Tale Of The Tape: Jacksonville Jaguars At St. Louis Rams
- QuarterbackQuarterback Blaine Gabbert was back in the lineup for the Jaguars in Week Four and it was another major struggle. He completed 17-of-32 passes, but he could not throw a touchdown pass and he was intercepted three times. Gabbert does not appear to have command of the offense and his throws are indecisive.Sam Bradford looked awful against the 49ers, but they had lost two games in a row and they came with their best effort. Forget that game, because Bradford should be able to get healthy against the Jaguars defense. Bradford reads defenses well and can deliver the ball accurately.
- OffenseThe Jaguars are limited on the offensive end. Their best weapon is running back Maurice Jones-Drew, but he may be the most frustrated player in the NFL because he is the focus of every opponent’s defensive game plan. Cecil Shorts had a decent year in 2012, but he has just been ordinary so far this year.The Rams want to establish Daryl Richardson as a go-to running back, but he has not demonstrated his proficiency to this point. Austin Pettis and Chris Givens are decent targets for Bradford, but they are not stars. Pettis can run reliable routes, while Givens is going to catch most passes he can get his hands on.
- DefenseThe Jaguars may have given up 37 points to the Colts in Week Four, but much of that was due to their offensive problems and turnovers. Linebacker Paul Posluszny is a big hitter and a reliable tackler who registered nine stops against the Colts. Russell Allen is a decent pass rusher who had seven tackles and a sack vs. the Colts.The Rams can be an excellent defense when their pass rush is working well. Robert Quinn has the speed to come around the corner while Chris Long can overpower blockers and also use his quickness as well. Linebacker James Laurinaitis is coming off a 12-tackle effort against San Francisco.
- Special TeamsThe Jaguars have a lot of problems and special teams is included. Their coverage units are quite unimpressive. Josh Scobee has a strong leg and made a 53-yard field goal vs. the Colts. Bryan Anger averaged 48.3 yards per punt in Week Four.The Rams have been solid in kick coverage this season. They have a chance to win any game that comes down to a kicking contest because Greg Zuerlein has one of the strongest legs of any placekicker in the league, while Johnny Hekker is skilled at dropping his punts inside the 20.
The score may not show it, but the Jaguars came out playing hard against the Colts and gave a good effort for 30 minutes, but could not stay with them. They will likely have a hard time going on the road against a team that was just embarrassed in its last game. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor