After a few weeks absence, Trading Places makes a triumphant return this week, as we sit down and chat with Nate from the Teal Power Jaguars blog.

1) As as Jags fan, what are your thoughts on Jack Del Rio as a head coach? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

He does not know how to get the team pumped up for each game. In two trips to the west coast, the team was embarrassed in a shutout loss to Seattle and beatdown by 49ers. He also does not know how to get a great pass rush. Too many times the secondary was torched by QB’s taking a nap in the pocket not even having to stress getting sacked. I give some of the problems on offense on the lack of a proven QB. But he is very good at developing younger players including Jones-Drew and Mike Sims Walker. As a fan, I had no idea who MSW was before this season and now he is the 2nd best playmaker on the offense.

2) How much have the Jaguars changed since these teams last met in the playoffs, back in the 2007 season?

Since the 07 season, the Jags have lost big RB Fred Taylor and now Jones-Drew carries the load. MoJo has been able to produce and move the offense but without Taylor there is no backup RB. One big change is that the Jags have decent corners but zero pass rush. Dont have to worry about Brady getting injured because there will be no pressure. Yes the Jags have improved against the run but the lack of pass rush has lead to deep passing plays and more Cover 2 defense.

3) Maurice Jones-Drew has been tremendous this season – what can the Patriots do to try and slow him down?

The Patriots can just focus on not letting Jones Drew beat them by keeping eight in the box to contain Maurice. Maurice is from California and has not played many NFL games in freezing cold weather so look for him to be rusty on the sleet of Boston. Mike Sims Walker and TE Marcedes Lewis are the Jags best receiving threat but they wont need to be double covered. Most of the safety help will be used to slow down Maurice and keep him out of the open field with his speed..

4) How has David Garrard developed as a QB? What does he do best?

David Garrard is very good at throwing on the run and can use his feet to make plays. He still has to work on protecting the football because he fumbles a lot of times getting hit on his blindside. As shown on the Thursday night Indy loss, he forces pass when he doesnt have to. He had one Timeout and 1:00 remaining and he threw into double coverage with no pass rush and got intercepted to lose the game. He also missed some wide open WR’s to keep the team out of FG range at the end of the half. He has got to be the leader on offense for this team or the team really needs to look for a QB in the offseason. There is no backup for Garrard so all the pressure is on
his shoulders.

5) If you were game planning against the Jaguars, where would you attack, both on offense and defense?

If I was going to game plan on offense against the team, I would start with play action passes and moving the QB because the DL is slow so there is not much pass rush. Throw to the TE’s because the Jags have a hard time defending against the TE’s. Also Randy Moss will have a big game with the deep pass. On defense, I would have eight men watching Jones-Drew and blitz Garrard on 3rd and long because he has a hard time handling it. Backside pressure usually causes him to fumble and he has a hard time throwing when he is running left. Make sure a DB is close with Sims-Walker and TE Marcedes Lewis and limit the big play because the Jags usually settle for Josh Scobee FG’s. It is a good matchup for the Pats secondary especially if the snow and sleet are active at gametime.

My Prediction: Pats are looking to finish off the AFC East and clinch the division over Miami and since the game is in Boston, weather will be a huge factor. Tom Brady will have time to throw to Watson, Welker, and Moss and be able to score a lot of points. Patriots win 31-20

Thanks, Nate!

Here is the link to the questions we answered for Teal Power – Sit Down with the Enemy