During the off-season, the Jacksonville Jaguars were predicted to be the team to contend with the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC South title. Oh, what a difference seven weeks can make.
This entire football season has been full of surprises and jaw dropping events throughout the league.
Several factors have played a major role in the 3-3 record of the Jaguars, but one of the most obvious is the list of injuries that the Jags began to accumulate during training camp.
Of the top seven offensive linemen for the Jags, four have been injured from the beginning. Vince Manuwai is out for the season with a knee injury. Richard Collier was shot several times which has ended his career. Maurice Williams and Brad Meester tore their biceps and were listed to be out indefinitely, but it appears that Meester will return this week against the Cleveland Browns.
The Jaguars offense has looked sub-par at best this season. David Garrard is definitely not looking like the seven–year, $60 million quarterback that the Jaguars organizations had hoped for (seeing as how it was the largest contract in franchise history). Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew have not been the running tandem that they were expected to be thus far this season.
The offensive line is not completely to blame for the failures and struggles of the Jaguars, but the return of Meester could be a big boost to the offense. Taylor is primed to hit the 11,000 career yards mark this Sunday as well as setting the record for most touchdowns in franchise history (passing Jimmy Smith who had 69).
Also keep in mind that this is Taylor’s most productive time of year. Late October is always the time of year that Taylor puts up big numbers. Ninety-two percent of his last twenty-four 100 yard games have come on or after October 24.
The Browns are ranked 26th in the league for rushing defense. The Jaguars are coming off of a bye week while the Browns are coming off of a tough loss to the Redskins.
Combine all of these factors and Sunday’s match–up between the Browns and the Jaguars should produce the Jaguars offense that we all watched intensely last year as they made it into the playoffs. Meester’s return is much needed and on Sunday we should see his return make a huge impact on the Jaguar’s offense.
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