You revert to MAX PROTECT when you're weak!
I like to build my NFL wagers from the inside-out.
The BASE-UNITS for any team, are the respective lines. If you see a weakness in either line, then you can extrapolate outward. This reasoning follows a VIRAL assumption. If the head is infected, then the body will suffer.
In this case, Jacksonville has an injury-riddled offensive line, and the replacement players are not TRUE NFL caliber starters. Just look at the numbers:
*Jacksonville rushes for only 110 yards per game on average.
*The Jags have been sacked 38 times this year.
We have only one conclusion to draw from the high sack totals. Garrard is VERY mobile, so he should mitigate some of the weak blocking with his skills as a runner. BUT WHEN A QB, LIKE GARRARD, IS FLASHING A HIGH SACK TOTAL, THEN THE OFFENSIVE LINE IS NOT READING THE DEFENSE PROPERLY!
When the sack totals go up, the Tight Ends join the line.
This grouping is called a "Max Protect".
Maximum Protection schemes were once employed for various situational realities, but now, it's increasingly finding a home in the desperate world of wounded teams.
And this is the reality that Jacksonville is facing.
The Offensive line is filled with 2nd and 3rd stringers, and they are slow, and are not particularly good at picking up blitzes. Normally, a good running QB, like Garrard, can buy time for his line or recognize the blitz, and dump to the check-down.
The problem here is that the "check-down receivers" are also second string players! So you have "slow feet" all over the place. Jones, Wrightster, and Porter are all missing, and the remaining wide-outs are INTERMEDIATE RECIEVERS, so The Colts, and their cover-2 defense, will pinch toward the line, knowing that they can match-up with the receivers (and that weak line).
*Did you know that Jacksonville has completed ONE pass for more than 40 yards this season?
I'm trying to show you the reason why.
If a defense is facing a bad offensive line, and they KNOW that their opponent is not getting the time to complete the big play, then they jump the intermediate routes and let the safeties pick up the trash on the double-move. The reasoning here is that Garrard doesn't have the time, or confidence to stand in the pocket, so the ODDS of seeing a 40 yard pass attempt will be rare. It will be so rare that you can jump the "check-downs". Ultimately, YAC yardage (yards after the catch) dissapears and, believe it or not, Garrard hesitates, and waits a little to long to pull out his biggest weapon: His legs!
The simplest way to view this Jaguar Offense is to think of it as a beast with a "flesh eating virus". The disease quickly spreads from the offensive line to the receivers in a flash, and those outer appendages suffer quickly, and fall away.
Also: When you have a bad line, you draw in the TE's, and that eliminates their effectiveness in the "seam", and this further cripples Garrard on his short-reads. If the line isn't getting it done, then the tight ends MUST block. This is an attempt to compensate for slow moving tackles, but it's also used in an attempt to plug holes where the blitz is most likely to seek. If the TE is force to "chip" his man at the line, then that deep "seam" route loses it's element of surprize.
If you move to MAX PROTECT on a large number of your plays, then it's like waving a flag of surrender. You're essentially freeing up a line backer and a safety, and giving them an easy look at your intentions.
Jacksonville has gone to MAX PROTECT.
You're also telling the opposing defense that you will try to beat them with the run, or with your wide receivers. I'm here to tell you that Jacksonville DOES NOT have the speed and talent, in any reasonable combination, to beat this cover-2 defense.
Go get this wager......
The Indianapolis Colts -6 (-110) at BookMaker