SPORTS w/The Jack 9-24-10

by Tom Weppel
The Jaguars are 1-1 following a nasty, ugly 38-13 loss on the West Coast to the San Diego Chargers. On Sunday, they are home here in the River City, hopefully ready to play rejuvenated QB Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles.
So far, we’ve seen two versions of a Jaguar team. In Week One, we saw a good team that effectively moved the ball on offense and picked up a nice win at home against Denver. In Week Two, we saw a team that forced turnovers on defense, but then gave the ball right back on offense with turnovers of their own, leading to sloppy play and a demoralizing loss.
And now with a scrappy Eagles unit coming in to town, it should be interesting to see which Jaguars we’ll see come out to play this week. Will it be the good, nasty guys? Or will it be the not-so-good, inconsistent guys? I’ll be curious to see what Jack Del Rio has done to bring this team back from their early-season loss.
For the Eagles, it will be very interesting as well, with Michael Vick named the starter over Kevin Kolb. Vick played quite well in their victory over the Lions in Detroit. Obviously, head coach Andy Reid had a change of mind on Tuesday, after initially thinking it would be best to have Kolb back in the fold. Now, with Vick as QB, the offense has entirely different personality and attitude to work with.
I’m sure the Jaguars defense is totally aware of this, and that means they too will have to change their game plan in dealing with a guy who can take off and run in an instant.
The Eagles come in as three-point favorites. Let’s see what Del Rio and Jags do to handle the ‘Iggles!’
The first two weeks of games in the NFL are showing us that you better be making good things happen if you are the starting Quarterback for your team.
At the very least, four different tams have switched over starting QB’s, heading into this weekend. Carolina goes from Matt Moore to the rookie Jimmy Clausen. We know about the change with Michael Vick and the Eagles. Buffalo has decided to play Ryan Fitzpatrick over Trent Edwards. And the Oakland Raiders are going with Bruce Gradkowski over Jason Campbell.
While using different signal-callers is NOT out of the ordinary, it is indeed slightly rare for so many clubs to be doing it this early in the season. What it certainly does do is create a heightened awareness as to who is doing what for what team in whatever game. I’m sure one or two guys will come out and put up some good numbers, and we’ll all be focusing our attention on what the changes will or have done for the various teams.
In the meantime, we can watch the situation in Pittsburgh with the Steelers, who are going to start Charlie Batch, after Dennis Dixon started the first two games before getting injured. All this, while Ben Roethelisberger is hanging out on the sidelines, I’m sure being quite antsy to get back out on the playing field…
After nice wins in their respective games last week, both Florida and FSU are home this weekend to face Conference schools. The Gators will be hosting the Kentucky Wildcats, while the Seminoles will be home to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Both teams are favored o win by two touchdowns or more.
On the other side, you have the 1-2 Georgia Bulldogs, who come off a tough home loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Now they go on the road to play Mississippi St. in another tough SEC scrap. And so it will be Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs!
This is NOT the type of team Georgia fans are used to following each year. Normally, ‘Dawg fans are used to having a strong, effective QB and a good feature RB to follow for their offense, along with a solid defense to shut down opposing teams.
But QB Aaron Murray is experiencing growing pains, and RB Ealey has not been entirely effective on the ground. Couple that with the suspension of top WR A.J. Green, and we can see why Georgia is 1-2, having lost at South Carolina, then home to Arkansas last week.
This presents trying times fro Head Coach Mark Richt. It makes a lot of fans wonder exactly what his feelings and position are in this whole deal. Obviously, he’d love to be 3-0, as opposed to 1-2. If Georgia loses this game this weekend, they will fall to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the SEC!
And THAT, my friends, will create a good amount of controversy and discussion, without question.
Mississippi State is also 1-2, having lost a close one to Auburn, then again on the road at LSU. They are not a pushover by any means, and would love to take down the Georgia Bulldogs. It should be a nasty scrap, with Mississippi St. going in as a one-point favorite. We’ll see who come out on top…
In other feature games, Notre Dame, having gone 0-2 against the Michigan teams, now host a 3-0 Stanford squad that is firing off on all cylinders…in the SEC, Alabama goes to Arkansas, while Steve Spurrier takes his South Carolina squad to face the Auburn Tigers…