You’re Not Smarter Than the Jags’ OC

Posted: September 12, 2011 in Jacksonville Jaguars
Tags: , , , , , ,

Add me to the list of pundits who are telling Jaguar fans to quit overanalyzing victories and simply enjoy them. Indeed, this is the NFL and there are no Charleston Southerns, Florida Atlantics or even Vanderbilts and Dukes on the schedule.

The Jaguars beat Tennessee 16-14 and clearly they dominated the game far more than the final score indicated. But isn’t that really the beauty of the NFL? So many games, regardless of the teams’ records, come down to the final two minutes. Call it parity or whatever you want, but remember the difference between making the playoffs and missing the playoffs literally can come down to one missed blocked, missed tackle, dropped pass, fumble or bad call by the zebras.

For the Jaguars, beating an AFC South division rival was the result of winning the battle in the trenches, an outstanding placekicker in Josh Scobee and timely third-down plays, particularly Mike Thomas’ leaping catch in the fourth quarter. The game was close because the Titans’ benefitted from one of the luckiest plays you’ll see in any game all season – I’m talking about the 80-yard TD play from Matt Hasselbeck to Kenny Britt – and the Jaguars having to settle for too many field goals.

And that brings me to another criticism of fans, Jaguars and others: Quit thinking you know what you’re talking about when you whine about play-calling. I don’t care how well you do in fantasy leagues or how many years you’re coached pee wee football or how many ESPN experts you’ve heard, you’re not more knowledgeable or smarter than whatever offensive coordinator you’re hammering.

That doesn’t mean every play called is the right one, but more often than not plays don’t work because of poor offensive execution, a great defensive play or luck. When the Jaguars had to settle for a 21-year field goal in the third quarter after having 2nd-and-goal from the 1, Maurice Jones-Drew was stopped twice, the first time because left guard Will Rackley whiffed on his block.

Some things about the Jaguars now appear obvious after their opener. In no particular order, Coach Jack Del Rio and his staff think their best chance to win is with defense and running; quarterback Luke McCown is not going to be asked to win games unless the defense forces the Jaguars to pass; MJD needs to work on his leadership skills; and cornerback Rashean Mathis needs to play better.

The first two don’t need any explanation. The latter two do.

MJD and Del Rio openingly admitted the running back was not happy about having his number of plays limited. He ran 24 times for 97 yards. MJD was clearly pouting on the sideline in the second half. Now you can forgive MJD for being such a competitor for wanting to play. But in my world, leaders handle such adversities quietly and after games, not during games. What’s next? Tyson Alualu pouting because he isn’t in the game?

As for Mathis, it was clear the Titans were targeting him on their last TD drive. Mathis was flip flopping from side to side and the Titans threw his way on nearly every play, including a TD pass to Britt. Rest assured the Jets, this week’s opponent, will notice. Now that’s something to worry about.


  1. I wouldn’t mind being wrong again, but when the Jets are done with the Jaguars, I fear it will look like a pre-season practice game for them. As for the Jaguars, I worry both Maurice Jones-Drew and Luke McCown may be injured or not a 100% after the game. It won’t surprise me if the Jets passing game torches the Jaguars pass defense. Maybe, just maybe, the Jaguars will get lucky and the Jets will be tired from celebrating their opening victory against the Cowboys, then suffer a let-down against the Jaguars. If so, let’s hope the Jaguars can steal one.

  2. Boy, Wyman, for someone who doesn’t follow sports, you’re sure on here a lot…PEACE.

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