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Jones-Drew likely to get the ball


David Garrard will retain his option to change plays at the line of scrimmage, but Maurice Jones-Drew is likely to get the ball, regardless of what the Kansas City Chiefs defense does.

Garrard changed plays from runs to passes in the early stages of this past Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans may have baited Garrard into changing the play by showing a defense stacked to stop the run.

"It was just an adjustment we did. I saw them have everybody in the box so I knew I had to get the ball to my receivers," Garrard told reporters on Wednesday.

In the first meeting between the two teams, Garrard was successful in switching from runs to passes and then hitting his receivers on quick slants. The Titans took the slants away from Garrard in Sunday's game.

"It's a chess match. It's not going to work every time," Garrard said.

What the Jaguars decided was that they needed to give Jones-Drew the ball despite the appearance that the Titans had loaded the box against the run. The result was 177 yards rushing by Jones-Drew, including touchdown runs of 80 and 79 yards.

"We're trying to add something new to the offense, to get these quick passes out there, but we still have to be able to get the ball to Maurice," Garrard said.

The Jaguars recovered from their slow start and would've held a 14-13 lead early in the third quarter, had a conversion kick not failed. What followed, however, was a complete collapse by the Jaguars run-defense.

"Momentum could've definitely been on our side. We would've been able to run the ball a lot more," Garrard said.

That's likely to be the case against the Chiefs, owners of the league's 26th-ranked run-defense. Jones-Drew should be able to improve his hold on sixth place among the NFL's rushing leaders.

Coach Jack Del Rio, however, is most concerned about his defense, which sagged to 24th overall, 25th against the run and 26th against the pass. It should help the cause that cornerback Rashean Mathis was expected to return to practice on Wednesday after missing Sunday's game following finger surgery.

"We're looking forward to getting back out in front of our home fans and putting out a great product," Del Rio said.

Poor tackling was the major issue in the 30-13 loss to the Titans. Del Rio said tackling would be emphasized in practice this week.

"The guys who had a rough time can't wait to get back out there. With a swarming defense, with more energy, I think defense will play its best. We have to find a way to get that," Del Rio said.

Kansas City's offense is no better than its defense, both of which are ranked 30th in the league, and the Chiefs won't have star running back Larry Johnson in the lineup on Sunday.

"We've approached things as we did after the Seattle game. It's unfortunate we've had to do it twice in one year," Garrard said.

"Football is an emotional game. You just don't know how one game is going to impact another," Del Rio added. "We just have to bring it and let it loose. Bring the energy and let it fly. The best defense is played at a frenzied pace. When you see that type of play on defense, good things are going to happen."

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