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Talking Points: Jaguars Vs. Packers

The Jaguars pentultimate home game of 2008 features the Packers coming to town. Here are the topics that we’ll be previewing before the game, following during the game, and analyzing after the game:

Offensive Starters Lost
-The Jaguars lost three offensive starters for the season this week: Matt Jones, Greg Jones, Fred Taylor. How will that affect what they can do on the field? Well, Matt Jones is the leading receiver on the team, Greg Jones is one of the best blocking backs in the NFL and Fred Taylor is the offensive team leader. It won’t help an offense that Jack Del Rio called “inept” last week. But it is an opportunity to see who can step up. We’ll certainly see more of Maurice Jones-Drew (see below), we’ll see Montell Owens at fullback once again, and we’ll see who steps up at wide receiver.

Too Much Mojo?-Jones-Drew has been the go-to guy for the Jaguars offense this year. He’s never really played a role like he could be asked to play the last three weeks of the season: lead back and top receiver. With Fred Taylor out and Matt Jones on the shelf, can Mojo handle the load?

Parallel Seasons
-Both the Jaguars and Packers went deep into the playoffs last year, both have fallen short this season (for varying reasons). Of course, the Packers said goodbye to Bret Favre in the off-season. Aaron Rogers has looked good for the most part this year, but he still has some growing to do as an NFL quarterback. The Jaguars, on the other hands have been beset by injuries (at least, that’s the biggest reason for their problems). The Jaguars are out of the playoff chase, the Packers are still in it mathematically.

Young Players-It’s my belief that December means one of two things in the NFL: a playoff push or a chance to develop young players. The Jags are not in the playoff chase, so I want to see more playing time for young guys. Not just Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves. Let’s see more of Brian Witherspoon at cornerback. Let’s see D’Juan Woods at wide receiver, Mkristo Bruce at defensive end, Drew Miller on the offensive line. If the Jaguars have any plan for those guys in the future, it would do them well to get a taste of the regular season.

Home Cooking-The Jaguars have won just one game at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium this year. The fans have been very good this year. It would be nice for the fans to leave the stadium happy one more time this year.

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