MJD Returns Home

MJD (Getty Images)

A native of Antioch, Calif., near San Francisco, Jones-Drew will play his first NFL game at "home" Sunday against the 49ers.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew was held to 66 yards in 25 carries last week by the Buffalo Bills even though they brought the worst rushing defense in the league into the game.

It was Jones-Drew's lowest total in a game in which he's had 25 or more carries.

Sunday in San Francisco, getting the running game untracked could be a big challenge.

Jones-Drew will take on a San Francisco defense that is ranked sixth against the rush and 30th against the pass. The 49ers are also the No. 1 team at getting teams in second-and-long situations.

"It's going to be a tough test this week," Jones-Drew said.

Mike Tice, the Jaguars' assistant head coach/tight ends, said they didn't win enough individual battles against Buffalo.

"In the running game, you have to have a high, high percentage of your guys win their individual battles to run the ball well," he said. "If you don't, it kind of looks like it did last week."

A native of Antioch, Calif., near San Francisco, Jones-Drew will play his first NFL game at "home" Sunday against the 49ers.

"I'm definitely excited," he said. "It's where I was raised, (so) a lot of family members, friends, coaches -- people that have made me who I am today -- will be there. It will be a very emotional time, but at the same time we have a tough game we have to win so that's what matters."

This will be Jones-Drew's first visit to his hometown stadium since halftime of a 2002 playoff game, when he was honored with the rest of his De La Salle High School teammates who helped string together a 151-game winning streak.

Jones-Drew, though, said the private Catholic school stressed academics more than football.

"If you didn't have the grades, you weren't going to play," Jones-Drew said. "Plain and simple."

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