JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Jaguars committed nine penalties for 79 yards.
Of those infractions, the most boneheaded was a penalty that could have easily been avoided, but made a Green Bay touchdown drive easier to accomplish.
On third-and-3 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit wide receiver Randall Cobb for a nine-yard completion. However, during the run after the catch, Cobb clearly grabbed onto Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny's facemask.
With his fingers locked to the protective bars on Posluszny's helmet, Cobb continued to shuffle upfield and eventually out of bounds. Not thrilled with his teammate's predicament, Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson rushed to his Posluszny's aid.
Jackson pushed Cobb and the two exchanged words. A 15-yard facemask penalty was wiped out as Jackson was called for unnecessary roughness. The offsetting penalties helped the Packers stay in favorable position on the repeat play of the third down. The drive continued with a four-yard pass from Rodgers to Cobb.
The series would end with a field goal.
Jackson - who served as his teammate's avenger - knew he should have eased up on his defense after the whistle.
“I saw the facemask – I got upset – I like to protect our linebackers,” Jackson said.
“As big guys, we – offensive and defensive linemen – we’ve got to protect everybody else because we’re the big men. I went over there to say something, I think I pushed him, he shoved himself into me and I got a little upset. I’ve got to keep my composure.”
The 6-foot-5, 300 pound lineman wasn't exactly a fair fight for Cobb, who is just 5-foot-10 and 192 pounds. The coaching staff had a brief conversation with the veteran, but he knows the push out of bounds wasn't helpful in the grand scheme of things.
“They were pretty much like ‘we can’t have it’ and I know that too,” Jackson said.
“I’ve just got to check myself and not let those situations get the best of me. They wouldn’t even say nothing, they know that I am harder on myself than anybody else can be hard on me.”
The unnecessary roughness call was actually one of the more eventful occurrences for the Jaguars defensive line on Sunday. With Rodgers' ability to scramble and keep plays alive with his legs, the coaching staff asked the defensive line to play in containment mode.
“That’s the game,” Jackson said. “I played Aaron Rodgers last year. When you play these running quarterbacks, that can scramble out of the pocket, you realize that you can’t physically commit to your rushes and that’s just part of the game.”
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.