The Jaguars had their bye week at the midway point, so I thought I'd take a look back at how the Jaguars have done. Coming into the season I thought the Jaguars would be a .500 team and at the midway point that's exactly what they are 4-4. This is a good reason to be excited about the next half of the season.
I thought coming into the year that the Jaguars would struggle early and finish strong. My main reason for thinking that was the defense was so young that it would take them awhile to start playing well. The front four is already there, as they are playing at a high level. The only question is that one defensive line spot that Derrick Harvey use to hold. It will be interesting to see when Mincey can comeback and if Hart or Lane will step up and take more playing time.
The linebackers have seemed to play well for the most part even through injuries. It is the secondary that is the big question. Coming into this season we knew the safeties would be a problem but the corner play also caused some concern. Mathis didn't seem to be his old self and Derek Cox was sent to the bench for several games. This will be the area of the defense that really will tell how good this team will be. If the backfield continues to grow and get better then this team could make a playoff push. However if they play like they did in the first few games then it might be a long season.
There is reason to think that the defensive backfield will continue to play better. In the last game Derek Cox had one of his best games grabbing two interceptions and Mathis grabbed one on a beautiful play. Also there are talks that Courtney Green could be the starter of the future and not just someone holding a spot until someone better gets here. His play in the last couple of weeks has gotten better and better. Don Carey still need to make improvements but in his defense he started the year at cornerback. With time he might also prove to be a safety for the future.
On the offensive side of the ball there are flashes of greatness and then flashes of not so great. David Garrard is going to have to play better. It has been well documented that when the Jaguars win he has something like a 140 quarterback rating but in their loses a 40 quarterback rating. We know that he can play at a pro bowl level.
The wide receivers are partly at Garrards mercy but Mike Sims Walker did step up his game in the last several games. With him and Mike Thomas continually getting better the wide receiver core should be a bright spot. In the backfield we all know what we have with MJD but it would be nice to see either Jennings or Karim step up to be that solid number two back. Both have shown flashes but need to take their game to the next level.
If Garrard is going to play better than the offensive line really needs to step it up. As a fan watching it's hard to always tell what's going on in the line but if they can continue to give Garrard time to throw then this team will be there at the end looking for a playoff spot.
The Jaguars are only one game out of first place entering the second half of the season which is exciting. It will be fun watching how this team grows and plays the second half of the year.