Jacksonville City Nights: Offense

by Ryan

All week I’ve been paralyzed with this strange fear. You see, I really want to talk about the Bills, but I’m afraid of get ahead of myself. Since Sunday I’ve been thinking about this team and what it could do, and right after that all I can think about is that it’s just one week.

Still, that was one heck of a game. The person who I honestly thought had the worst game was Roscoe Parrish, and he had a punt return for a touchdown. (Seriously, though, pick up your blocks on important third downs, man. Don’t cut inside.) I honestly don’t know what to expect out of the Bills on Sunday, but there is something we can talk about today: Jacksonville.

You won’t hear about this game on ESPN because they’ve been quite busy this week. However, Jacksonville is supposed to be an emerging threat in the AFC, and they come off a tough road loss to the Titans. Let’s see what they have to say about this week’s game.

“It’s going to be hot and we love it. I hope it’s a thousand degrees out there. I hope the ground’s on fire. It can be an advantage for us and we’ll take it.”- Paul Spicer

As far as I can tell, that’s about the only thing the Jaguars have going for them at the moment. It may be 93-ish on Sunday, but right now their offensive line is in shambles and as we all know, the O-line is everything with a run-centric offense and a developing quarterback.

Two big injuries have hurt the Jags, with four new linemen on the roster. With their starting center (Brad Meester), left guard (Vince Manuwai), and right guard (Maurice Williams), the Jags were already in trouble. Add in the shooting of Richard Collier and, well, that’s a shaky looking offense at best. If you don’t think Stroud and Co. won’t be trigger happy (sorry) on Sunday, you don’t know this defense very well.

As far as their running game goes, you know who the Bills will be up against. Last year we saw plenty of Fred Taylor in Jacksonville. He ate us alive and single handily killed J.P. Losman, causing him the emotional trauma necessary to grow a pretty sick beard. Hey, maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.

For all the jokes about Taylor’s groin and durability, he certainly isn’t showing signs of tailing off. Healthy all of last year, he improved upon his 2006 stats and rushed for over 1,000 yards for the 7th time in his career. While his tandem pairing with Maurice Jones-Drew is bad for fantasy owners, the 1-2 punch has done wonders for the Jaguars offense over the past few years. They will be less dangerous with the line depleted, but they have the ability to make bad running plays into two yard gains.

This is where David Garrard comes in, and where I lose faith in the Jaguars offense.

Listen, Garrard is a good young quarterback, but a good young quarterback needs time to throw, and 5 random fat people standing in front of you an offense line does not make. Tennessee’s defense had seven sacks last Sunday, and if the Bills manage half as many this week it will be enough for a win.

We don’t quite know what the Bills defense will look like against an opponent that can run a clean route, but if the secondary is able to step up against Jerry Porter and Matt “Pale Nose” Jones the defensive line will be getting plenty of coverage sacks. The Bills first two games are a perfect recipe to help them gain confidence, and you can only hope to see them take advantage of the situation.

We’ll be back with some Bills links later on, as well as a look at the Jags’ defense, which worries us much more.