Richard’s Weekly Jaguars Performance Review
The Jaguars (0-3) lost a close one to the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) last night, 32-33. A win would have definitely boosted the morale for the team. But, all in all, they had their best performance of the preseason.
The over-hyped Michael Vick extravaganza did not last too long. Vick threw the ball four times for 19 yards. Once he wasn’t on the field, Philadelphia began to play much better.
After last night’s tough loss, Jacksonville has a week to rest and focus on the Washington Redskins. Jacksonville is improving each week. But, the injury scare to quarterback David Garrard could have taken the wind out of Jacksonville’s sails.
Now, on to the Awards…
Best Play of the Game: Linebacker Brian Iwuh’s 92-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Quarterback Donovan McNabb tossed a lateral to rookie LeSean McCoy. The pass bounced off McCoy’s helmet and turned into a touchdown for the Jaguars. Iwuh is an excellent special teamer, who is earning his way onto this roster. Last week, it was Russell Allen shining. After last night’s game, it was Iwuh who took the spotlight.
Best Director (goes to Jaguar coach or coordinator): Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator – Although the defense allowed 27 first downs and 431 total yards of offense, Tucker deserves this one. Without his starting linebackers, the defensive unit played well against the Eagles’ first-team offense. Giving up 365 passing yards has to be an area of concern, but Jacksonville shut down the run (66 yards). This team needs a defensive coordinator who will stick around the First Coast for more than three seasons.
Best Jaguar in a Leading Role: Maurice Jones-Drew, starting running back – Jones-Drew finally impressed last night with two receptions of 13 and 45 yards. In one quarter of play, Superman accumulated 70 total yards. Jacksonville needs Jones-Drew to perform like this every week if the club wants to get back to winning. Also, fantasy football owners have to be pleased by his performance.
Best Jaguar in a Supporting Role: Brian Iwuh, starting linebacker – Along with Iwuh’s 92-yard fumble return, he recorded seven solo tackles. In my opinion, backup linebackers Iwuh, Russell Allen and Tim Shaw have earned roster spots. At the team’s deepest position, these three have played well enough to be on the regular season roster. Plus, Shaw is worth having on special teams.
Worst Jaguar(s): Atiyyah Ellison, defensive tackle – This is by far my least favorite award to give out each week. But, Ellison has virtually disappeared this preseason. In three games, he has three tackles. Ellison isn’t standing out as much as he did throughout training camp. And, his fourth-quarter penalty for hands to the face didn’t help his cause. He needs to make more of an obvious impact on the defensive line.
Best Eagle in a Leading Role: Donovan McNabb, starting quarterback – Playing late into the third quarter, McNabb was 21 of 36 for 244 yards. He had one touchdown pass, an interception and a lost fumble. McNabb seemed to struggle with his pocket passing. Most of his notable yards were against Jaguar defensive reserves. The Michael Vick hype might have gotten into McNabb’s head.
Best Eagle in a Supporting Role: LeSean McCoy, starting running back – It seems to me the Eagles have found a superb fill-in for Pro Bowler Brian Westbrook. Since Westbrook didn’t play, McCoy converted 16 touches into 48 yards and a touchdown. McCoy will take multiple carries away from Westbrook. However, Westbrook needs help if he plans on playing in the NFL much longer. A player’s body can only take so much of a beating.
Best Sound Editing: “He proves that white men can jump!” – Jeff Lageman, color analyst for the Jaguars Radio Network, on quarterback Todd Bouman’s ability to once dunk a basketball
Best Animated Short (goes to the player with the most passion on the field): Tyron Brackenridge, cornerback – Brackenridge has had a spectacular training camp and preseason. It’s surprising that in two years in the NFL that Jacksonville is his third team. If Brackenridge has a solid game against the Washington Redskins next week, he could eventually start across from Rashean Mathis.
Tweet of the Week (Twitter post): “If you think Usain Bolt is fast then you should see my son. Lol.” – Maurice Jones-Drew on Thursday, August 20
Ten Jaguars who did not dress out:
Other Jaguar notes:
Jacksonville must cut its roster from 80 to 75 players on September 1.
Former Eagles Sean Considine and Tra Thomas were game captains for the coin toss.
Rookie Terrance Knighton started at defensive tackle in place of Rob Meier.
Quarterback David Garrard left the game in the first quarter with a neck burner. Garrard relieved backup Todd Bouman a few plays later.
Garrard played the first half and a little into the second. He was 8/14 for 93 yards and one interception. The interception was a poor pass picked off by Asante Samuel.
Wide receiver Nate Hughes sustained a concussion at the start of the second quarter. He caught the 3-yard pass, but fumbled it. Torry Holt recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.
Hughes did not return. With his injury, Jacksonville is now missing Hughes, Mike Thomas and Mike Walker.
Rookie Tiquan Underwood and Brian Witherspoon handled kickoffs for the Jaguars.
Safety Gerald Alexander intercepted a McNabb pass for 40 yards to the Eagles’ 8.
In the third quarter, fifth-round draft pick Jarett Dillard caught a 13-yard touchdown from Bouman.
Josh Scobee was 3/3 on field goals (49, 21 and 49 yards).
Adam Podlesh and Steve Weatherford are still battling to be the starting punter. Podlesh had two punts for a 44 yard average while Weatherford punted three times for a 45 yard average. It is an incredibly close race.