The Jacksonville Jaguars are right where they need to be. Without Nick Foles and Jalen Ramsey, the two players who were viewed by many (including myself) as the most indispensable on the entire roster, the Jags find themselves at 4-4 and in control of their own destiny. But before we look too far ahead, let's take a look back at some of the most impressive stats, both individually and from a team perspective, so far in 2019.
Mustache Mania is alive and well in Duval County. And for good reason: Gardner Minshew has thrown 13 touchdown passes and only two interceptions so far this season. The "Jock Strap King," as Leonard Fournette calls him, has been named NFL Rookie of the Week five times so far, and will likely earn the award again for his three-touchdown performance in week eight. Minshew has guided the Jaguars to a 4-3 record as the team's starting QB and has led the Jags to wins in four of the last six games.
Rookie pass-rusher extraordinaire, Josh Allen, has seven sacks so far this season. That puts him just half a sack off of the pace for the all-time rookie record (Jevon Kearse, 14.5 sacks, 1999). That's right: Josh Allen's performance so far is nearly record-breaking. This season he has the potential to have the best pass-rushing season by any rookie in the history of sacks being recorded. My goodness.
Sacksonville is back and better than ever. No, really, it is. The Jaguars have 29 sacks through eight games. That puts them on pace for 58 sacks this season. That's one more than the franchise record set by the 1999 squad, and three more than the 2017 team. The combination of Josh Allen, Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue has proven lethal this year. But a plethora of Jags has been active in the sack department. Dawuane Smoot has four sacks; Ronnie Harrison has two sacks; Abry Jones has 1.5 sacks; Najee Goode, Leon Jacobs, DJ Hayden, and Taven Bryan each have a sack. Sacksonville appears to be hitting its stride at the right time, and if the current pace continues, this squad will go down in the Jaguars' record books.
Leonard Fournette's 2019 season has been impressive for so many reasons. But in terms of statistics, none have been more eye-popping that his yardage totals. The third-year runner has rushed the ball for 791 yards so far in 2019. He's added 263 more yards through the air. That puts him on pace for over 2,100 yards from scrimmage in 2019. That's more than any Jaguar . . . ever. In 2019 Leonard Fournette could be well on his way to edging out Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew in the Jaguars' record books. LF27 currently leads the AFC in rushing yards.
Labeled by some as a bust after a disappointing rookie season, DJ Chark has been nearly unstoppable as a sophomore. He's hauled in 39 catches for 660 yards and six scores. He's on pace for the second-most receiving touchdowns in a single season in Jaguars' history and the fifth-most receiving yards. The sky is the limit for the lengthy speedster. DJ Chark sits atop the AFC in receiving yards and is tied for first in the NFL in receiving touchdowns.
With eight games to go, these Jaguars have the opportunity to etch their names into not only the team's record books but also the NFL's.
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