gave David Garrard plenty of time to throw the football. The stat sheet will show that this unit gave up four sacks, but upon watching film, these sacks were due to Garrard simply not getting rid of the football, and each time he had more than five seconds to throw.

Defensively, the teams wasn't able to get consistent pressure on Kurt Warner, thus leading to his NFL record 92.3% completions. Tackling was very poor, especially from the secondary, and that drew the ire of head coach Jack Del Rio following the game.

Defensive line: John Henderson was solid all game long, and Derrick Harvey had a few moments where he showed why the Jags drafted him eighth overall. Unfortunately, those were only moments for Harvey and he's nowhere near ready to be an impact player. It appeared that Reggie Hayward, who went down last week with a broken leg, was certainly missed.

Linebackers: If the defensive line isn't dominant, it's difficult for the linebackers to be dominant. The Jaguars linebackers made virtually no impact in the game, but Justin Durant was very active for the second consecutive week, leading the team in tackles.

Corners: Rashean Mathis played a fantastic game, covering the best receiver in the game (Larry Fitzgerald), and holding him to just four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald's TD reception came when he wasn't on Mathis' side. Rookie Derek Cox played much better on Sunday, and Tyron Brackenridge was solid.

Safeties: It's difficult to tell which position is the weakest on the team, safety or quarterback. Reggie Nelson simply doesn't look like an NFL stater, much less a former first-round pick. Nelson took bad angles all day long and missed too many tackles to count. Sean Considine is far from being a playmaker, and he would be the weak link on many defenses.

Special teams: Rough day for the Jags special teams. A malfunction in protection allowed a long Josh Scobee field goal to be blocked and ran back for a touchdown, which was a major game-changing play. The kickoff returners were bad, as the regular return man, Brian Witherspoon was banged up and missed the game. Kick and punt coverage was solid, as they forced a turnover on a punt, and there really wasn't any solid returns by the Cards on kickoffs. Adam Podlesh was solid in the punting game.


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