Although none of the four teams in the AFC South have marquee rookies, the first-year players on all…
Can the Jags Move Past .500?
The Jaguars were 2-2 when they went to Seattle and lost 41-0 and they were 3-3 when they went to Tennessee and lost 30-13.
Being at .500 is nothing new for the Jaguars. The Jaguars are exactly at .500 in the regular season since the start of the 2006 season. They went 8-8 in 2006 when they lost their last three games after starting 8-5, and they're 32-32 over the last two seasons, going 11-5 in 2007 and 5-11 in 2008.
Though the Jets have lost four of their last five games after winning their first three games, they should provide a good test for the Jaguars. The Jets are No. 1 in the league in rushing offense and No. 2 in overall defense.
The Jaguars' rushing defense will have to stop running back Thomas Jones, who has 704 yards on 149 carries for a 4.7-yard average. The Jaguars gave up 228 yards two weeks ago to Chris Johnson of Tennessee, but they held Kansas City, which was playing without running back Larry Johnson, to 60 yards in 14 carries.
The Jaguars also are back to their trademark running game. While David Garrard threw 27 passes against the Chiefs, the Jaguars had 32 run plays plus nine scrambles by Garrard.
The Jaguars, who played the 3-4 defense in their first seven games, went back to the 4-3 alignment against the Chiefs and will likely stick with it against the Jets.
The main thing, though, is that the Jaguars tackled much better against the Chiefs than they did against the Titans.
"Guys did a real good job on tackling. That's what we came in this week concentrating on; guys were swarming and flying to the ball. It wasn't just one (guy) tackling. There was a swarm of guys," coach Jack Del Rio he said.
LINEUP WATCH: Cornerback Rashean Mathis returned to the starting lineup after he missed the Tennessee game with a broken left index finger. His return allowed Reggie Nelson, who struggled at cornerback last week, to return to his safety position. The Jaguars also moved rookie Eugene Monroe back into the starting lineup at left tackle. He was held out last week in favor of veteran Tra Thomas because Thomas played well in the first Tennessee game when Monroe was ill.
TRENDING: Chris Johnson not only ran all over the Jaguars' defense last week, but he may have run it right out of the 3-4 alignment. The Jaguars, traditionally a 4-3 team under coach Jack Del Rio, went with the 3-4 defense the first seven weeks of the season, but they decided to go back to the 4-3 against the Chiefs.
Del Rio, though, said it wasn't Johnson's running but their inability to rush the quarterback that prompted the switch. They only had five sacks in the first seven games and they had three against Matt Cassel, but the Chiefs don't protect him well. He now has been sacked 24 times.
In the 4-3, John Henderson moved from end to his traditional tackle spot and played alongside rookie Terrance Knighton. Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, drafted in the first two rounds last year, played the end spots. Harvey had been playing as a rush standup linebacker and Groves started the season as a linebacker but was demoted.
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