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Wednesday's notebook

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Quick start offense

The Jaguars have scored on their opening possession in four straight games and five times overall this season.  The Jaguars rank fifth in the NFL with 27 points on their opening possession (3 TDs, 2 FGs).  Here's a look at the Jaguars' opening possession in the last four games:

  • October 31 at Dallas- After holding the Cowboys to a field goal, the Jaguars wasted little time taking a 7-3 lead.  David Garrard hit on three consecutive passes for 43 yards with the last a 10-yard scoring strike to Mike Sims-Walker, while Maurice Jones-Drew added two carries for 25 yards.
  • November 14 vs. Houston-The Jaguars elected to receive after winning the toss and David Garrard directed a 12-play, 52-yard drive that lasted a little over six minutes and resulted in a 38-yard field goal by Scobee.  The Jaguars had a third-and-10 at the Texans 11 but Garrard was sacked for a nine-yard loss to force the field goal.
  • November 21 vs. Cleveland- The Jaguars won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half.  Following a Browns punt, Maurice Jones-Drew had four straight runs for 27 yards to set up a 47-yard field goal by Scobee.
  • November 28 at N.Y. Giants- The Jaguars marched 75 yards on nine plays and concluded the drive with a five-yard touchdown run by Rashad Jennings.  The Jaguars averaged 10.7 yards on six rushes on the penalty-free drive and had three runs of 12-plus yards.

Hitting on all cylinders

The Jaguars had only three possessions in the first half last Sunday against the Giants and all three resulted in scores.  It marked the first time this season the Jaguars scored on each of their first three drives and only the second time in the last 48 games (12/17/09 vs. Indianapolis).  Quarterback David Garrard engineered drives of 75, 85 and 71 yards and controlled the ball for 18:34.

The Jaguars compiled 90 rushing yards in the first quarter and finished with 145 yards on the ground in the first half, and also tied a franchise record with 11 rushing first downs in the opening half.  The Giants entered the game with the NFL's fourth-best rushing defense, allowing only 89.5 yards per game.  The 145 yards by the Jaguars were the fifth-most in the first half in franchise history.

Defense does work

While the offense has been successful in the first half, the Jaguars defense has also done its part.  The Jaguars have outscored their opponents 58 to 19 in the first half the last four games and the defense has allowed only one touchdown.

In the first half of the last four games, the defense has forced seven punts, had two interceptions and forced four three-and-outs by the opposing offense. Opponents have scored only nine points in the opening quarter the last four games. 

Del Rio preps for final stretch

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio made mention of the 2005 and 2007 Jaguars teams in his Monday press conference.  The emphasis was on how those teams finished down the stretch. 

"For us right now it&39;s all about finishing in December with our best football," Del Rio said. "We want to be like we were in 2005 and 2007 when we were able to win four of our last five and earn our way into the postseason.  I think if you look back at &39;05 and &39;07 we played good football and won in December, and that&39;s what it&39;s about right now. We&39;re sitting here looking at having that very opportunity to do that, so that&39;s where our focus will be."

The Jaguars began the 2005 season 4-3 and then reeled off wins in eight of their last nine games to advance to the postseason.  During that run, the Jaguars won four straight road games including three in consecutive weeks over Tennessee, Arizona and Cleveland. 

In 2007, the Jaguars were 5-3 at the midpoint of the season before posting a 6-2 mark in the second half.  The Jaguars had two different winning streaks of three games during that stretch.

Jones-Drew on hot streak

Maurice Jones-Drew has produced 100-plus rushing yards in four straight games and leads the NFL with a 120.3-yard average over that span.  Jones-Drew is riding the longest streak of his career and the third-longest in franchise history. 

Jones-Drew's streak of four games is the longest in the NFL through 12 weeks.  He has five 100-yard rushing games overall, tied for the most of his career (5, 2009).

*   NFL MOST RUSHING YARDS LAST FOUR GAMES*

RK

        </td>
        <td>

PLAYER, TEAM

        </td>
        <td>

YARDS PER GAME

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

1.

        </td>
        <td>

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville

        </td>
        <td>

120.3 (95-481)

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

2.

        </td>
        <td>

Peyton Hillis, Cleveland

        </td>
        <td>

111.3 (95-445)

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

3.

        </td>
        <td>

Arian Foster, Houston

        </td>
        <td>

102.5 (94-410)

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

4.

        </td>
        <td>

Michael Turner, Atlanta

        </td>
        <td>

96.8 (92-387)

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

5.

        </td>
        <td>

Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh

        </td>
        <td>

89.8 (92-359)

        </td>
    </tr>
</tbody>

Ground attack among NFL's best last four games

The Jaguars are averaging 166.2 yards on the ground the last four games, the second-most in the NFL during that span.   During the four-game stretch which includes three wins, the Jaguars are averaging 33 rushes per game for a 5.0-yard average per rush.  

2010 NFL MOST RUSHING YARDS PER GAME (Last 4 games)

RK

        </td>
        <td>

TEAM

        </td>
        <td>

YARDS PER GAME

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

1.

        </td>
        <td>

Philadelphia Eagles

        </td>
        <td>

177.0

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

2.

        </td>
        <td>

Jacksonville Jaguars

        </td>
        <td>

166.2

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

3.

        </td>
        <td>

Kansas City Chiefs

        </td>
        <td>

146.0

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

4.

        </td>
        <td>

Cleveland Browns

        </td>
        <td>

144.3

        </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td>

5.

        </td>
        <td>

Pittsburgh Steelers

        </td>
        <td>

141.3

        </td>
    </tr>
</tbody>

Jaguars look to win 3rd division game

The Jaguars are 2-1 in the AFC South with three games remaining in the final five weeks and all three on the road. This Sunday the Jaguars are looking to win three of their first four division games for the first time since 1999.

The Jaguars started off 2010 AFC South play with a 31-28 win against Indianapolis in week four, thanks to a 59-yard game-winning field goal by Josh Scobee. The Jaguars fell 30-3 to Tennessee in week six, and David Garrard connected with Mike Thomas on a 50-yard Hail Mary pass to beat Houston 31-24 on Nov. 14.

The Jaguars finished 3-3 in the division in 2009 with a win against Tennessee and a sweep of Houston, the second-best mark under head coach Jack Del Rio.  The Jaguars finished 4-2 in 2005.

Did you know?

Linebacker Daryl Smith surpassed 100-plus tackles for the sixth consecutive season, the only player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.  Smith leads the team with 101 tackles through 11 games.

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