Jaguars Top Jets, Match Last Year’s Win Record
The Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4) won a second consecutive game with a 24-22 win over the New York Jets Sunday at Giants Stadium. Jacksonville used the first half to gain a 21-13 lead, which seemed much more than an eight-point advantage.
New York (4-5) scored nine consecutive points in the fourth quarter to put them ahead by one, 22-21. However, Jaguar quarterback David Garrard led his team on an 80-yard drive to set up a 21-yard Josh Scobee field goal, which won it for Jacksonville.
The Jets had problems in both the red zone and with turnovers. New York went 2 for 5 inside the 20-yard-line. In the end, three turnovers crushed the Jets’ chances (one fumble, two interceptions) for a win.
Jacksonville returns home this Sunday, November 22, with a 1:00 p.m. game against the Buffalo Bills (3-6).
Now, on to the Awards…
Best Play of the Game: Josh Scobee’s game-winning 21-yard field goal as time expired – It was a chip shot for the strong-legged Scobee. He redeemed himself after a 49-yard attempt bounced off the left upright in the first quarter. Scobee is the Jaguars ace in the hole. I nearly gave this award to Maurice Jones-Drew for what was an intelligent play, in my opinion, of kneeling at the Jets’ 1 instead of running into the end zone on the final drive. The Jets’ defense practically laid down hoping Jones-Drew would score. If he had, New York would have had 1:48 on the clock to counter. The Jones-Drew kneel-down set up a first and goal and the Scobee field goal.
Best Director (goes to Jaguar coach or coordinator): Dirk Koetter, Offensive Coordinator – Koetter had his offense ready for East Rutherford, New Jersey. He prepared the offensive line well for the Jets’ blitzes and its No. 2-ranked defense. The utilization of the rookies in the offense is of major importance. Jacksonville is creating a nucleus for years to come. Koetter, head coach Jack Del Rio and other staff members have to be excited with the offense’s production on the road.
Best Jaguar in a Leading Role: Maurice Jones-Drew, starting running back – He touched the ball 26 times for 145 yards and one touchdown. It was his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season. Also, Jones-Drew is the first back this season to rush for over 100 yards on the Jets’ defense. His only error was a third-quarter fumble near the Jets’ goal line, which he said was “unexplainable.” Jones-Drew’s kneel-down proves that he is one of the leaders of this team. His five carries for 55 yards on the opening drive established the pace the Jaguars wanted to play the game. Jones-Drew is more valuable for more than just his numbers.
Best Jaguar in a Supporting Role: David Garrard, starting quarterback – The first half of Sunday’s game was the best Garrard has looked all season. He seemed confident and fearless against the Jets’ blitz patterns. Garrard played like the quarterback the organization signed almost a year and a half ago to that huge $60 million contract. He threw for 221 yards on 16/26 passing, a touchdown toss and an 11-yard touchdown scamper. Garrard also led his team on the game-winning drive with less than five minutes left. His errors were kept to a minimum, and he finally threw his first touchdown on the road. Garrard still needs better protection. He took hits that nobody should have to endure.
Most Mediocre Jaguar: Quentin Groves, linebacker/defensive end – In the third quarter, Groves intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass and returned it 37 yards to the Jets’ 4. However, after about 25 yards, it was obvious Groves’ legs were moving much faster than his balance could withstand. He fell down on a play which should have been a pick six. Groves popped up smiling, but after Maurice Jones-Drew fumbled two plays later, Groves had to have been upset at himself. Major mistakes like that have to be avoided on the road.
Best Jet in a Leading Role: Darrelle Revis, starting cornerback – If you didn’t hear his name much on Sunday, don’t feel bad. The third-year cornerback essentially kept the Jaguars on the left side of the field for the first half. In the second half, Revis, a 2008 Pro Bowl selection, was lined up against Mike Sims-Walker, who finished the game with three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. Sims-Walker would have passed the century mark were it not for Revis’ being a complete shutdown corner. In the first five drives of the second half, the Jaguars went three plays or less. I attribute a solid portion of that on Revis’ being glued to Sims-Walker. Sunday’s game proved how valuable Sims-Walker is to Jacksonville.
Best Jet in a Supporting Role: Thomas Jones, starting running back – The Jets would have liked more production from the 31-year-old back. But, Jones moved the ball well with 21 carries for 77 yards and a rushing touchdown. Without Jones, who is on his way to posting a career year, Mark Sanchez would struggle even more so as a rookie quarterback. Jones is a powerful runner who interestingly hit his stride as an older player. He has gone five straight years with 1,000 total yards. The Jaguars contained a top-ten running back. And, it was a key to victory.
Best Sound Editing: “We told (Josh) Scobee at halftime that it was going to be on him, and he did a great job.” – Maurice Jones-Drew referencing the importance of kicker Josh Scobee.
Best Animated Short (goes to the player with the most passion on the field): Jordan Black, offensive lineman/tight end – With Ernest Wilford out with a high ankle sprain, Black came into the game on numerous plays as an extra blocker. Any of the offensive linemen could have won this award. The blocking up front, especially in the first half, was top-notch. Jones-Drew ran outside, inside and everywhere in between. And, Black was an important key in taming the Jets’ radical blitzing patterns.
Tweet of the Week (Twitter post): “I like cotto tonight!” – wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker on his pick to win the Miguel Cotto/Manny Pacquiao boxing match for the WBO welterweight title Saturday night. Pacquiao, with a dominant win, knocked Cotto down twice in the 12-round bout. Cotto was sent to the hospital afterwards as a precautionary measure.
Safety Gerald Alexander (shoulder)
Safety Courtney Greene
Defensive tackle Derek Landri
Defensive end Greg Peterson
Linebacker Adam Seward
Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood
Tight end Ernest Wilford (ankle)
Offensive lineman Maurice Williams
Other Jaguar notes:
Defensive end Bryan Smith started at the right end spot in place of Quentin Groves. In his first career start, Smith assisted on two tackles, one of which was on Thomas Jones for a loss.
Cornerback Rashean Mathis intercepted a Mark Sanchez pass to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery on the first play of the game. Jacksonville scored on that drive.
Mathis also stripped the ball from wide receiver Braylon Edwards after Edwards caught a ball for a 41-yard gain. Defensive tackle John Henderson recovered the fumble.
Second-year player Brian Witherspoon returned five kickoffs on Sunday. He averaged 24.6 per kickoff.
Safety Reggie Nelson recorded three total tackles. But, his most notable play was a shot to the head of Sanchez on a 32-yard pass play to Cotchery. Nelson was flagged for a 15-yard penalty. He’ll most likely receive a call from the league offices this week. A fine may be in place.
Nelson did land a jarring hit on Edwards when the Jets went for a two-point conversion. If the ball had not been knocked loose, the score would have put the Jets up 24-21.
Safety Sean Considine started in place of the injured Gerald Alexander. Considine led the team with nine total tackles.
On the third drive, rookie wide receiver Jarett Dillard caught a seven-yard pass, his only catch, near the left sideline. He suffered what appeared to be a right leg injury. Dillard was carted off to the locker room soon thereafter.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis led the Jaguars with 58 yards receiving. His two receptions went for 33 and 25 yards. That should silence the critics of the primarily-blocking tight end – at least for this week.
Rookie wide receiver Mike Thomas finished with four catches for 46 yards. He caught a well-thrown 20-yard pass from Garrard. On the fourth drive for Jacksonville, Thomas converted a fourth down with an explosive catch-and-run.
Thomas also made one of two big plays on the final drive. His 15-yard catch kept the drive moving nicely.
Richard Miller is a national broadcaster for Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games on Sporting News Radio. Additionally, he can be heard on ABC 1320 WBOB in Jacksonville at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays with The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show.
Richard contributes to Inside the Game with Robin Valetutto every Saturday from 12-2 p.m.
Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.
You can e-mail Richard at Richard.Miller@jaxobserver.com