Sixth-year linebacker Daryl Smith admits the spotlight is not for him but Smith's play on the field has made it difficult for him to avoid it.
Since being selected in the second round of the 2004 draft (39th overall), Smith has started 92 of 94 games and missed only three games due to injury. Smith ranks fourth in team history with 786 career tackles and is four tackles shy of moving into third place in franchise history for career tackles, surpassing former linebacker Kevin Hardy (789).
It took only two games for Smith to make his mark all over the Jaguars defensive statistics. Smith leads the team with 24 tackles along with two tackles for loss, an interception, one sack, one forced fumble, a pass defensed and two quarterback hits.
After finishing with 11 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in the season-opener, Smith led the team with 13 tackles at San Diego and recorded the club's only sack.
Plenty of time left
With a 1-1 mark after two weeks, the Jaguars head into Sunday's tilt with the Eagles looking to start the season with a winning record through three games for the fifth time in eight seasons under head coach Jack Del Rio. A win on Sunday would give the Jaguars wins in their first two home games for the first time since 2006 and the fifth time overall.
It's no secret the Jaguars would prefer to be undefeated heading into week three but history shows it's not always a bad thing. Since realignment in 2002, 55 of the 96 playoff teams (57.3 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2. In both 2005 and 2007, the Jaguars' two postseason appearances under Del Rio, the team began the season 1-1.
There are eight teams in the NFL that are undefeated through two weeks. Six of the eight were not in the playoffs a year ago in Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.
Success against NFC
The Jaguars own a 17-11 mark against NFC opponents under head coach Jack Del Rio since 2003 including a 12-2 mark at home. Sunday is the second of a three-game stretch against 2009 playoff teams as the Jaguars host AFC South foe Indianapolis in week four.
The Jaguars will face all four NFC East teams in 2010 for the fourth time in franchise history. There were six teams in the AFC Central from 1999-2001 so the Jaguars did not play Philadelphia in 2000.
The Jaguars own an 8-7 all-time mark against teams from the NFC East including wins in the last two games. The club last faced the NFC East in 2006 and finished 3-1 with wins over Dallas, Philadelphia and the New York Giants. Home field has been an advantage for the Jaguars in the interconference games against NFC East as the club owns a 6-1 home record including four straight wins.
Did you know?
The Jaguars offense has had 23 possessions the first two weeks and has yet to record a three-and-out, the only team in the NFL to do so.
Defense creates turnovers
The Jaguars defense has forced five turnovers in the first two games with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The three interceptions are the most in the first two games since the start of the 2006 season.
The Jaguars are fourth in the AFC in takeaways, tied for eighth in the NFL. Here's the list:
2010 AFC MOST TAKEAWAYS
RK TEAM TAKEAWAYS INTS FUM
- Pittsburgh Steelers 8 4 4
- New York Jets 6 3 3
San Diego Chargers 6 4 2
* 4. Jacksonville Jaguars 5 3 2*
Hitting the big play
The Jaguars offense is tied for sixth in the NFL with nine plays of 20-plus yards through the first two weeks. All nine plays have come via the pass, with eight by David Garrard and one by Luke McCown. Here's the list:
* 2010 NFL MOST 20-PLUS PLAYS*
RK TEAM PLAYS RUSH PASS
- Houston Texans 13 2 11
San Diego Chargers 13 3 10
- Denver Broncos 11 0 11
- Arizona Cardinals 10 3 7
Dallas Cowboys 10 0 10
* 6. Jacksonville Jaguars 9 0 9*
New York Giants 9 2 7
Philadelphia Eagles 9 3 6
Washington Redskins 9 0 9
Looking your way
Mike Thomas leads the Jaguars in 2010 with 15 passes thrown his way which resulted in 10 receptions.
JAGUARS MOST TARGETED PLAYERS IN 2010
RK PLAYER TARGETS RECEPTIONS
- Mike Thomas 15 10
- Mike Sims-Walker 14 10
- Marcedes Lewis 11 7
- Rashad Jennings 7 5
- Maurice Jones-Drew 4 4
By the seasons
In his first four-plus seasons, running back Maurice Jones-Drew has received a heavier workload in the second half of the season. More than sixty-one percent (2,460 of 4,022 yards) of his rushing yards have come from November through January including 29 rushing touchdowns. Here is how Jones-Drew has performed by month:
RUSHING AVERAGE 100-YARD
MONTH GAMES TOTALS PER GAME TDS GAMES
Sept. 15 180-795 53.0 6 3
Oct. 14 179-798 57.0 14 3
Nov. 17 216-1,073 67.1 17 3
Dec./Jan. 19 302-1,387 73.0 12 3
Full strength this time around
The Jaguars and Eagles are meeting for the second time this season as the teams played in the preseason opener on Aug. 13 with the Eagles claiming a 28-27 win at Lincoln Financial Field. The Jaguars were without three starters on defense (DE Aaron Kampman, LB Daryl Smith, DT Tyson Alualu) and starting offensive tackles Eben Britton and Eugene Monroe.
The last word
"One thing I think we need to be able to count on is the consistent strength for us is our front. We've got to be able to play with our front and be stout with our front and make people one-dimensional. We were not able to do that (Sunday). San Diego ran the ball against us more effectively that we can allow, and so that's one part coming out of this ballgame that popped it's head up that we did not really anticipate having a problem with, and we did. They blocked us well, they ran right at us some and we did not handle that. The secondary takes a lot of heat, a lot of stories written throughout the offseason, but it's a team game and our secondary will play better as our front plays better and I think they go hand-in-hand."
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio on the defense