On the big stage

We should count ourselves lucky here, of course. After all, we did get a Monday night game here this season, against the defending world champion Colts, no less. As someone in the stands said (on their sign), “This game is HUGE”.

The Marines were in town, and they were serious.

Very serious.

Very, very serious.

After a lot of warming up, and a badly rendered version of the anthem – why do some of these performers think the anthem needs to be imbued with their own personal touch or vocal hysterics, anyway? – it was time to kick things off here.

I will say here that the Jags started off well: harrying defense, moving the ball fairly well. But the Colts, like the Patriots, are simply playing in an alternate universe from the rest of the football world at the moment, and those moments rushed right by. I was playing a little game, myself, testing the limits of the camera I was using and trying to think like the coaches by determining what play I would call, then following that player and trying to capture an action play.

It isn’t exactly rocket science to know Manning is going to throw a few passes. The trick is catching that pass (so to speak) in the air, as in this one. You can see the ball pass right by the defender’s hand.

Picking Greg Estandia to catch a pass, though, is something else, and not something most people would expect. Pregnant Sister gives Estandia a hard time, incorrectly. I like him (and picked him to make the team when watching the preseason games), and I’m glad he got some touches in this game.

Jack Del Rio was in a suit for MNF. The jacket he was wearing rapidly made an exit.

Another play call by me: Garrard to Northcutt. My sisters kept calling me a geek for some reason.

But I don’t care all that much. It just shows that girls know a thing or two about football, too.

These sorts of pictures also give you a good idea of how the blocking is in creating lanes for passes or running backs.

Fred Taylor.

Greg Estandia.

David Garrard gets some good protection.

“What do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want?”

Maurice Jones-Drew was open for a checkdown and had some room in front of him, but Garrard threw it down the field.

Northcutt is becoming Garrard’s favorite target.

The problem with this is that other teams know it, too. That, combined with overthrows, leads to interceptions.

The Colts started playing their game. Manning was actually under center for a change.

They were driving to the end zone…

…and Manning took it into the end zone himself on a sneak.

Both Taylor and Jones-Drew had some nice runs…

…but it really turned into a one-way game…

…with some nice plays, like this one by Reggie Wayne.

The Jaguars scored their only touchdown on a Jones-Drew run…

…a call that was upheld on review.

Our mascot showed up to reward a row of seats with boxes of Bubba Burgers. Given the obesity problems in this country, and in this city particularly, an alternative would probably have been in order, but I like a burger every now and again myself, so I suppose I wouldn’t have objected if they’d selected our row. They didn’t. Bummer.

Manning is an intense player.

“Mind if I copy your homework?”

All his gyrations at the line must be old hat to opposing teams by now. Who knows how much of it is really a change of play or total bullshit? Does it matter?

Because he could probably do this with his eyes closed. And sometimes he does.

Tony Dungy is one of the most laid back coaches in history.

Del Rio was sweaty and unhappy as the game started closing down.

Manning watches the play clock tick down and calls for the snap with only a couple of seconds left.

Dallas Clark – a player the Colts need to make sure they keep after this season, along with Bob Sanders – gets the final score of the game.

In the end, another loss for the Jaguars, and they didn’t really put up a huge fight – at least, not as huge as I expected, given the potential meaning of this game. And now, it’s time to go work awhile longer here. And shouldn’t you be working or sleeping or doing something other than reading blogs?

Yes, I’m talking to YOU.

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