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Jaguars defense has work to do


Jack Del Rio said there are no quick-fix solutions for his defense.

"I think you can oversimplify things. I don't think it's any one thing. It's a combination of things and it's going to take some good, old-fashioned work. We need to play better and we expect to play better," Del Rio said of his defense, which failed to stop the Texans on any second-half drive in Sunday's game.

The Jaguars won the game, 30-27, in overtime. It was offense, particularly quarterback David Garrard, who carried the day. Garrard rallied the Jaguars from a 24-20 deficit and into a 27-24 lead, and then led the Jaguars to the game-winning field goal in overtime.

What was the biggest "play" of the game? The overtime coin toss, no doubt.

It was a game for offense, as the two teams combined for 761 yards, 44 first downs and 52 pass completions. No more three yards and a cloud of dust, right? No doubt about that.

The failure of the Jaguars defense to hold a fourth-quarter lead for the third consecutive game left several of the Jaguars feeling as though they had lost, not won.

"We have to enjoy victories. We have work to do, but don't go home not enjoying the victory. It's about team," Del Rio said of his message to his team.

These are very different times for a team built on a strong running game and a powerful defense. If you discount Montell Owens' 41-yard run on a fake-punt play, the Jaguars didn't break the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time this season, and that's including David Garrard's 41 scramble yards.

Del Rio, however, is enjoying the style change.

"We've always had a power running game and defense. To have (the passing) part of our game come along, that's good stuff," Del Rio said.

"It's natural for fans to seek answers," he added of his team's defense. "If anybody needs someone to blame, blame me."

The Jaguars didn't sack Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, though Schaub had been sacked eight times in the Texans' previous two games. The lack of a pass-rush was a major reason the Texans converted nine of 13 third-down attempts.

"We got them in third and long and couldn't get off the field. That makes for a not very fun day," Del Rio said. "Everybody wants to talk about it. Anything I say is going to sound like an excuse. There's no excuse. We have to play better."

The Jaguars may have the perfect remedy in this Sunday's opponent, the Steelers, who are having just as difficult a time protecting their quarterback. The Steelers allowed nine sacks a week ago in Philadelphia.

"We'll watch the Steelers tonight and look forward to a great game later this week," Del Rio said.

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