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In-game blog: Jags vs Panthers

Dec 9 2007 10:53AM
Hi everyone and welcome to the press box at "The Jack." I'll begin today with some good news for fans coming to the game. Bay Street is being reopened as I write this, which should ease traffic concerns greatly. Come on down.

Dec 9 2007 11:18AM
This isn't a big storylines game. The story is very simple: A win over the Panthers today will move the Jaguars one step closer to a playoff berth. The Jaguars have a one-game lead over Cleveland and Tennessee in the wild-card race. Cleveland is at the Jets; that's a 4:15 start. Tennessee hosts the Chargers in a one o'clock start.

Dec 9 2007 11:57AM
Jaguars inactives: John Broussard, LaBrandon Toefield, Aaron Glenn, Lamont Thompson, Mike Peterson, Uche Nwaneri, Tutan Reyes, Reggie Hayward.

Dec 9 2007 11:59AM
Panthers inactives: David Carr (third QB), C.J. Wilson, James Anderson, Jeremy Bridges, Frank Omiyale, Dwane Jarrett, Gary Gibson, Charles Johnson.

Dec 9 2007 12:01PM
It is very warm. The temperature is 79 degrees and the humidity is 64 percent. When the sun is out, it's real warm and I think that's going to have an impact on today's game. This is December; players aren't accustomed to that kind of heat at this time of the year. Who will it affect?

Dec 9 2007 12:16PM
I just did a quick poll of guys -- Mark Long, Alan Schmadtke, Vito Stellino and Gene Frenette -- who cover the Jaguars. I asked them if the Jaguars will make the playoffs. They all said yes. How's that for respect?

Dec 9 2007 12:19PM
Here's another quick poll: How deep will the Jaguars go in the playoffs? Long says one and done. Schmadtke and Frenette said the Jags will win one. Stellino said it depends on who they play; will beat San Diego but lose to Pittsburgh. Hey, what if Cleveland wins the AFC North, Vito?

Dec 9 2007 12:27PM
I'm heading over to the radio booth for the "Jaguars This Week" segment of the pregame show. You're welcome to join us. I'll be back for the coin toss.

Dec 9 2007 1:03PM
I'm back and ready to go. Yes, sir, I love December football. This is what it's all about.

Dec 9 2007 1:06PM
Jaguars won the toss.

Dec 9 2007 1:08PM
David Garrard was nearly intercepted. It would've been returned for a touchdown.

Dec 9 2007 1:08PM
Garrard converts on third down with a short pass to Reggie Williams at the Jaguars 30.

Dec 9 2007 1:10PM
Garrard to Ernest Wilford for a first down. The pass was right on the money and right on time.

Dec 9 2007 1:11PM
Pass interference on the Panthers. The ball is at the Carolina 37.

Dec 9 2007 1:13PM
Holding against the Panthers; first down at the 32. That was a very weak call.

Dec 9 2007 1:13PM
The Panthers have a quick and swarming run-defense. Garrard may have to carry the day, which he's doing right now.

Dec 9 2007 1:15PM
Garrard disappeared in the arms of a couple of rushers but they couldn't get him down and he got rid of the ball for an incompletion.

Dec 9 2007 1:15PM
They're getting to Garrard. He got away from it on third down but there was holding. It's going to bring up a third and 19.

Dec 9 2007 1:17PM
Dennis Northcutt had it at the 15 but he got clobbered and the ball came out, incomplete. He's down. Safety Chris Harris hit him. Garrard put it on the money. Northcutt is up and walking off. The Jags are punting.

Dec 9 2007 1:19PM
The Panthers start at their 15. Here's Vinny.

Dec 9 2007 1:22PM
I was told Rashean Mathis will flop corners today. He'll be on Steve Smith all over the field. I'll watch.

Dec 9 2007 1:22PM
Yep, he's floppin', and that pass went to Smith for a short gain at the 34.

Dec 9 2007 1:25PM
The Panthers have to punt. Northcutt is back to receive and he returns it big, near midfield. The punt was 57 and the return was 37.

Dec 9 2007 1:28PM
Fred Taylor rushes for a first down at the Panthers 43.

Dec 9 2007 1:29PM
Garrard to Williams but it's coming back. Offensive pass interference against Wilford. It was a pick. The ball is at the Jags 47.

Dec 9 2007 1:29PM
Another near interception. This is starting to worry me.

Dec 9 2007 1:31PM
A litle shy of the first down. He may go for it. Yeah, they are; fourth and two.

Dec 9 2007 1:32PM
First down; Garrard to Maurice Jones-Drew. It would've been a 52-yard field goal attempt into the wind.

Dec 9 2007 1:33PM
Touchdown! Garrard over the middle to Williams for 22 yards. It was a perfect pass and Williams split the defenders. The fourth and two was a great call by Jack Del Rio and OC Dirk Koetter.

Dec 9 2007 1:35PM
Deke Cooper whiffed on the tackle.

Dec 9 2007 1:36PM
Jags got lucky. The kick was returned to the Jaguars 37 but there's a holding penalty against the Panthers. The ball is back to the Panthers 22.

Dec 9 2007 1:37PM
Tennessee has a 3-0 lead.

Dec 9 2007 1:39PM
I admire Vinny Testaverde for what he's doing, but he can barely get his arm back.

Dec 9 2007 1:40PM
Intercepted by Mathis. It was a horrible pass; an overthrow. I don't know what Testaverde was doing. The catch is being challenged.

Dec 9 2007 1:44PM
It hit the ground. Ruling reversed.

Dec 9 2007 1:45PM
He threw it two yards out of bounds. Fourth down.

Dec 9 2007 1:46PM
The Jags have it at their 37. A score here would make this very difficult for the Panthers to recover. They just don't have what it takes at quarterback.

Dec 9 2007 1:50PM
Drop by Wilford.

Dec 9 2007 1:50PM
Great pass. Garrard got whacked as he threw a pass to Marcedes Lewis for a first down. Garrard is doing it all. He's scrambling for first downs, he's picking up the blitz. He's at the top of his game.

Dec 9 2007 1:51PM
The Jaguars offense is playing at a very high level. They are playoff-ready right now.

Dec 9 2007 1:52PM
The Jaguars had the ball for more than 11 minutes in the first quarter. They have an unbeatable look about them right now. I wish the playoffs were starting next week. Garrard is ready.

Dec 9 2007 1:56PM
When he does something like that, all I can do is drop my head. Garrard dumped it into coverage instead of throwing it away. It was nearly intercepted.

Dec 9 2007 1:57PM
The Jaguars went for it on fourth and two and threw an incompletion. The Panthers have the ball at their 42. That was awfully aggressive.

Dec 9 2007 1:57PM
Here come the Panthers. Testaverde to Smith at the Jaguars 39.

Dec 9 2007 1:58PM
First down at the 28.

Dec 9 2007 2:01PM
The Panthers have receivers open but Testaverde can't get the ball to them. John Kasay boots a 49-yard field goal.

Dec 9 2007 2:01PM
There's not much wrong with this Carolina team that a QB wouldn't fix.

Dec 9 2007 2:05PM
The Jags have a nice mix of pass and run going, but they haven't established anything. I think they need, in this drive, to pick something and stick with it; make the Panthers commit to stopping one or the other.

Dec 9 2007 2:07PM
Richard Collier has replaced Khlaif Barnes at left tackle. No reason given.

Dec 9 2007 2:08PM
The Jaguars continue to mix run and pass. They're at the 50.

Dec 9 2007 2:09PM
Lob for Matt Jones; incomplete. It was a one-handed try. Ho hum.

Dec 9 2007 2:10PM
Garrard to Northcutt; big play. Out of bounds at the 20.

Dec 9 2007 2:11PM
Pass to Fred. He ran over two guys. He's down at the three-yard line. Fred is playing at his highest level, too.

Dec 9 2007 2:14PM
Garrard to Matt Jones; didn't get his feet down. Josh Scobee kicks a field goal.

Dec 9 2007 2:16PM
The Jaguars are dominating this game but I'm not satisfied. They're not finishing.

Dec 9 2007 2:18PM
If I'm calling the plays, the next time Fred runs over two defenders at the three-yard line, he's staying in the game and he's going to get the ball.

Dec 9 2007 2:20PM
There's nothing the Panthers can do offensively.

Dec 9 2007 2:22PM
Three and out. The Jaguars take over at their 32.

Dec 9 2007 2:24PM
Garrard to Williams at the 50. Garrard got knocked down on the next play. The Jaguars are playing too loose.

Dec 9 2007 2:25PM
Fred pounds for the first down. There was nothing there. He ran over four guys. He's running like a guy with rookie legs.

Dec 9 2007 2:26PM
Boom! Fred got blasted and the ball popped violently into the air. The Panthers have it at the Jaguars 37. Chris Harris forced it.

Dec 9 2007 2:26PM
Testaverde to Smith in the flat. He bulldozes for a first down. The Panthers have new energy. We're at the two-minute warning.

Dec 9 2007 2:28PM
I don't like this. We've had too many near interceptions, too much pressure on Garrard and too many failed drives. The second fourth-down go for it was iffy. They're letting the Panthers hang around.

Dec 9 2007 2:30PM
Testaverde's best passes are the dumps in the flat and the long touch passes. He can't drive the ball at all.

Dec 9 2007 2:32PM
Testaverde is six of 13 for 45 yards. Garrard is 11 of 23 for 157 yards and one touchdown. That's a lot of pass attempts for a game like this.

Dec 9 2007 2:33PM
Jeff King was open for a touchdown and Testaverde overthrew him. He had Justin Durant beat. Kasay is good from 39. It's 10-6.

Dec 9 2007 2:35PM
Carolina kicked it out of bounds. Amazing.

Dec 9 2007 2:36PM
The Jags appear to be running out the clock. I'm stunned.

Dec 9 2007 2:37PM
That's the end of one of the most confusing first halves of football I've covered in awhile.

Dec 9 2007 2:44PM
Here's what I'd do at halftime. I'd take out the end zone passes for Ivan Smolko and Matt Jones out of the playbook and put in a couple of Fred Taylor runs. The Jaguars need to commit to something and do it. This game has a senior day feel to it.

Dec 9 2007 2:50PM
The Panthers have 67 yards and have yet to convert a third down, but trail only by four points. That shouldn't be.

Dec 9 2007 2:51PM
Tennessee continues to lead, 3-0, into the third quarter. Phillips Rivers got injured. Kerry Collins is playing QB for the Titans.

Dec 9 2007 2:52PM
Carolina fumbles on the first play. Daryl Smith recovered at the Panthers 21. Somebody is down.

Dec 9 2007 2:54PM
It's Marcus Stroud. He's up but he's being helped off the field. It's the right leg. He's struggling to get off the field.

Dec 9 2007 2:55PM
Stroud went directly to the locker room.

Dec 9 2007 2:55PM
The Panthers run-blitz and drop Fred for a loss. Stroud got hurt when John Henderson rolled up his leg.

Dec 9 2007 2:56PM
Garrard to Wilford for a first down. Garrard got blasted as he threw the ball.

Dec 9 2007 2:57PM
Tennessee and San Diego are tied, 3-3.

Dec 9 2007 2:58PM
Stroud has a right ankle injury. Will not return.

Dec 9 2007 2:58PM
Touchdown! Garrard to Jones. Same play as before, this time Jones got his feet down. It's a six-yard score.

Dec 9 2007 3:06PM
The Jags have it back. It's as though they're playing against air. The Panthers will be back next year. They'll get the QB thing fixed.

Dec 9 2007 3:08PM
Why are the Jags throwing?

Dec 9 2007 3:09PM
Garrard to Williams for a first down. That was another beautifully resourceful throw.

Dec 9 2007 3:11PM
They're running it now. The ball is down to the Panthers 29. I smell some quit.

Dec 9 2007 3:13PM
Garrard to Wilford. Favorable spot. John Fox is screaming. First down at the 19.

Dec 9 2007 3:14PM
Garrard to Lewis at the three. First and goal.

Dec 9 2007 3:17PM
Scobee kicks a 20-yard field goal. Red-zone failures are certainly going to be a hot topic in the postgame interview.

Dec 9 2007 3:19PM
Tennessee is leading, 10-3.

Dec 9 2007 3:24PM
The Panthers get a first down on a Jaguars penalty.

Dec 9 2007 3:25PM
I apologize for anything I wrote this past week that misled you into believing the Panthers were a threat to beat the Jaguars. I'll try not to make that mistake this week. My 10 things should've been one thing: Show up. That's the end of the third quarter.

Dec 9 2007 3:27PM
Tennessee is coasting to victory.

Dec 9 2007 3:27PM
Touchdown! Clint Ingram intercepted a Testaverde lob in the flat and returned it for a touchdown.

Dec 9 2007 3:33PM
When this game ends, attention is going to turn toward Marcus Stroud. How long will he be out? Don't use today's game as a barometer. The Jaguars need him.

Dec 9 2007 3:35PM
This win sets up a big game in Pittsburgh next Sunday. The Jaguars are clearly playing at their highest level and should be ready for the challenge.

Dec 9 2007 3:41PM
The Jaguars have the ball at their 20 with 10:01 to play. I would imagine they'll run it a lot and kill as much clock as possible.

Dec 9 2007 3:42PM
Touchdown! Fred just went 80 up the middle.

Dec 9 2007 3:43PM
That's the longest run from scrimmage in Jaguars regular season history. It's also the longest run in the NFL this year. Fred now has 119 yards rushing today, his third consecutive 100-yard game.

Dec 9 2007 3:46PM
Matt Moore replaces Vinny.

Dec 9 2007 3:48PM
It's possible we have just witnessed the last professional football game in Vinny Testaverde's career. I remember covering Johnny Unitas' last game; Terry Bradshaw's and Jim Kelly's, too. Testaverde never fulfilled his promise, but he played a long time.

Dec 9 2007 3:50PM
The Jaguars have the ball and Quinn Gray has replaced Garrard.

Dec 9 2007 3:53PM
Fred's still in the game. He's about to pass Tiki Barber for 18th place in NFL rushing history. He just did. With that, folks, I'm going downstairs. Thanks for joining me today.

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