Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Breaking Down the Game; MJD Solid, Passing Game Struggled

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Breaking Down the Game; MJD Solid, Passing Game Struggled

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette

RUSHING OFFENSE

A+

A tried and true formula against the Colts over the years has been to keep pounding Maurice Jones-Drew (28 carries, 177 yards) into their soft underbelly. It worked again Sunday, especially on the 59-yard touchdown run that allowed the Jaguars to get back in the game. Tackle Guy Whimper and tight end Marcedes Lewis blocked out defensive end Cory Redding, and an overpursuing Colts defense never laid a hand on Jones-Drew, who accounted for 58 percent of the team's total yardage. It was his eighth 100-yard game against the AFC South rival.

PASSING OFFENSE

D+

It was an awful exhibition for 59 minutes until one glorious throw-and-catch saved the day. You can't draw up a play better than the pass from Blaine Gabbert (10 of 21, 155 yards) to Cecil Shorts that delivered the highlight of the day: an 80-yard, game-winning TD in the final minute. But what transpired before then was a virtual repeat of the 2011 season. Three dropped balls, a bullet pass sailing through Kevin Elliott's hands in the end zone, and only one catch for 7 yards from Justin Blackmon. They didn't trust Gabbert to convert a third-and-9 that would have sealed the outcome.

RUN DEFENSE

B-

The Colts, one of the worst running teams in the NFL, got better mileage than usual, thanks in part to quarterback Andrew Luck scrambling three times for first downs. Donald Brown (18 carries, 62 yards) got some tough yards when it mattered, including a critical 6 yards preceding Adam Vinatieri's go-ahead field goal with 1:01 remaining. The Jaguars did a better job of tackling in space, notably Russell Allen and cornerbacks William Middleton and Rashean Mathis in some one-on-one situations on the outside edge.

PASS DEFENSE

C+

The Jaguars are still having trouble generating any kind of pass rush (0 sacks), which is a big concern when Luck is airing it out 46 times. …

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