The Jaguars shocked the world on Sunday, earning a come from behind victory in week one against their division rival Colts. The Jaguars now reside atop the AFC South standings and are in prime position to establish an even firmer grasp on the division if they can take down the Titans in week two.
But how did the Jaguars earn this critical early-season win?
Let's take a look at five standout performers for the Jags!
"Tank for Trevor?" Gardner Minshew has other plans for the Jaguars. The second-year QB wasn't perfect on Sunday; he failed to get rid of the ball on several essential occasions, but he was DAMN good. He was as accurate as it gets, completing 19-20 pass attempts for 173 yards. And he made some crucial passes down the stretch, turning in three touchdown passes in the game. He also contributed five rushes for 19 yards.
Philip Rivers, unsurprisingly, decided he was going to try to pick on rookie first-round pick CJ Henderson early and often. As the game moved forward, it became clear that Rivers made a tactical error in doing so. Henderson got beat a couple of times early on, but he responded as the best players do. In all, he allowed just five completions on ten targets in coverage. He broke up three passes and also made the first interception of his young career. Henderson was a key contributor in the tackling department, consistently showing that he's willing and able to embrace the physical aspects of the game. He recorded five tackles in all, each seemingly more impressive than the one that came before it.
Like Henderson, Jack missed his first opportunity to shine in this one, as he left Nyheim Hines slip through his grasp. What would have been a tackle for loss and potential drive killer, instead turned into a Colts' first down that led to a touchdown just a play later. But after that moment, Jack was a terror. He showed off his supreme athleticism throughout the game, chasing the speedster Hines out of bounds on one play, and allowing zero separation in coverage of Parris Campbell on another. He sacked Jacoby Brissett in the red zone as well. In total, Jack racked up 11 tackles, a sack, and three QB hits.
The undrafted rookie showed the world why Doug Marrone and the Jaguars' coaching staff had so much confidence in him. Robinson started the game off with a bang, picking up first downs again and again for the Jaguars' offense. He displayed his vision, power, and surprising burst through the hole. Robinson totaled 62 rushing yards on 16 carries, but the lowish number is due in large part to the Colts' plan to completely sell out against Robinson and the Jaguars' rushing attack in the second half. While that strategy did help slow down Robinson, it allowed the Jaguars' receivers to open up down the field. Robinson also picked up a vital first down in the fourth quarter on a screen pass in which he hurdled two Colts' defenders on his way to the first down marker. Robinson didn't find the endzone in the game, but his 90 total yards on 17 touches proved invaluable for the Jaguars.
Gruden didn't suit up and take the field for the Jaguars on Sunday, but his offensive mind allowed Gardner Minshew and the rest of the Jaguars' offensive players to play freely and confidently. When the Colts didn't show respect for James Robinson early in the game, Gruden made them pay. When they sold out to stop Robinson later on, again, he adjusted and outfoxed the Colts' defense. His use of pre-snap motion, play action, and varying play concepts from the same looks, proved too much for the Colts to handle. The Jaguars finally have a professional play-caller on the staff. It wasn't a perfect game plan, but it was a clear sign that this team will have a much better offensive strategy in 2020 than they have in years past.
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