Photo: Doug Benc / Getty Images
This is our familiar post-game segment in which we look at our final game preview, and see if the most important questions were answered in the game.
Five Most Important Things for the Jaguars:
1. Stop the run. Mission accomplished. The Jaguars held the Falcons to just 82 yards on the ground.
What to look for:
2. Open it up early. The Jaguars opened it up early, but the result was just three points by halftime. David Garrard was solid, but the offense is still not "scoring some damn points!" (Apologies to Vic Ketchman)
3. Make the fourth quarter, the Jaguars quarter. Mission accomplished in a big way. Garrard and the Jaguars outscored the Falcons 10-0 in the fourth, and the Falcons had -5 total yards in the final frame.
4. Make adjustments this week if things aren't going well. The Jaguars tweaked some things this week during the game. They laid back early on and let Joey Harrington pick them apart. Later on, they changed up the defense and got more pressure on the journeyman quarterback. The result was a second-half shutout.
5. Stop the negative momentum. The Jaguars did what it took to win. Anyone who watched that game wouldn't confuse either team with any kind of possible championship contender, but the Jaguars did just enough to win. As coach Del Rio said in his press conference, "We needed that one big-time. We had to have a win. We worked so hard over the offseason. It was a situation that we had to find a way to win. Played hard, played tough, found a way to overcome some penalties."
1. Look for a big day by Fred Taylor. How about a better day from Fred Taylor? 16 carries for 56 yards will never be considered a big day for Fred, but it was an improvement from the week earlier.
2. Look for Reggie Nelson to start the game, and play well. Reggie started, and I thought played well. Despite having just one tackle, Reggie did his job.
3. Look for the Jaguars defensive tackle rotation to dominate. Marcus Stroud played a whale of a game, as well as John Henderson prior to his injury (concussion). Derek Landri and Rob Meier were also very active in the middle.
4. Look for even more Marcedes Lewis. Marcedes wasn't a huge factor, but he did get open. It was good to see the receivers more involved this week, and very few drops.
5. Look for an enthusiastic, albeit less than full Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The announced attendance was just 61,821, and certainly less than that number showed up. The crowd that was there was witness to the hottest home game in Jacksonville history (88 degrees), and they did a nice job of making noise.