January 11, 2008


Jaguars, Patriots set to slug it out in divisional playoff game (Howard Ulman, 1/11/08, AP)

In the other corner, the young, upset-minded Jaguars coached by former hard-hitting linebacker Jack Del Rio.

"I think he's really built this team into the same way he played the game," Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard said, "physical, smash-mouth." [...]

They have 325-pound nose tackle Vince Wilfork, a lightweight compared with Jaguars defensive tackles John Henderson, a 335-pounder who was sidelined for last Saturday's 31-29 playoff win at Pittsburgh, and Grady Jackson, his 345-pound backup.

"It's a good challenge," Patriots right tackle Nick Kaczur said. "Offensive linemen definitely like to stand up physically against other people."

Throw in the 245-pound Garrard and three wide receivers who are 6-foot-4 or taller and the Jaguars have the size advantage.

"Their whole team is like that. They draft them that way," Belichick said. "Henderson ... Grady Jackson, you're not going to find them much bigger than them."

And they keep coming at you.

A two-star rating: Jones-Drew, Taylor stand out in film session (Michael Vega, January 11, 2008, Boston Globe)
The sobering reality seemed to jump off the screen.

During their videotape study of the Jaguars' vaunted rushing attack, the Patriots defense was impressed by what they saw of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. With each chunk of yardage Taylor and Jones-Drew churned out, it became apparent there was only one way the Patriots could prevent getting plowed asunder tomorrow night at Gillette Stadium. [...]

"I think this is the biggest challenge of the year in terms of facing running backs that are at the top of their games and two running backs who can score any time they touch the ball," said linebacker Tedy Bruschi. "You saw the play out of the backfield to Jones-Drew last week [in a 31-29 wild-card victory at Pittsburgh]. It was just an easy swing pass and he took it all the way to the house [giving the Jaguars a 21-7 lead]. His [96-yard] kickoff return [set up Taylor's 1-yard score that tied it, 7-7]. Taylor, all the breakout runs he's had, he finishes them in the end zone.

"They're not really a 3, 4, 5 yards and a cloud of dust-type team. If they get in the open field they're going to be going all the way."

Tom Brady is the only opposing player in the NFL you'd less like to see holding the football than Maurice Jones-Drew.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2008 9:08 AM


Posted by: Brandon at January 11, 2008 10:31 AM

Has outlived the rather short RB shelflife.

Posted by: oj at January 11, 2008 1:49 PM

Adrian Peterson

Posted by: Bartman at January 11, 2008 2:06 PM

Has outlived the rather short RB shelflife.

LT led the NFL in rushing yards (twice as many as Jones-Drew), rushing TDs (twice as many as Jones-Drew), 3rd in RB receptions (almost twice as many as Jones-Drew). We should all outlive ourselves in such a manner.


Posted by: Brandon at January 11, 2008 2:34 PM

He's fine in meaningless games--like those against the AFC West. The Pats made him cry last year.

Posted by: oj at January 11, 2008 5:46 PM

LT had 23 carries for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns in that game - plus 64 more receiving yards.

And they didn't make him cry, they ticked him off by acting like classless jerks at the end of the game.

Posted by: Brandon at January 11, 2008 6:08 PM

Even LT has trouble against 9 men in the box.

See Adrian Peterson.

Posted by: Benny at January 11, 2008 6:12 PM