Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GAME BREAKDOWN; Running, Passing Finally in Sync

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GAME BREAKDOWN; Running, Passing Finally in Sync

Article excerpt

Byline: GENE FRENETTE

RUSHING OFFENSE: B+

It was an encouraging sign that the Jaguars were able to pound the ball up the middle so effectively with Maurice Drew (22 carries, 125 yards), who received more work because Fred Taylor suffered a mild concussion. Drew's 46-yard touchdown dash on a counter is the kind of play that will open things up in the passing game. The interior line of Dennis Norman, Uche Nwaneri and Tutan Reyes, who started for Milford Brown, was vastly improved.

PASS OFFENSE: A-

The third quarter was the most dynamic the Jaguars looked this season. When he had good protection, David Garrard found open receivers who weren't covered by Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. Garrard took advantage of big cushions given to Matt Jones by Dre Bly and the Broncos' inability to stay with tight end Marcedes Lewis. Garrard had a beautifully thrown 69-yard pass to Troy Williamson nullified by a Khalif Barnes holding penalty.

RUSH DEFENSE: C

When you let a 33-year-old backup running back (Michael Pittman) hit the 100-yard mark by the third quarter, it's not the best of days. The Jaguars are still giving up too much yardage on sweep plays. It's not just linebackers Mike Peterson, Daryl Smith and Justin Durant needing to play faster, but the tackles must get more push. A nice job, though, by John Henderson getting off his block to stop Pittman on a crucial fourth-and-1 in the second quarter.

PASS DEFENSE: B

By far, the best job of coverage over a full game all season against the NFL's No. 2-ranked pass offense. While the secondary was beaten early by receiver Brandon Marshall, it settled down and was able to limit the damage. Cornerback Drayton Florence made the play of the game when he stripped Marshall of the ball at the Jaguars 7 and returned it 18 yards, leading to the team's first touchdown. …

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