Second Place Never Tasted So Sweet: Jaguars' Season Not Over Yet

Tim HigginsCorrespondent ISeptember 29, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 14:  Running back Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks for room to run while taking on the Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on September 14, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

This is the feeling that you love. You feel the satisfaction of a win, and not any ordinary win, but a huge win for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The win puts them in second place in the division and ends what had been a disaster of a beginning of a season. 

But the key point is the second place spot. Sure, the Jaguars are 1-2; sure, the Jaguars got crushed by the Cardinals', Colts', and Texans' passing games; but the key is they are in fact 1-2 and sitting at a very happy 1-2. 

Yet there were more positives. Did you realize the Jaguars gave up just three points to the Texans in the second half? Yes, against one of the top offenses in the league, on the Texans' so-called homecoming, the Jaguars gave up fewer points than the Titans had a week ago to the same team.

And the Titans were at home.

So maybe, just maybe, the Jaguars defense is slowly reaching the pinnacle that they once were defined by.

Let us not forget David Garrard's performance. Although he had no passing touchdowns, he ran for one, rushed for yards, and was very solid in the passing game and looked like he did two years ago.

Granted, this was the Texans defense.

Here's my assessment of the Jaguars game.



* Three points given up by the defense in the second half.

* MJD's 119 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

* Three 10-play drives all resulting in touchdowns.

* 31 points scored.

* Ernest Wilford was certainly a quality pickup. He looks solider in No. 85 and also looks quite a deal bigger. Maybe he will be a underestimated success in the Jags offense.

* Mike Sims-Walker: Besides the fumble, he looked good. Have the Jags finally found a No. 1 receiver?

* Mike Thomas: The reverses were both successful. He also had a nice third down catch in traffic. Should become a quality slot man or even a second wide receiver once Torry Holt leaves.

* David Garrard: Played like he did in '07. If it continues, the Jaguars may stay in second place for quite some time.

* Eugene Monroe: So much for Mario Williams...not even one hurry.

* Gerald Alexander: You know, I find it odd that when Sean Considine left the game and Alexander came in, the defense tightened up. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

* Terrance Knighton: Before he got nicked up he was playing very well. Looks like we finally found a replacement for Marcus Stroud.



* Rashad Jennings: Needs to show the talent he showed in OTAs, preseason, and training camp.

* Defense in the first half: Not so good second quarter performance.



* Jaguars secondary: One pick, and let's give them a break. The Texans, Cardinals, and Colts are some of the top passing teams in the country. Let's see how they do against the Titans.

* Jaguars pass rush: Two sacks and a good bit of pressure in the second half. I think the Jaguars are starting to understand Mel Tucker's scheme.

* Special Teams: Jaguars lost the battle for field position, but there were still some decent returns.


Overall Assessment

The Jaguars seem to be a team on the rise. With a win this week in Tennessee the Jaguars could take a giant step forward and solidify themselves as a possible playoff contender. Also, to emerge from the four-game stretch of Colts, Cardinals, Texans, and Titans and be 2-2 would be quite the accomplishment.


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