Denver’s week 1 opponent could give the Broncos a run for their money. The Jacksonville Jaguars went 7-9 last season after a 5-11 record in 2008. To give us the inside scoop on the Jags, Terry from Black and Teal was kind enough to answer a few questions about the strengths and weaknesses of this Jaguars team.
1) What has emerged as your strength and weakness on the offense?
We were surprised in the preseason as Maurice Jones Drew sat out all of the games. There was almost no work on the running game. The excuse given was “we know how to run the ball”. Is this true or is there something being concealed? We also had significant competition in the offense line.
As a strength, we were surprised by the passing game. The plays were coming out quicker, David Garrard had time to throw and he was completing a high percentage of passes. It seems the quarterback and receivers are on the same page. Special teams was also giving us great field position and look like an offensive weapon.
As a weakness, the offensive line is unsettled. Eben Britton, the right tackle didn’t play until the last game and was on his backside a lot. Justin Smiley from Miami is starting at left guard despite not playing much in preseason. We are worried about the line and that Maurice Jones Drew did not appear.
2) What has emerged as your strength and weakness on defense
The defensive line was completely rebuilt. Tyson Alualu is our first round draft choice and you will get tired of covering him. Terrance Knighton came in overweight but worked it off and looks even better for it. Aaron Kampman is here from Green Bay and the focus is get the quarterback. You remember Kirk Morrison? He is our middle linebacker and it seems like it will be tough to run on the Jaguars.
In a strange move, both guys fighting for free safety are no longer with the team. It was so simple and easy for teams to complete 15 – 20 yard passes against us. In the first preseason game, Philadelphia was in the red zone 9 out of 11 possessions. We have major problems in the secondary. Eddie Royal running free is a real possibility.
3) Why will your team win the game?
If we can establish the run, we can play action pass and put together long drives. If we can get to Kyle Orton, we might force a turnover. Our special teams are built to bust things wide open. Kaseem Osgood, you know him, is with us now. We are counting on stopping the run and forcing a passing attack. Then we need enough pressure to force bad decisions. That is the only way to win, but it is a tall order. Your Broncos did surrender the ball at critical times last year.
It is a must win home opener. The energy level will be matched. It will be 95 degrees and humid on Sunday. Our team thinks it has cooled down. Your team will melt in the middle of the third quarter. That is our strategy.
A big thanks to Terry for taking the time to answer these questions. I also answered the same questions about the Broncos for Black and Teal. Head over there now to read my answers.
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