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Jaguars 101′s Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterly Report Card

October 5th, 2011 at 3:37 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

It’s hard to believe that the NFL season is a quarter of the way through. 

If you’re a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, maybe you’re wishing it was over already.
The Jaguars started the season 1-3 and an anemic offensive attack has been a hot-button topic as the team has gone on a three-game skid.  
What has gone wrong four games into the season? What has gone right? Take a look at who is passing and failing as Jaguars 101 hands out grades quarterly grades for each position.
Quarterback Grade: F –Say what you like about David Garrard, but his season-long quarterback rating has never been a 50.5, which is what Jacksonville quarterbacks Luke McCown and Blaine Gabbert have combined so far this year. McCown is mostly to blame for that stat after his four-interception game against the New York Jets in Week 2, but Gabbert has struggled too, putting up a 62.9 rating in two games as a starter. The rookie has shown a ton of promise and doesn’t have a lot of help at wide receiver, but his inaccuracy has hurt him at times. His potential saves this grade from being an ‘F’.
Running Back Grade: B – Maurice Jones-Drew hasn’t had much room to work with but is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and has put up 391 yards this season, but that number is more of an indication on him getting a few big runs. If you take out his game-long runs (21, 16, 39, 41) out of the equation, he’s averaging just 3.5 yards per carry, which isn’t what you expect from a bulldozer like Jones-Drew. Deji Karim has struggled as a backup, averaging 2 YPC.
Offensive Line Grade: D –There hasn’t been consistency in the run game and the pass protection has been average at best. There have been some injuries up front but the Jaguars’ line has compounded many of the offense’s deficiencies. 
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: F –Gabbert has received little help from his wide outs. Mike Thomas has been opportunistic but not consistent and Jason Hill has struggled to get open. Rookie Cecil Shorts has been non-existent and Marcedes Lewis has been the only standout of the group.
Defensive Line: B+ –The run game has been solid because of tackles Terrenace Knighton and Tyson Alualu. Jeremy Mincey has been decent at defensive end and is fairly strong against the run. The Jaguars have recorded only six sacks this season, which hurts this grade.
Linebackers: C+ -Far from dominating but far from being a doormat. Paul Posluszny has been OK but the Jaguars’ other free-agent acquisition, Clint Session, has been a non-factor the early part of the season. Darryl Smith has been consistent as always.
Defensive Backs: C – Again, not bad but not great. So much is hard to tell because the offense has consistently but the defense in bad positions this year. William Middleton has been decent filling in for Derek Cox. Dwight Lowery looks like he could be a fantastic addition. This unit should get better as the year goes on but must improve on its third-down coverage. 
Special Teams
Kicking Game: A+ -Josh Scobee has been phenomenal since the preseason and is a touchback machine with the new rule change. 
Punting Game: D- -Matt Turk has been one of the league’s worst punters, averaging 40 yards per punt and he leads the NFL in touchbacks with five.
Return Game: D –Karim has made poor choices taking the ball out of the endzone a few times and Shorts has averaged just five yards per punt return.
Coaching Grade: F
Sorry, but the coaching has been pretty bad other than Mel Tucker’s work this year. Jack Del Rio and Dirk Koetter seem to have some enteral struggle going on right now and the management of the offense has spoiled four good defensive efforts. The next 12 games might be disastrous for the Jaguars if this category doesn’t get better. 
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Dirk Koetter, Football, Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Maurice-Jones Drew, NFL

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