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Eagles/Jaguars Game Preview - The McDougle Bowl!

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This year, the Jags have been the tale of two teams.  The one who is undefeated at home with a dominating defense which is the only unit in the leauge to pitch 2 shutouts this year. Then there is the other Jaguars... The one who has not won the road and was blown out by the lowly Texans 27-7. In fat they've given up 21, 36, & 27 points on the road repsectively.

A 12-4 playoff team from last year, the Jags have lost 3 of their last 4 coming into this game. Of course as we know the Eagles are coming off 2 losses on FGs with no time left.

As I was looking at some of the things that have happened so far to the Jags... I can't help but be reminded of the 2005 Eagles. Tell me if you don't get dejavue at some point...

Injuries

Injuries will once again play a big part in this game, however for once the Eagles are the team geting healthy. Donte Stallworth has been practicing and is listed as probable for this Sunday's game. Rod Hood, who was upgraded to questionable, has been practicing. The Jags on the  other hand, have suffered a rash of injury problems.

First and foremost is QB Byron Leftwich who is questionable with an ankle injury. He did play last week and struggled, which Jags coach Jack Del Rio attributed to his injured ankle. In fact, Del Rio expressed that he regretted playing Leftwich and has split the snaps in practice this week between Leftwich and backup David Garrard. Linebacker Mike Peterson, the teams' leading tackler for the past 3 seasons is out for the year. Defensive end Reggie Hayward, the teams best pass rusher is also out for the year. The teams top run stopper, Marcus Stroud missed last week's game and is doubtful with a painful bone bruise to go along with his sprained right ankle. WR Matt Jones is questionable with a hamstring(alot of those among WRs this year!) and OL Stockar McDougle(brother of Jerome McDougle) is doubtful. RB Greg Jones "whom Del Rio called the most irreplaceable player on the team" is out for the year.

It's kind of dissapointing that McDougle will likely miss this game. It would have been cool to see 2 brothers go head to head in the trenches...

Also out for the Jags is CB Terry Cousin. That means more playing time for a guy the Eagles should be excited to see... Ahmad Carrol! Carrol was cut hours after his awful performance against the Eagles as a member of the Green Bay Packers on monday night football. The Jags picked him up a week later.

Off the field stuff

MSNBC talked about the Jags off the field issues this year.

Quarterback Byron Leftwich convinced the coaching staff his injured left ankle was fine, then went out and misfired early and often against the Texans.

Running back Fred Taylor ripped the franchise two days before the game, criticizing his incentive-based contract and his rotation with rookie Maurice Drew, then had a crucial fumble that essentially sealed the 27-7 loss.

Safety Deon Grant, one of the most respected players in the locker room, gave a motivational speech at halftime in hopes of providing a spark, then got benched for it. Coach Jack Del Rio wouldn't confirm that, but Grant said so after the game and cornerback Rashean Mathis did so the next day.

Following the plane ride back, defensive end Bobby McCray got into his car and sped home - with blue and white lights flashing, two Vicodin in his pocket and no prescription. McCray was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled painkiller, speeding, reckless driving and prohibited use of certain lights.

The Jaguars believe the drug charge will be dropped because team doctors prescribed the pills. But the police report also said McCray nearly wrecked while racing two teammates.

It was the team's second arrest in a little more than a month.

Cornerback Brian Williams was arrested on drunken-driving charges just days before the opener. He pleaded no contest, received six months probation and was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. He apologized - like everyone does after consulting with their agent, attorney, publicist and coaches - and was in the starting lineup a few days later.

Interesting stats


  • McNabb has won 9 of his past 11 games vs. AFC

  • Leftwich has won 5 of his past 7 starts vs. NFC

  • Fred Taylor has rushed for 120+ yards in 4 of past 5 vs. NFC on road

  • Brian Westbrook is 2nd in NFL with 795 scrimmage yards (462 rush, 333 rec.). Became 1st player since Priest Holmes in 2002 with 100+ rushing (101) & 100+ rec. (113) yards in same game last week vs. TB

  • WR Reggie Williams has 3 TDs in past 2 vs. NFC & ties for 5th in NFL with 4 receiving TDs this season.

  • WR Reggie Brown has 6 TDs (5 rec., 1 rush) on just 27 touches. Has TD in each of past 3 games (4 TDs).

I'll get into the specific offnse vs defense matchups later today or tommorow.