Jaguars Vs. Vikings: Jacksonville And Minnesota Share Similar Questions

The Jaguars open the 2012 season against an NFC team dealing with a lot of the same question marks.

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Jaguars Vs. Vikings 2012: Jacksonville's Defensive Ends Struggle In Defeat

The Jacksonville Jaguars came up just a bit short against Minnesota and lost in overtime, 26-23. The Jaguars did some things well in defeat, but they also had problems. As SB Nation's Big Cat Country noted afterward, the team's defensive ends did not play particularly well.

While the Jaguars were thin on Sunday, carrying just three defensive ends in Jeremy Mincey, Andre Branch, and Aaron Morgan, the pressure on the quarterback was virtually non-existent. Mincey, surprisingly, was handled by Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt.

Related: Daryl Smith Injury: Jaguars LB May Be Out Week 2

Without much pressure from the Jaguars, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was able to have an efficient afternoon. He finished the game 20-of-27 for 270 yards and did not throw an interception. Jacksonville was only able to sack Ponder twice.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage of this game, visit Jaguars blog Big Cat Country. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Jaguars' Eugene Monroe Blanked Jared Allen

The Jacksonville Jaguars came up short in Minnesota on Sunday, but it wasn't for a lack of effort from left tackle Eugene Monroe. Monroe was able to neutralize Vikings' star Jared Allen, who did not get any pressure on Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert:

To pass block 46 times in a game and keep Jared Allen entirely without pressure is an extremely impressive feat. The only occasion Allen got the better of Monroe came early in the game when Allen jumped the snap (albeit barely), which beat the big left tackle off the ball so badly he turned around the wrong way in an attempt to prevent disaster.

Related: Jaguars Defensive Ends Struggle In Loss To Vikings

Monroe not only played well in pass protection, he also keyed several runs with his blocking. Monroe is in his fourth season with the Jaguars and has been a regular starter throughout his career.

The Jaguars face the Houston Texans in Week 2.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, visit Jaguars blog Big Cat Country. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out SB Nation's NFL hub.

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Jaguars Vs. Vikings 2012: Game Preview, Kickoff Time, TV Schedule And More

The Jaguars square off against the Vikings on Sunday.

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Jaguars LB Daryl Smith Ruled Out Vs. Vikings

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith will not play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Linebacker Kyle Bosworth will start in his place.

Smith suffered a groin injury early during training camp and did not play during any preseason games, but he was not ruled out for Week 1 until Friday.

Over at Big Cat Country, Alfie Crow sums up the development as such:

Smith is a big loss for the Jaguars defense, as he's their best cover linebacker and a three-down player. I would expect the Vikings offense to target the Jaguars linebackers on Sunday, as they're down to just one starter in Paul Posluszny.

The other starter missing is Clint Session, who is dealing with continued problems from a series of concussions suffered in 2011 and may be sent to the injured reserve.

Smith is entering his ninth season in the NFL, and he's played all nine with the Jaguars. He was a second-round draft choice in 2004 out of Georgia Tech, and he's the Jaguars' all-time tackles leader with 743 in his career.

The Jaguars open on the road against the Vikings. The game kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.

For more coverage of the Jaguars, stay tuned to Big Cat Country and SB Nation Tampa Bay. The Daily Norsemen and SB Nation Minnesota have you covered for everything you need to know about the Vikings.

Already drafted your fantasy team and looking for a new challenge? Try our Pick 6 challenge!

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Week 1 NFL Odds: Jaguars Vs. Vikings

The Jacksonville Jaguars head into their Week 1 game against the Minnesota Vikings as underdogs. The opening line had the Vikings favored by 4.5 points, but it has since moved to Minnesota by 4 or 3.5, depending on the source.

Related: Forbes: Jaguars 'Least Valuable NFL Franchise', But Bigger Picture Shows Promise

The Jaguars are still sorting out plenty of issues, and Maurice Jones-Drew will not be the starting running back thanks to his now-concluded preseason holdout. The Vikings, meanwhile, are uncertain how Adrian Peterson will respond in his return from a major knee injury, and quarterback Christian Ponder is looking to prove that he's good enough to start in the NFL.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more in-depth coverage of this game, visit Jaguars blog Big Cat Country and Vikings blog Daily Norseman. And for more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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