As the Jacksonville Jaguars studied the San Diego Chargers this week, tight end Antonio Gates probably received a decent amount of attention.
Considering how porous their pass defense seemed last week, the Jaguars should've spent a whole meeting on him.
Edging the Broncos in a 24-17 season-opening victory at home, Jacksonville gave up 295 yards through the air. Denver quarterback Kyle Orton, a league-average talent with an unspectacular corps of receivers, had the NFL's sixth-best stat line last Sunday against the Jaguars' secondary.
Heading to San Diego this weekend, a repeat of that performance will earn Jacksonville a worse whipping by Philip Rivers, the Chargers' razor-sharp quarterback. Odds are, it would also even the Jaguars' win-loss record at 1-1.
Luckily, Jacksonville won't have to deal with Pro Bowler holdout Vincent Jackson. San Diego's passing game is still threatening, but it lives and dies with Gates—a three-time All-Pro, six-time Pro Bowler, member of the NFL's All-Decade (2000s) Team, and the first tight end taken in your fantasy draft.
The Antonio Gates.
Now, how in the world are the Jaguars going to handle that?