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Jags want to take win into bye


The Jaguars are clearly looking for improvement on both sides of the ball against a St. Louis Rams team that hasn't won a game in 364 days. Tomorrow's game comes on the heels of a 41-0 loss in Seattle that is the second-worst defeat in Jaguars history and the first time the team has been shut out in five years.

This is not one of the NFL's feature games this weekend, but it's nonetheless a game that could leave the Jaguars at 3-3 heading into the bye week, which is exactly what the Jaguars were a year ago.

"That would make things feel really good around here," quarterback David Garrard said.

A win would be a wonderful way to bring the curtain down on a tumultuous week. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew wants a returned emphasis on the running game and that's likely to occur against a Rams defense that is 23rd against the run.

"The running game is like playing chess. The running game is like your pawns. You move your pawns around and they don't really mean anything in the beginning, but at the end they surround the king and it's checkmate. That's what the running game is. You're not going to break 30-yard runs every play. You're going to get two to three yards a pop. You might get a negative run but they're going to respect the running game because it's going to open up the passing and running later on," Jones-Drew said.

The Jaguars also have issues on defense. They're 30th in the league overall and 30th against the pass.

"I think we were somewhat undisciplined on some of the things we did," Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker said when asked to describe the failings in Seattle. "We didn't tackle well and we didn't make the plays we were supposed to make. That's a bad combination. When you don't get off the field on third down consistently, miss tackles and don't play well in the red zone, in this league you're going to give up some points. Those are things we need to clean up this week."

Veteran quarterback Mark Bulger will be returning to action, just as Matt Hasselbeck did last week for the Seahawks. The Rams player the Jaguars fear the most, however, is running back Steven Jackson, the league's fourth-leading rusher with 451 yards on the league's second-most carries, 104.

"They do a good job of distributing the ball but Jackson is a big part of their offense. A lot of what they do depends on how well he plays," Tucker said.

This is the first stern test the Jaguars run-defense will face. Four of the Jaguars' first five opponents are primarily passing teams and the fifth opponent, Tennessee, fell behind early and had to turn to the pass. The Rams almost certainly will pound with Jackson.

A win would leave the Jaguars with an excellent chance of reaching the mid-point in the season with five wins. A loss, however, could be devastating. The Rams haven't won a game since Oct. 19, 2008.

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