The Jaguars move to 0-7 losing a game which many (myself included) picked as a possible win. The Chargers are so inconsistent, sadly for Jags fans the consistent and flawless Rivers turned up to give the fans even less to cheer about.
Is there anything to be thankful about? Well yes, there were some good moves on O and D, not many admittedly. Also in fairness no one likes pinning stuff on the zebras, but they didn’t half give Rivers one hell of a helping hand.
Before talking about the team let’s talk about the Zebras and those ‘calls’.
Calls that stick out include the very favourable spot for San Diego on 3rd and 1. Ryan Mathews barely made two inches, yet the spot of the ball gave him a yard and then some. The far side official seemed to have the right spot but was over-ruled by the near side official who pushed the ball a half a yard further up the field… results in a 1st down.
The Eddie Royal TD, was not a TD. His foot was down half a yard before that ball broke the plain. It was clear as day and I don’t understand how the call couldn’t have been overturned. The Unsportsmanlike Conduct was a very light call, but I can somewhat agree with it as it was a stupid thing to do and I hope San’Derrick Marks gets a one way conversation for the TD drive that should have been fourth and extremely long.
The Antonio Gates fumble was exactly that, a fumble. I understand that the view with his knees doesn’t show the ball and likewise the view of the ball popping out doesn’t show his knees. But jesus refs put two and two together, use some common sense… ah shoot I forget you don’t have any.
The Keenan Allen run was the worst, simply because he was quite obviously down by contact. Great tackle by Will Blackmon. What’s worse is that an official was two yards from the tackle. Horrendous call and the refs should be simply ashamed of that showing.
Starting on the offense Chad Henne had a poor game, could stretch it to being an ok game but I’m not going too. 23-of-36, 318yards and an Interception. The Interception was a horrendous throw, far to high and you simply cannot throw high when the opponents have two Safetys deep. Henne did have one great drive, that should have ended with a TD pass to Cecil Shorts. Previous to that he had made some great passes to Mike Brown, Shorts again and Justin Blackmon. Once in the redzone everything went a bit awry. His fade pass was thrown to early, you need to have the DB facing away from you for it to work, naturally it didn’t. Pass to Brown was slightly high. In fairness the pass to Shorts was nothing short of perfect, that’s exactly where the Receiver needs it to be, Cecil just didn’t make the catch.
Previous to that drive Henne wasn’t throwing at all well. The Jags threw a lot of screens and short curl routes. Henne invariably threw to the wrong shoulder. You cannot throw behind the Receiver on those plays, it gives them zero momentum, and momentum is what makes screens so successful. There was a chance for a big play on an MJD screen where Henne got sacked. Watching the play over and over I still think he could have made the throw, but not overly mad that he didn’t just throw and hope.
He cannot do long-bombs either. God forbid him throwing hail marys, he just overthrows every time, the Jags Receiver doesn’t stand a chance. When it comes to Gabbert vs. Henne I’m a Henne fan and after that performance Henne is still the better choice. Sadly I’m not a Henne fan outside of the QB competition. He’s just not a very good passer.
On the ground I actually thought Maurice Jones Drew did alright. 9 atts for 37 yards. That’s over 4 yards a carry, just a shame we were in catch-up mode for so much of the game or he may have featured more often. Denard Robinson got one carry and made a great run for nine yards, still haven’t seen enough of him to pass judgment though. Justin Forsett was also a nice change of pace, he’s a strong little runner who doesn’t go down easily. I liked his two runs. Even Todman had a good little sprint for 8 yards. The Jags back-ups aren’t all that bad.
Star of the show was undoubtedly Mike Brown. 5-for-120yards. I wish he had a TD to cap things off. Everytime he caught a pass there wasn’t a defender within ten yards of him. Amazing to see how much of the field can be stretched when Blackmon and Shorts are on the field. Brown was having a ball.
Justin Blackmon had a quieter game, 6-for-58 but he’s still the biggest receiving threat and should have made the TD catch late in the game on his fade route. I can’t remember seeing him drop a ball. Cecil Shorts also had a very productive game going 8-for-80. It was somewhat tarnished by his dropped TD and earlier in the game on 3rd and short he dropped another pass on a simple slant route. He was covered a bit better on said pass, but should have still made the play.
The Offensive Line struggled, again. MJD really had to fight for his yards and fight he did. He was getting no help from the line. Early in the game when he got his longest run (11yds) the Line did do a very good job crashing the Chargers D-Line right. Even with the blitzing Safety MJD made a great move. Everything just worked on that play, we need more of those plays if we ever want to win a game.
The Offensive Line is also not good enough to carry out a QB sneak from 3rd and 1. That’s just my opinion. The O-Line did start the second half well. A great run again from MJD and push from the O-Line should have resulted in a big gain and 1st down. A facemask penalty saw to that. Ultimately six QB sacks does tell us a lot about the state of this Offensive Line, it’ll be a blessing when Joeckel lines up again. Especially if Teddy is sitting behind him.
On the other side of the ball it wasn’t pretty.
Paul Posluszny stuck out once again, being everywhere at once. He made some monster tackles and constantly stopped Woodhead, Gates and Mathews time and again. His tracking and pursuit was superb on a Danny Woodhead run in particular. Woodhead is a rapid RB, Posz stayed toe to toe with him and then brought him down with little effort. It wasn’t a perfect game I must add for #51. On the 26yard Woodhead screen run (Chargers were 2nd and 20) Posluszny had a chance to make a tackle which would have kept him a good five yards shy of the 1st. He took a terrible angle and was beaten far to easily.
John Cyprien had some big hits. He made a great play on the Royal fumble, great awareness to push the ball out of his hands, just unlucky that it was a few seconds to late. Geno Hayes had a really inconsistent game. On the one hand he had a good game in coverage, he was instrumental in the Gates non-fumble (was-a-fumble) play. On the flip side he missed a couple of key tackles, most notably on a Ryan Mathews counter play which he should have had a TFL, instead it went for a 1st and then some.
Going back to the Woodhead screen we saw three, plausibly four Jags players miss a tackle on that one move. Firstly Dwayne Gratz missed it early on along with Mike Harris being blocked to easily, then Paul Posluszny, Will Blackmon and San-Derrick Marks missed. In fairness to Blackmon he re-adjusted well and made the tackle stopping him going for an even bigger run. Missed tackles were pretty numerous Sunday evening. Alan Ball missed another Woodhead screen tackle and on Eddie Royals end-around Alan Ball again along with Josh Evans and Andre Brown all missing chances to stop Royal for a loss.
The Defensive Line I was particularly disappointed with. We got next to no pressure on Rivers and the Chargers had a horrible Offensive Line. At one point they didn’t even have an actual Left Tackle with King Dunlap and his replacement both out of the game and yet they still gave Rivers a clean pocket. Every now and again we’d see the likes of San’Derrick Marks making a key tipped pass play, Jason Babin forcing the sack that Marks managed and Andre Branch managing to slide right by King Dunlap on Rivers 1st incompletion of the game. For the rest of the game the D-Line was in-effective. They were pushed about like rag-dolls on the Mathews rushing TD and despite the fact that our secondary were covering the Chargers relatively well, we were giving Phillip Rivers ten seconds to throw at times, someone is always going to get open given enough time.
Damn I didn’t half rabbit on a bit. Then again it was a frustrating game. The Zebras were horrendous, the offense wasn’t clicking like we needed it to, the D-Line wasn’t up to the job and our missed tackles gifted San Diego countless 1st downs.
Next week we face a very good San Fransisco side who’ll be difficult to beat. They’ve found their rhythm and had a great game against a good defense vs. Tennessee. We need to stop the missed tackles, Colin Kaepernick much like Rivers is pretty poor when he’s not given the time to run or throw. Our D-Line, our offense needs to do something to make it a close game.
I’ll be on the sidelines at Wembley watching the Jags. I hope to god the game is enjoyable. Even if we don’t win, we need to at the very least make it a close game. We can only hope.