Breaking Down the Jags Defense
Rashean Mathis gets beat (Michael Conroy/AP)
Rashean Mathis gets beat (Michael Conroy/AP)
Editor-in-Chief
Posted Sep 22, 2008
Charlie Bernstein


There were a lot of positives in the way the Jaguars defense played Sunday, and there were also some troublesome spots. JagNation.com breaks down a Jaguars defense which ironically broke down in crunch time for the third consecutive week.

Lets start with the positives:
-The Jaguars secondary picked off Peyton Manning twice, one being returned all the way back for a touchdown by Rashean Mathis (61 yards).

-The Jaguars front four was able to get consistent pressure on Peyton Manning for the first time that I can remember. Paul Spicer consistently beat Ed Johnson, and Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves each got some pretty good push in the pocket.

-The blitz packages seemed to work fairly well as Peyton Manning was seemingly never in a comfort zone, and they forced some early, errant throws.

-The best Jaguars defense was their own running game, as they kept the Colts offense off the field for most of the day. 18 minutes and 25 seconds was all the Jaguars had to defend for.

Okay, now everything else:
- Tackling. The Jaguars had a myriad of missed tackles and there were very few open field stops. Nearly every player is guilty, as linebacker Mike Peterson continued his slow play, Daryl Smith missed several stops, Rashean Mathis and Drayton Florence appeared to have gone to the Deion Sanders school of tackling, and Gerald Sensabaugh yelled “Olé” several times.

- Where are the cover corners? Marvin Harrison may have lost a step or two, but he routinely beat Rashean Mathis and Will James, and if it wasn’t for a couple misfires by Peyton Manning, the offensive stats by the Colts would’ve looked entirely different.

- Drayton Florence. You didn’t think we’d leave him out, did you? Florence simply has no business being a starting corner on this team or in this league. The Jaguars gave this guy $12 million and a starting cornerback job, and he’s been absolutely terrible. Florence hasn’t stayed with any wide receivers all year long and he’s missed nearly every tackle that he’s had a chance to make. If safety Reggie Nelson’s injury isn’t that bad, the Jaguars must move Brian Williams back to corner and Gerald Sensabaugh to safety. Florence never earned his starting job, and he’s surely not playing well enough to keep it.

- Crunch time folding. The Jaguars defense has looked it’s softest during crunch time this season. For the second consecutive week, the defense allowed long drives by the opposition at the end of the game to take the lead, and they allowed the Titans offense to put the game away on opening day. Although the stats for the Jaguars defense look okay, opponents believe that they can score at the end of games, and they’re right.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

For more, go to: JagNation.com



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