The first game of the football season is a sign of a new beginning, with NFL fans across the world rejoicing at the return of their favorite sport after months of uncertainty. This first preseason game signaled the start of a new day in the life of the Jacksonville Jaguars, where everyone starts out with a clean slate. Okay then, that's enough optimism for today. Unfortunately, the Jaguars got thumped by the New England Patriots and there is a lot of Ugly to go around. So, let's play the music and get this article started:
Blaine Gabbert threw some laser-guided rockets around the field. Unfortunately, some of the receivers couldn't hold onto the ball. However, when he get pressure, his passes tend to sail.
Will Rackley held his own through most of the game. He certainly did much better than Guy Whimper. He was sometimes pushed back by a stronger lineman, but the good thing is that he wasn't merely tossed aside.
The $100 million linebacking corps
All of the first team linebackers made plays. Longtime linebacker, Daryl Smith put in a good which on Brian Hoyer. Paul Posluszny disrupted the backfield on one particular rushing play, allowing for Tyson Alualu to tackle the running back for a mere three yard gain. Clint Session was easily the most impressive of the three. Session had two forced fumbles and another hard hit to electrify the defense.
Jason Hill was the most consistent Jaguars receiver on the day, but his success was overshadowed by the failures of the other wide receivers. He made a few nice catches and if he keeps doing so, he'll win over the hearts of Jaguar fans (Who, might I add, are probably clamoring for a free agent wide receiver right now).
Deji had a few explosive runs during the game, but nothing was more explosive than his 84-yard kickoff return where he managed to weave in and out to make it down the field. It was easily the play of the night.
Scobee may have had tightness in his leg, but the Jags sure didn't help him out by making him kick three field goals. His kicks still look solid, though.
I think we all miss Adam Podlesh, because if we have to see more 14-yard punts, the Jaguars will be in serious trouble, because games are won and lost by field position.
Paul Posluszny's pass coverage
I think we can chalk it up to lack of practice time and being a mismatch, but having Aaron Hernandez rip the ball away from you and then proceed to run for a large gain is embarrassing.
Terrence Wheatley was abused while he was on the field. While in coverage, he looked dazed and confused while the receiver caught the ball easily. He might be in the first cuts.
Speaking of first cuts, Tiquan Underwood stood out by dropping multiple balls. As the announcer noticed, Jack Del Rio was yelling "Catch the ball" on the sidelines, which suggests that Underwood was on the head coach's short list, which probably means that he's going to be one of the first players leaving on that Midnight Train to Georgia.
Second and third team defense
Giving up 40 points to the Patriots second and third team offenses is unacceptable. I understand that many players were out with injuries, but the missed tackles and blown coverages was a painful sight to watch. Del Rio and Mel Tucker needs to keep working with the defensive backs, because they need help. The pass rush was nonexistent as well. Besides a couple of plays where D'Anthony Smith and Nate Collins broke loose and rushed Mallett, he had such a clean pocket, the probably could've played a full game of solitaire and still would be able to make a full step in on his throws.
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Clint Session, Daryl Smith, Deji Karim, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jason Hill, Josh Scobee, Matt Turk, New England Patriots, Paul Posluszny, Tiquan Underwood, Tyson Alualu, Will Rackley