by Cole Pepper
September 15, 2013
The Jaguars dropped to 0-2 with a 19-9 loss to the Raiders in Oakland. Here are my takeaways from the game:
- Johnathan Cyprien has a chance to be pretty good-He hasn’t totally figured out all of the coverages, especially making improvised decisions on the fly, but the second round pick plays with the kind of physical intensity and aggressive approach that the Jaguars need in the secondary. He also has good awareness for a rookie, for instance punching the ball out of Darren McFadden’s grasp in the 4th quarter, forcing a fumble.
- Luke Joeckel isn’t there yet-Joeckel had a rough fourth quarter especially. He blocked the wrong blitzer on at least one occasion and committed back to back false start penalties. Even if it is loud in Oakland, the fact that he’s committing those penalties tells me that he isn’t confident that he can win his one-on-one battles without getting an edge. That should come (and it needs to come this year) for the Jaguars quarterback’s sake.
- The offensive line has to be better or the Jaguars won’t match last year’s win total-It’s not just Joeckel. The Jaguars interior line play has been sub-par. Without Maurice Jones-Drew in the game, the running game was non-existent (even Jones-Drew averaged only 2.7 yards per carry). The Jaguars aren’t pass protecting well and they are losing the physical battles in the run game. That’s the biggest reason the team has scored only one touchdown through two games.
- Justin Blackmon WOULD make a difference-Would the Jaguars have won if Justin Blackmon had not been serving his league mandated four game suspension? Maybe. Here’s my observation: late in the game the Raiders began playing soft in the secondary, trying to keep the Jaguars from hitting a long pass. That’s when Cecil Shorts came alive. He finished with eight receptions for 93 yards. If there is another threat in the passing game, it should open things up for Chad Henne (or whoever happens to be at quarterback when the Jaguars get Blackmon back in three weeks). Until then, it’s going to be tough sledding.
- The Jaguars can’t win without Blackmon, Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis-Plain and simple, they just don’t have enough good players. This is what happens when a new regime “blows up the roster,” which is, in essence, what general manager Dave Caldwell did. Too many young players, players unaccustomed to the new scheme and players looking for a leader, which the Jaguars also do not have on offense right now.
- Who is Clay Harbor? Is Clay Harbor a waterfront boat dock? A nautical crafts project? No, he’s the only player to score a touchdown for the Jaguars this year. The one time Eagle is the all time leader in receptions at Missouri State. He was picked up by the Jaguars after the final cut to 53. Incidentally, he and J.T. Thomas, another post-cut pick up, have accounted for 8 of the Jaguars 11 points this year. Josh Scobee ‘s field goal are the only other points for the Jaguars this year.