Jaguars vs. Cardinals Game Preview
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Posted Sep 19, 2009
Charlie Bernstein

The Jaguars return to Jacksonville for their home opener as they host the defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals (0-1) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

Sunday, September 20th, 1:00 p.m.

Jacksonville Municipal Stadium

Kickoff Temperature: 86 degrees, 40% chance of precipitation

Line: Jags by 3

Three most important things for the Jaguars on defense:

1. Pressure Kurt Warner. The Cardinals offensive line did a poor job of protecting Kurt Warner last week, and the future Hall of Fame quarterback wasn't nearly as effective.

2. Don't let Larry Fitzgerald beat you. Easier said than done we know, but Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston aren't at 100%, and the Jags should take their chances with those two in one-on-one coverage situations.

3. No arm tackles. The Jaguars did a good job of tackling last week and they need a repeat performance of that, as Tim Hightower and Chris Wells are tough runners.

Three most important things for the Jaguars on offense:

1. Diversity. Although Maurice Jones-Drew is the Jaguars best offensive player, he can't be the only form of offense. David Garrard must spread the ball around.

2. Take some shots downfield. The Jaguars didn't take any real shots down the field last week, and receivers were open. Jacksonville must test the Arizona secondary.

3. A fast start. Everyone knows that the Cardinals have historically had trouble traveling to the east coast and playing at 1:00. A fast start by the Jags will put Arizona behind the proverbial "eight-ball" and turn them into a one-dimensional offense.

What to look for:

1. Look for a low-scoring game. The Jaguars played solid bend, but don't break defense a week ago, and the Cardinals struggled blocking the San Francisco defenders. Both trends could continue and if any team gets to 20 points, they will likely be the winner.

2. Look for the Cards to test Derek Cox. The Jaguars rookie made some great plays last Sunday, but also gave up some big plays. Look for a lot of jump balls to Larry Fitzgerald.

3. Look for the Jags to take some shots downfield.
David Garrard has been told that he must get better and take some more chances. Last week's offensive showing from the quarterback position simply isn't good enough to win in this league.

4. Look for Maurice Jones-Drew to run for less than 75 yards. The Cards held down Frank Gore last week, Jones-Drew will be their number one defensive priority on Sunday.

5. Look for the Jags to win the football game. Jacksonville is out-talented offensively, but they are well-coached, and the Cardinals receivers aside from Larry Fitzgerald are banged up. The Jaguars will play a somewhat sloppy game, but will persevere and give however many fans in attendance a reason to come back.

Sleeper watch: Troy Williamson, Jerheme Urban

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