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Jaguars Dominated by Cardinals, 31-17
With early pressure being put on the Jaguars offense, they responded by marching down the field in impressive fashion. Maurice Jones-Drew was the key cog as he cut back for a big 36-yard gain on second down to put the Jags into Arizona territory. The drive bogged down as the team got a little conservative on the play calling, and the Jags were forced into a Josh Scobee 36-yard field goal to cut the Arizona lead to 7-3.
Arizona held serve somewhat as Kurt Warner hit Anquan Boldin three more times to move the Cards into Jacksonville territory. This time, the Jags defense bent, but didn't completely break as Arizona was held to a long 46-yard field goal by Neil Rackers to put the Cards up 10-3.
After a three and out, the Jags get their first big break as a muffed punt gave them the ball on the Arizona 26. After another three and out in which the Jaguars were victim to potential missed call on pass interference, disaster struck as Josh Scobee's 47-yard field goal attempt was blocked and then returned 83 yards by Antrel Rolle to put the Cards up 17-3.
That missed interference call proved to be a major momentum shift for the Jaguars, as a drive which could have been tied the game or at least got the team within four points, ended up with Jacksonville in a two-touchdown hole.
"I thought it was pass interference," Jags quarterback David Garrard said. "I saw it on the jumbotron. You would think with the ref right there on the sideline, looking from the inside, somebody would have seen that situation."
The Jaguars offense was stimied after that, as they didn't score until the fourth quarter when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
"I don't know what happened," Garrard said after he was asked why his offense bogged down. "Obviously we weren't making the plays that are necessary to continue the drives."
Arizona added insult to injury as they drove down the field right before halftime and scored on a Kurt Warner throw to reserve running back Jason Wright. Arizona has dominated in every area and the scoreboard that showed a 24-3 Arizona lead is every bit indicative of the first-half domination by the Cardinals.
The second half was more of the same as Arizona kept pouring it on. Kurt Warner finished 24 for 26 for 243 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Warner's 92.3 completion percentage set a new NFL record. Anquan Boldin caught eight passes for 69 yards, Steve Breaston chipped in with five catches for 83 yards, and Larry Fitzgerald caught four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
Nothing worked offensively or defensively for the Jags, as they were outplayed in every facet of the game. David Garrard missed plenty of open receivers, and was ultimately ineffective until the game was no longer in doubt, leaving his statline of 23 for 43 for 282 yards, two touchdowns and one interception very much misleading.
"I absolutely need to play better next week," Garrard said of his own performance.
The Jaguars offensive line technically gave up four sacks and Garrard fumbled three times, but despite those statistics Garrard had time to throw.
"I thought I had plenty of time today," Garrard said. "Any game, they're going to be able to get a little bit of a rush on me, and I need to avoid some things and get outside the pocket and use my legs. Overall, I thought I definitely had enough time."
The Jaguars turned the ball over three times, and scored just three points on their first seven drives of the game.
"They played well defensively, but we were the ones that were shooting ourselves in the foot," Garrard said. "We were stopping our own drives."
One highlight for the Jaguars was the play of third-year receiver Mike Sims-Walker, who caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, to lead the team in receiving.
"It's not about me," the third-year pro from UCF said. "There's no 'I' in team and we lost."
The Jaguars, now 0-2 must rebound quickly as they travel to Houston to take on the Texans in Reliant Stadium, a place where the team is just 2-5.
"We just have to get back to the drawing board, get back to the basics," Garrard said following the game.
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