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Early-season test in Denver


Jack Del Rio is challenging his team to show its stuff.

"This stacks up as a great early-season test for our football team," the Jaguars head coach said of his team's game in Denver this Sunday, against a 2-0 Broncos team that is number one in the league in offense and number two in defense.

Will the Jaguars pass that test? That's the question fans will apply, following the Jaguars' 1-1 start to the season.

What are we to believe of the Jaguars defense? Is it the group that allowed 282 yards rushing against Tennessee and is currently last in the league in run-defense, or is it the defense that stopped the Falcons cold in the fourth quarter of this past Sunday's win?

How about the offense? Is it the group that is currently sixth in the league in explosive plays, or is it the offense that has managed just one touchdown in each of the first two games?

"This is a tough opponent," quarterback David Garrard said of the Broncos. "This is a team that has a lot of weapons on defense. We have to make sure we attack them the right way."

The Broncos' weakness through two games has been their run-defense, currently ranked 27th in the league. The Jaguars are likely to focus on running the ball against the Broncos, who happen to have the league's number one pass-defense.

Champ Bailey is generally considered to be the game's best cover-corner. Dre Bly gives the Broncos two quality corners and that means Garrard will likely have to play at an even higher level if he is to lead the Jaguars to a win this week.

"We have to make sure we're ready for them," Garrard said of the Broncos' cornerbacks. "You have to pick your moments.

"They want to have our pass game be a factor. No matter how many people they put in the box, we should still be able to run the ball," Garrard added.

The Jaguars running game has been ineffective to date. The Jaguars are 21st in the league in rush-offense and have yet to rush for a touchdown.

"It's just getting used to the different plays we run," running back Maurice Jones-Drew said, referring to the new offense the Jaguars have installed for this season.

The big question for the Jaguars on defense is how the team will cope with the loss of safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who is expected to be placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Will Sammy Knight replace Sensabaugh at safety or might Brian Williams be moved from corner to safety and Aaron Glenn or Scott Starks inserted at corner? As expected, Del Rio provided no answer.

"We'll use the guys we have," Del Rio said.

The Jaguars were to present their practice report, which lists injuries and player participation, at four p.m. on Wednesday. It was also expected the Jaguars would announce roster moves at that time.

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