Jaguars' defensive posture pays off

October 29 [Sat], 2011, 16:59
The Jacksonville Jaguars doled out more than $100 million after the lockout to add teeth to a deflated defense. It looked like money well spent Monday night when they outshined a team which always hangs its hat on the less celebrated side of the ball cheap jerseys. Jacksonville forced two turnovers, didn't allow a first down before halftime and surrendered just 146 yards ― its fewest allowed in a game since 2006 ― while stunning the Baltimore Ravens 12-7 in a prime time upset and breaking their own five-game slide in the process.
"The only that was missing was a goose egg," lamented cornerback Rashean Mathis after the Jags lost their shutout bid with 2:02 left in the game. Plenty was missing last year. Jacksonville was victimized for the fifth-most yards and sixth-most points allowed in the league. Thanks largely to those Soccer uniforms shortcomings ― the defense ranked in the NFL's bottom third statistically from 2009-10 and only managed 40 sacks in that 32-game span ― the Jaguars saw once-promising playoff bids fizzle both seasons.
General manager Gene Smith went on a post-lockout spending binge to reel in linebackers Paul Posluszny and Clint Session and safety Dawan Landry― the trio's deals alone surpass the $100 million threshold ― while also adding defensive end Matt Roth and former New York Jets defensive backs Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery.
The group was more than ready to flaunt its improvement in front of a national audience against a team that entered the game as an 8.5-point favorite.
"We wanted to showcase our defense that we can be just as good as anybody out there in the league," said Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who had a sack of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. "Hopefully, we can build from this."
Another performance like Monday's could get Jacksonville (2-5), which currently ranks sixth in total defense (yards allowed) and eighth in scoring defense, back into the divisional race.
The Ravens didn't manage a first down until 10 minutes had expired in the third quarter. Before capping their penultimate possession with the 90-yard touchdown drive, Baltimore had all of 56 yards. It averaged roughly 2 feet per play in 25 first-half snaps. Flacco was sacked three times and hit on numerous other dropbacks. Even when he completed a pass, like the one batted back into his hands in the second quarter, it went for -8 yards. The Ravens had 1 net passing yard at the half.
"We got all the pieces of the puzzle, man. It just takes time for it to click, and it finally started clicking," said Mincey.
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