Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NEW ORLEANS 41, JACKSONVILLE 24; HOW THE GAME BROKE DOWN Bad Road Trip from Start to Finish

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NEW ORLEANS 41, JACKSONVILLE 24; HOW THE GAME BROKE DOWN Bad Road Trip from Start to Finish

Article excerpt

Byline: GENE FRENETTE

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-

When the opposition takes a 10-point lead before you take your first snap, and you're always facing a deficit, it's hard to establish the running game. When you lose your best lineman, Chris Naeole, to a first-quarter injury, and another (Khalif Barnes) is benched for breaking team rules, then a ground attack becomes next to impossible. Fred Taylor (13 carries, 54 yards) should have eclipsed the 10,000-yard mark, but circumstances didn't give him or Maurice Drew much of a chance to put up decent numbers

RUSHING DEFENSE: C+

While the elusive Reggie Bush (17 carries, 72 yards) did get some extra yardage from missed tackles, he was fairly well contained. The Saints decided from the outset the way to beat the Jaguars was to throw the ball all day like New England's Tom Brady did to them last year. The Saints' ground game on this day was little more than window dressing.

PASSING OFFENSE: B

After last week's shaky outing in his first NFL start, quarterback Quinn Gray rebounded with a solid performance. He delivered the team's first 300-yard passing game of the season. The 80-yard touchdown bomb to Reggie Williams, who torched ex-Colts cornerback Jason David, was an outstanding throw. It was the most open Williams has been downfield in his NFL career. Unfortunately, the day was marred by a critical interception on a fourth-and-4 that cornerback Mike McKenzie returned 75 yards for a touchdown. Besides locking in on receiver Ernest Wilford, Gray waited too long to release the pass, making it easier for McKenzie to break on the ball.

PASSING DEFENSE: F

A 5-2 record coming into the game masked the fact that the Jaguars have been an average defense this season, and quarterback Drew Brees exposed it in a big way. The Jaguars surrendered franchise records for completions (35), passing yards (445) and total yards (538). Not having cornerback Brian Williams for a second consecutive week was a factor, but doesn't excuse all the missed tackles in the secondary. …

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