Jaguars: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
If Sunday’s game between the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) and the Arizona Cardinals (1-1) was a movie, then it would be “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” At least, for me, that’s what the Jaguars’ game plan looked like.
Also, the weather was threatening most of the game, but Jacksonville never threatened the Cardinals.
In a dominating show of offensive play calling, the Cardinals defeated the Jaguars, 31-17. Kurt Warner’s play on the field was the best by a quarterback I’ve witnessed in person. He tied a Cardinal team record by opening the game with 15 straight completions. Warner keeps bolstering his case for a potential spot in the Hall of Fame. Arizona was definitely the better team on Sunday. And, I’ll say this much about head coach Jack Del Rio. Multiple media members were commenting that his postgame press conference was “downright depressing.” Jacksonville needs a better result next week against the Houston Texans. Few things are worse than starting a season 0-2, and that’s starting one 0-3.
Now, on to the Awards…
Best Play of the Game: Antrel Rolle’s 83-yard touchdown return of a blocked Josh Scobee field goal – After Rolle’s touchdown, the score became 17-3 in favor of the Cardinals. That crucial play put the game out of reach for the Jaguars. Like I’ve said all year, special teams is key for Jacksonville this season. If it weren’t for jerseys, the Jaguars’ special teams unit would have seen Rolle’s back tattoos that say: “Back” and “Off.”
Best Director (goes to Jaguar coach or coordinator): Mark Duffner, Linebackers Coach – He’s the only coach or coordinator I can think to give this award. The starting linebackers had 16 total tackles and two forced fumbles. But, there is only so much three players can do when a pass rush doesn’t exist. If one Jaguar has a chance to make the Pro Bowl, it’s Justin Durant.
Best Jaguar in a Leading Role: Mike Sims-Walker, starting wide receiver – He caught six passes for 106 yards. In the fourth quarter, Sims-Walker recorded his first touchdown catch. In my opinion, he is the most promising of the Jaguars’ young wide receivers. He has the size and talent to be a playmaker for Jacksonville.
Best Jaguar in a Supporting Role: Marcedes Lewis, tight end – I thought Sunday’s performance by Lewis was above average. He scored his first touchdown since last season at Denver. The Jaguars played the Broncos on October 12, 2008. Wow! Jacksonville needs to utilize Lewis and his massive body. However, I will always question his hands. Two passes hit his hands. Both were catchable.
Worst Jaguar: Nate Hughes, wide receiver – He’ll be singled out on local sports talk radio shows this week. Hughes had two huge opportunities at touchdown catches in the fourth quarter. A score would have made it a one-score ball game. One pass he missed, and the other one hit him between his helmet and shoulder pads. I’ve seen NFL players get released for less. Oh yeah, Hughes reeled in two balls for eight yards.
Best Cardinal in a Leading Role: Kurt Warner, starting quarterback – The 38-year-old set an NFL record with a 92.3 completion percentage. Warner absolutely dominated the Jaguars. There is no other way to put it. Warner threw 26 passes and completed 24 of them. He casually tossed for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Warner truly made it look like a video game.
Best Cardinal in a Supporting Role: All of Kurt Warner’s targets – Warner was the obvious star of the day, but his supporting cast was unbelievable. Nine different players caught balls from Warner. When I asked a Cardinal if he was surprised by Warner’s big day, the player naturally responded, “No, not at all, he’s been doing this for years.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Best Sound Editing: “I hate seeing him like that. We work so hard and we want to do the best that we can so that he can have a smile on his face.” – Marcedes Lewis on head coach Jack Del Rio being unhappy after the game.
Best Animated Short (goes to the player with the most passion on the field): Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals quarterback – With Warner at the helm, the Cardinals could have scored close to 50 points. Don’t be deceived by the Cardinals’ loss last week to the San Francisco 49ers. Arizona’s offense, at times, can be unstoppable.
Tweet of the Week (Twitter post): “In bed watching film of the Jaguars before I go to sleep. I’m ready 2 roll tomorrow. U guys have a good night. Faith, focus & finish time!” – Larry Fitzgerald on Saturday, September 19.
Eight Jaguar inactives:
Offensive tackle Jordan Black
Wide receiver Jarett Dillard
Offensive guard Kynan Forney
Tight end Zach Miller
Defensive end Jeremy Navarre
Defensive tackle Montavious Stanley
Wide receiver Mike Thomas
Cornerback Brian Witherspoon
Other Jaguar notes:
Quarterback David Garrard was 23/43 for 282 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception. He also rushed four times resulting in 27 yards.
Garrard fumbled three times. But, he only lost one of them.
Garrard joins Mark Brunell as one of only two Jaguars to pass for at least 10,000 yards in a career. Garrard has 10,076 passing yards.
Maurice Jones-Drew had 17 touches with 83 total yards. He fought for every inch of ground.
With Brian Witherspoon out, running back Rashad Jennings fielded three kickoffs. On punts, wide receiver Nate Hughes caught one for an 11-yard gain.
In the first quarter, Torry Holt passed Art Monk for 13th on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list. After Sunday’s 65-yard performance, Holt has 12,772 yards.
Troy Williamson left the game with a right shoulder injury. His return was questionable. Williamson finished with two catches for 24 yards. He also fumbled once.
Rookie Derek Cox went to the bench in the second quarter when he got his bell rung. Cox later returned.
Jacksonville’s best offensive drive was during the fourth quarter. It was for 14 plays and went 85 yards. The drive lasted 5:09.
The Jaguar secondary recorded 19 tackles. If a team’s secondary is tackling that much, an offense is typically burning a defense.
The Jaguars’ defense had zero sacks on the Arizona quarterbacks (Warner and Matt Leinart).
It was announced that 46,520 tickets were distributed.